CONSTRUCTION PROCESS .

• The formwork is constantly removed and placed on the next set of horizontal timbers where the process is repeated. but this does not prevent further work on the project. the horizontal timbers are removed from the wall leaving characteristic holes. Walls take some time to dry out completely. the mass of standing wall being known as a lift. Upon completion of one horizontal level the formwork is moved vertically. Once the formwork has been moved on. The wall is so solid that. • • brushing to . the forms can be removed immediately. This is necessary if wire reveal texture is desired otherwise walls become too hard to brush after around 60 minutes. if desired.

FORMWORK BRACING TECHNIQUES .

REINFORCEMENT PROPORTIONS DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS • Rammed earth walls have low tensile strength. • Vertical reinforcing may also be done. . All openings in rammed earth walls. and should be reinforced by providing a bond or collar beam. • and may be required by some building officials. Special detailing to accommodate manufactured windows may be necessary to accommodate wall thickness. must have span the opening width. such as windows and doors. wood or steel. lintels to • Water flow and moisture control is critical to protect structural walls. • Beams can be constructed of concrete.

Historically. moisture from the resulting in reduced compressive strength. Soil material block should not be used in below grade walls unless supported on both sides. Natural ground may infiltrate the block. • Wood. The latter are excavated trenches filled with two parts sand to OPENING PROPORTIONS • three parts gravel.• All openings for doors and windows will require a frame. . as opposed to metal. or used sand and gravel foundations. many structures built with earth materials had no foundation. roof and opening details is necessary to protect the structure from water damage. • Soil block material may be used as a filler material Careful attention to both • between piers of a reinforced concrete pier and beam foundation. Trench bottoms were graded to provide positive drainage. is recommended due to the corrosive action of moisture from the soil material. • Foundations required by most codes are concrete reinforced with steel.

Each section is separated by a for • • Four vertical bamboo rods act as reinforcement for the wall sections. and together with the gap give sufficient stability against horizontal loads created by seismic activity.BAMBOO REINFORCED RAMMED EARTH • A Rammed earth wall is erected over a form. • ¾ inch gap to provide independent movement during seismic activity. using a special T-shaped steel slip The 31 inch wide wall sections are rammed continuously until the final wall height is reached so that no horizontal shrinkage cracks can occur. • bamboo reinforced monolithic stone foundation. The bamboo is interconnected with the reinforcement of the foundation as well as with the ring beam that connects the tops of all the wall sections. .

BENEFITS OF RAMMED EARTH • • • • • • Reduced CO2 Emissions Thermal Mass Noise Reduction Strength Durability Low Maintenance • • • • • Fire Resistance Pest Resistance Cost Effective Rapid Construction Environmentally Friendly .

This contrasts greatly with air conditioning systems. If a rammed earth wall is designed into the heating system of a structure. In using soil taken directly from the site. there is no transport requirement. Around 10% of global CO2 emissions are from the cement industry. which act to dry the air in a building and contribute to harsh working and living environment. which further reduces the CO2 emissions of the building. the energy required to both heat and cool the building can be greatly reduced. Thermal Performance • The high thermal mass of rammed earth walls mean they act to naturally regulate the internal temperature of a building. directly reducing CO2 emissions and taking vehicles off the road. . The manufacture of cement requires the burning of limestone and produces CO2 as a waste product. • • • Rammed earth naturally regulates the internal relative humidity of the building. producing an improved air quality.CO2 Emissions • • • • Using rammed earth as a construction material greatly reduces the amount of CO2 released during the construction of the building.

. and thus the building must maximize the structural potential of the rammed earth. The • The strength and stiffness of the material reduce greatly be well designed in order to with increasing water content.Structural Performance • Rammed earth is perfectly able to act as load bearing members within a structural system. • strength of dry. un-stabilized rammed earth is close to 1MPa.

fire and acoustics. of rammed earth. water resistance.Embodied Energy • The inherent recycle-ablility Feasibility • Rammed earth complies with Building Regulations for insulation. with but detailing is important to ensure the rammed earth is used to its maximum potential. and this water content should be predetermined before construction begins. in . and the reduction in CO2 emissions during the lifetime of the structure. • • Not all soils are suitable for use as rammed earth. strength. the high thermal mass and thus low operating costs all mean that rammed earth has a much lower embodied energy than comparable building materials. walls acting compression. Structural design of rammed earth buildings is usually very simple. The soil must be compacted at a particular water content to ensure optimum compaction.

between the walls. Australia • • • Architect: John Wardle Architects Completion: 2002 Area: 400 m2 • • Rammed Earth Walls angling outward evokes the impression of continuing into the landscape.GREEN BUILDINGS Vineyard Residence Victoria. Cross ventilation is achieved throughout all the areas. .

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Cooling is achieved thru cross ventilation by opening the sliding panels to the east and the entry doors to the west. keeping unwanted summer heat out during • • the day and re-radiating it at night.Center for Gravity Foundation Hall Jemez Springs. Frane Completion: 2003 Area: 279 m2 • The thick Rammed Earth Walls act as thermal composites. . J. New Mexico • • • Architects: H. heat is generated by geothermal water. Predock. In the winter.

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Chapel of Reconciliation Berlin. The Rammed Earth wall contains large fragments of broken brick from the former church. Germany • • • • Architect: Reitermann + Sassenroth Completion: 2000 Area: 315 m2 The interior is of oval shape.15%.2N/mm2.6m in thickness. strength of . which together constitutes 55% of the material. • • coarse-grained mixture reduces material shrinkage to only .2m in height and . The admixture of flax fibers and This intensive compaction with a tamping roller was able to produce a compressive 3. and is delimited by a rammed earth wall 7. as well as gravel.

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