The Changing Use of Materials in Construction of the Vernacular Thai House

  • Poomchai Punpairoj

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Due to the processes of modernization, the existing traditional Thai houses have been changed from tradition to contemporary. Contemporary vernacular houses in the central Thailand are categorised as transforming and reproduction houses. This study focused on three types of vernacular houses in the central region: the traditional Thai house; the transforming Thai house; and the reproduction Thai house. This study examined the features in these contemporary vernacular houses which have been influenced by changing use of materials and construction methods. The study was conducted by examining the changes of vernacular houses in three locations in Ayutthaya province: the urban district village, the rural village and the motorway buffer area. Data were collected with the uses of materials, construction types, and features of construction elements. The data obtained were analyzed and discussed through typological analysis and constant comparative analysis to reveal the differences of vernacular houses among the studied locations. The findings show the ways in which vernacular traditions have been integrated with modern influences. The development and change of use of materials are indicated for reflecting the evolution of vernacular Thai houses. The results reveal that, from the earliest period of modern Thai industry, contemporary vernacular Thai housing has been influenced by materials available and construction methods employed. Industrial materials have been used to improve the performance and change the appearance of the traditional Thai houses. Because of the availability of early industrial materials and construction methods, the transforming Thai houses will therefore continue to be sustained by their current owners. Traditional and modern materials are applied to the reproduction Thai houses with updated construction techniques. Vernacular Thai houses are confirmed as a continuous process and appreciated in the context of the present. The results of this study offers some clues to support an understanding of living heritage, and thus promoting conservation of vernacular buildings in Thailand.
Date of Award30 Oct 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPete Walker (Supervisor) & Dina D'Ayala (Supervisor)


  • materials
  • construction
  • house

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