Until the beginning of the twentieth century, each region had its own type of construction which depended on local traditions and the materials available on the premises of the buildings or in the immediate vicinity.

From this period, concrete appeared and quickly established itself.

The purpose of this short report is not to retrace the different construction methods applied through the ages but rather to try to answer the following simple question:

The building I live in is more than a century old; how was it built?

It should also be noted that this survey applies above all to constructions in the Jurassic arc and concerns above all our buildings made of rubble bound with lime, which represents even more than 60% of our houses, cities and countryside combined.

The different materials used for construction through the ages

The brick

2. Different uses of stone
Dry stone
Cut stone
The rubble

3. The rubble walls
Assembly techniques
External aspect of the wall

4. Lime
What is lime?
Lime kilns
Cement, lime, concrete
What about lime?

1. The different materials used for construction through the ages
These depend on:

of the climate of the region where the construction was carried out, We are not going to build thick walls to protect against the cold in a region with a hot climate and at the same time, we will avoid light brick walls in cold regions,proximity to the material to be used. Before the 1940s, the problem of transporting materials was important since we did not have the means we currently have, so we used priority the raw material located around.
the allocation of the construction (housing, shelter, reduced, etc ...)
Wood is undoubtedly the oldest material used for the construction of shelters first and then of houses thereafter.rubble stones3a

Once out of his cave, the man used wood for shelter by making branches huts. Subsequently, the lakes, 4000 years ago, used it to build, at the edge of the lakes, platforms on which they built their houses, also in wood.

In the Middle Ages, wood was the building material par excellence so much that its use was regulated from the 13th century onwards to avoid (already at that time!) Deforestation.

Some French local administrations limited its use by forcing to build stone or bricks in certain cities. These measures also served to limit the risk of fires which, in some cases could destroy entire villages, especially when the houses were terraced

In the Jura, wooden constructions are also very present. If our Neuchâtel farms have a stone or rubble foundation in which rubble stones4the habitable part and the stable or the stable are generally found , the upper part, reserved for the shed and the barn, was often made of wood, covered with a shingle roof resting on a strong frame.

These frames, often supporting large roof sections, are, in many cases, impressive and very well made.

On the other hand, the dryers and other independent sheds or adjoining the main building were very often built exclusively of wood.

In other regions, in Valais for example and mainly in Val d'Anniviers and Val d'Hérens, the famous mazots or raccards are made exclusively of wood and are rubble stones5still used , for some of them, for storing wheat for fuel and cereals for raccard.

Regarding the latter, they are built on round stone slabs resting on wooden stakes to prevent mice and other predators from entering the raccard.

The chalets that one meets in all regions and which then serve as dwellings are also made of wood, by definition.

The house known as "half-timbered" or "half-timbered", depending on the region, is a house made up of a wooden frame made of sand pits, posts and whirlpools (horizontal, vertical and oblique wood) and a "masonry", which forms the walls and which has a filling and rubble stones7stiffening role. It is made of bricks, most often raw (see below) or of light materials such as mud or plaster, possibly rubble stone in the case where the frame is made up of metal parts, depending on the region.

This technique was known in Roman Antiquity and was used in France at least from the High Middle Ages until the 19th century. However, from the 17th century and throughout the 19th century, the facades of half-timbered houses were plastered to give them a more luxurious and modern appearance. But many half-timbered houses still exist all over Europe and even in the Jura.

Currently, wood is again popular! It responds to a trend that is more ecological. Wood construction techniques have been fundamentally rubble stone6modernized. Wood has gained significant market share compared to other building materials.

The "house" wood is now dominated by systems frame solid wood whether fustes (logs uncalibrated and irregular assembled on site such as barns for example) log (same technique except that fustes that the logs are calibrated and assembled in a precise manner) or in planks (like logs except that the pieces of wood are worked to be rectangular and not round).

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