Excavated soil

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Excavated soil

Terres Emaillées

In the Parisian region alone, more than 20 million tons of excavated soil are extracted each year. Only 20% to 30% of inert excavated soil is recycled, whilst the rest is sent to landfills. This soil is considered waste even though it can be a resource. The current development plan is to extend metro lines in Paris and the suburbs generating even more excavated soils. This research is about creating glazed ceramic tiles from that excavated soil and demolition waste. These excavated materials such as clay, marl, sand, limestone, as well as demolition waste (pieces of pricks) can be reused to make ceramic objects, and/or glazes.

The different types of soil contain various minerals and have different grains, therefore presenting the possibility of a wide variety of rich colours and textures. The results are locally sourced ceramic tiles that tell a story.

The excavated materials have been identified and are excavated from different worksites in the Parisian region. Continuous production can therefore be ensured.

This work was made possible thanks to the funding of Faire Paris, an open call launched by the Paris Center for architecture and urbanism, the Pavillon de l'Arsenal. It was done in contact with Société du Grand Paris, ECT, Cycle Terre, Placo Saint-Gobain, Myriam Duc (physicist at University Gustave-Eiffel), as well as many ceramicists, and in particular the ceramic department of the University Duperré.

Additional information

Tiles made from excavated clay are fired at around 1040°. The clay is mixed with small pieces of bricks, or sand. The clay body is entirely made from waste materials from Paris Region. The glazes of these tiles can contain between 10% and 80% of construction waste or excavated materials.
Stoneware and porcelain are types of ceramic that are fired at around 1260°. Glazes for stoneware or porcelain can entirely be made with excavated materials, such as sand, marl and limestone. These glazes make single- firing easier, which means that the product is fired once instead of twice. Moreover, it is possible to re-glaze second-hand stoneware tiles.

Text submitted by the maker

Ingredient list

Clay, marl, limestone, sand, chalk, coal ash, brick, granite.

Credits

Pavillon de l'Arsenal, ECT, Cycle Terre, Placo Saint-Gobain, Myriam Duc (physicist at University Gustave-Eiffel), the ceramic department of the University Duperré

Photo credits

Lucie Ponard, Vincent Fillon