Siwa is one of the few Egyptian oasis communities that have managed to retain most of its traditional characteristics and is an environmentally significant area (1). This was partially due to the region’s isolation, which was broken only recently by the construction of asphalt roads connecting Siwa to Marsa Matruh. The Oasis is one of the areas rich with distinguished well-planned and ecologically sensitive facilities or eco-lodges (2), various attractions including monuments, therapeutic tourism, safari tourism and desert tourism. The architecture and the construction of the oasis were developed by its occupants using local raw materials and their buildings fulfilled all their needs (3).

As the people of Siwa confronted the modern world, both their culture and their environment were exposed to the risk of disruption. During the eighties concrete blocks started invading the oasis and had an enormous impact on the local construction techniques and on the oasis. With the invasion of modern techniques of construction and life styles in the oasis, its unique natural architectural style is degrading. The Siwan people started facing problems concerning the weakness of local building materials and hence concrete became their easier choice.

In this paper an environmental approach is adopted in order to revisit and enhance Siwa traditional construction techniques, and hence playing a key role in enhancing a sustainable resilient community in the region. The paper carry out a critical investigation of the problems associated with the traditional construction technique in Siwa oasis due to the weakness of the available building materials. An exploration of the local materials found in the oasis is carried out in order to unearth other raw materials that could be used in the experimental study in order to enhance the traditional construction process in Siwa Oasis.

The empirical study that was developed in order to improve the strength of the currently used Siwan mortar which gave strength of 13.5 Kg/cm2 is presented in this paper. The introduction of new materials which are not experienced before in Siwa Oasis (Badya, and Sommar Ash) increased the strength of the Siwan mortar to 80 Kc/cm2. This achieved increase in strength is considered very promising as the Egyptian Standard Specification accepts bricks having strength exceeding 50 Kg/cm2 to be used as bearing walls in construction industry. On the basis of the results obtained herein, a modification for the current Siwan mortar that is currently used by the builders to bond the ‘Karsheef’ particles together is proposed.