Owner/
Builder

Rammed Earth

Ramming earth to create walls is at least as old as the Great Wall of China. It is really quite similar to adobe and cob techniques, in that the soil is mostly clay and sand. The difference is that the material is compressed or tamped into place, usually with forms that create very flat vertical surfaces. Modern rammed earth typically utilizes heavy mechanized equipment to move and compress the material . The walls are normally at least a foot thick to give enough bulk to be stable and provide the thermal mass for comfort. It is best to apply insulating material to the outside of the building to keep the interior temperature constant. The interior surface can be finished in a variety of ways, from natural oil to more standard surfaces. Rammed earth houses tend to have a very solid, quiet feeling inside.

RESOURCES

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BOOKS

WATCH VIDEOS

ARTICLES:

Tulou Chinese Architecture

Rammed Earth: Developing
New Guidelines for an Old Material

RAMMED EARTH POSTERS

PLANS

EXPERT ADVICE

with Clifton Schooley


Where rammed earth works
Uses for rammed earth
Steps in ramming earth
Structural concerns
Thermal characteristics
Rammed earth and humidity
Codes for rammed earth
Miscellaneous

INFORMATIVE LINKS

RAMMED EARTH POSTERS AND ART PRINTS

There is a distinctive mood and flavor to Southwest American art that reflects bright sunshine on cool rammed earth walls, with a peacefulness and relaxation that is hard to come by these days. These lovely artistic posters can bring this peaceful relaxation into your home.


 
BOOKS

Rammed Earth Structures:
A Code of Practice

by
Julian Keable and Rowland Keable, 2012

   
 
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Earth Architecture
by Ronald Rael, 2008

   
 
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The Rammed Earth House: Revised Edition
by David Easton, 2007

   
 
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A Kindle Edition is available.

Building with Earth:
Design and Technology
of a Sustainable Architecture

by Gernot Minke, 2006

 
 
 
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Earth Building
by Laurence Keefe, 2005

   
 
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The Good House Book :
A Common-Sense Guide to Alternative Homebuilding

by Clarke Snell, 2004

 
 
 
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Martin Rauch:
Rammed Earth / Lehm und Architektur / Terra cruda

by Otto Kapfinger, 2001

   
 
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Earth Construction Handbook:
The Building Material Earth in Modern Architecture

by Gernot Minke, 2000

 
 
 
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Buildings of Earth and Straw: Structural Design
for Rammed Earth
and Straw Bale Architecture

by Bruce King, 1997

   
 
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Adobe and Rammed Earth Buildings:
Design and Construction

by Paul Graham McHenry, 1997

   
 
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Earth Construction:
A Comprehensive Guide

by Hugo Houben and Hubert Guillard, 1994

 
 
 
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Earthbuilders Encyclopedia: The Master Alphabetical Reference for Adobe
and Rammed Earth

by Joe Tibbets, 1989

   
 
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PLANS

Santa Fe III
Sven Alstrom, Designer

This one story Santa Fe Style bungalow home is based upon 24-inch wide straw bale construction (or rammed edarth) on concrete block foundation & concrete spread footings with crawl spaces and a partial basement. Natural interior plaster and natural exterior stucco are recommended. A ten foot beamed ceiling in the living dining room overlooks an east facing courtyard patio. The house is 1,716 sq. ft. as shown (outside dimensions). The 2 foot thick exterior perimeter wall totals 158 square feet, therefore the net useable interior total is 1,558 square feet. The detached garage is an additional 728 square feet. This plan is shown with south facing entry and east facing courtyard. Overall site plan dimensions including the garage and porches shown are 66 feet deep x 82 feet wide. This plan is optimized for a hot climate.

For more information about this plan, and many others, visit our sister site www.dreamgreenhomes.com, where you will find a wide range of plans for sustainable homes, greenhouses, small buildings, garages, and food storage space for sale. Dream Green Homes is a consortium of outstanding architects and designers, who have pooled their talent and expertise for your benefit.

LINKS

The Earth Building Foundation is devoted to helping people learn how to utilize earth building for better, safer, shelter.

rammedearthworks.com informative site on rammed earth.

eartharchitecture.org features information and sponsors workshops on all typs of earth building.

adobebuilder.com Adobe Builder Magazine offers media, classes and information about adobe and rammed earth.

rammedearthhomes.com Contractor Quentin Branch has assembled an excellent selection of slides of rammed earth.

youtube.com There are several short videos of rammed earth construction posted here.

aseg.net stabilized rammed earth works in Australia.

earth-auroville.com Auroville in India has been working with various aspects of earthen architecture and has much to share.

sirewall.com and terrafirmabuilders specialize in insulated rammed earth, and offer workshops and information about this innovative approach to building.

rammedearth.blogspot very informative blog about rammed earth.

rammedearth.info a fine picture gallery of rammed earth projects and designs by a Canadian rammer.

iitk.ac.in/nicee this PDF document describes a simple, inexpensive method of reinforcing adobe or rammed earth buildings with plastic mesh for earthquake resistance.

sourabh.tk This short PDF describes how to do rammed earth in simple terms and with fun illustrations.

Disclaimer Of Liability And Warranty
I specifically disclaim any warranty, either expressed or implied, concerning the information on these pages. Neither I nor any of the advisor/consultants associated with this site will have liability for loss, damage, or injury, resulting from the use of any information found on this, or any other page at this site. Kelly Hart, Hartworks, Inc.

 

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