This chapter studies wooden reinforcements for earth constructions. Analysing vernacular houses from Castile, Spain, I discovered this reinforcement and started to compare its performance with other traditional bracings for earth construction. At present, approximately over 30% of the world’s population still live in earth houses, 50% of which are in the third world countries. This is why it is so important to understand how earthwork constructions behave. Most importantly, for the rehabilitation and preservation of existing World Heritage Sites, also there is a great need to construct new buildings in developed countries under the criteria of sustainability and developing countries because of housing shortages and lack of materials. The main failure of earth constructions is because of the low tensile resistance of the earth, causing walls to detach in the corners under horizontal loads. This chapter analyses a vernacular wooden reinforcement from Castile, Spain: its history, composition, construction and structural behaviour. It compares it with earth constructions without reinforcements, using a unique model under the same conditions. This makes a qualitative and quantitative comparison possible. The conclusions can be applied to rehabilitation or construction of new-build depending on the loads, distances and height, which can be a security condition or a vital necessity.
Part of the book: Wood in Civil Engineering