The Rubble-House Research Project is a joint research effort by Kennesaw State University and Conscience International, Inc.
Rubble-Houses are environmentally friendly structures with walls comprised of recycled loose rubble placed in welded wire baskets. Rubble-Houses are assumed to be earthquake resistant structures due to their improved damping and ductility characteristics arising from the rubble and welded wire basket, respectively. However, the response of such structures under static and dynamic loads has not been studied in detail. In order to have a better understanding of its behavior, the research team came up with a three-phase research plan. During the first phase a full-scale rubble-house was built in the middle of Kennesaw State University, Marietta campus and subjected to a series of load tests. Phase two is mainly about three dimensional computer modeling of rubble houses, and currently in progress. The construction methods and tools used in making the rubble-house are designed with local conditions in mind to minimize the cost while maintaining the safety of occupants. In phase three, the team performs shake table tests on full-scale models and finalize the design.
Conscience International, Inc has built more than 200 Rubble-Houses in Haiti with plans to increase the number to 1000. Kennesaw Sate faculty and students, with their engineering expertise, volunteered to evaluate the performance of Rubble-Houses built with current construction techniques and make recommendations to improve the seismic resistance without much increase in cost of construction.