Rammed Earth Homes
Our Best Option?
A home is a place of refuge and delight.People build their homes so they can have aplace where they can relax and enjoy thecompany of family and friends. For peopleeverywhere, nothing is more exciting thancoming home to a place where memoriesare created and relationships are
strengthened. This hasn’t changed much in
all the years that man has lived on this earth.However, with the alarming impact of recentclimate changes and global environmental concerns, preserving Mother earth has finallybecome
a cause for genuine concern, ushering hordes of “greening” programs and initiatives to
get the campaign acted on. Even in house construction engineers, architects and builders are
finding ways to sustain building technologies to create “green homes.” Oddl
y enough, greenhome building technology has been in existence for thousands of years. Rammed earth wasused in constructing homes and other buildings such as palaces and pyramids during theancient times, and they are noted for their strength and durability.Rammed earth construction is a structural wall system built from natural mineral soilscompacted in thin layers. It is formed by a mixture of sand, gravel and clay. The dampenedmixture is pressed or rammed inside a strong mold or form to create both load and non-loadbearing walls. The forms can be removed immediately by rammed earth builders and the fresh
wall is capable of supporting loads. The walls will continue to cure and gain strength slowlyover time.In earlier times, forms used for rammed earth were small, inaccurate and difficult to handle.The soil was taken directly from the base of the wall and placed on the forms using baskets.The soil used in the mixture often contained sticksand small boulders and the joints between the wallsections were not refined and exhibited unevensurfaces. The rammed earth building methodremained unchanged for thousand years; the basicprinciples still apply today.
Refinements in formwork and soil preparationstarted to elevate the use of rammed earth to aposition of respect and acceptance. Elements of