Rammed Earth

What is it?

An ancient building technique which uses earth from the site itself or from a close by source.

Why did we Fall in Love with the Method?

It is economic in all possible aspects.
Saving Energy The thermal mass of the walls passively cools and heats spaces
Minimum Maintenance Since mortar is not used, the walls need never be renewed.
Ecological A minimal ecological footprint. Comes from earth and returns to earth.
Zero Waste This method produces zero waste. Dumpsters are mostly filled with concetruction waste.
Sustainable using local earth without any need for iron, wooden or cement support.

Did You Know?

In the past, rammed earth appeared in several locations around the world. Many parts of the Chinese wall were built using rammed earth as did the Khasbas of Morocco and structures in the Himalayas, all adopting this method thousands of years ago. In other places around the world, rammed earth was on the rise in times of economic hardships, among these North America and Western Europe.
During the 1950s, a booklet on “tamping soil” was published in Israel.
It is still possible to view traditional rammed earth structures in Yemen, Morocco and other places around the globe.
In its modern form, rammed earth can be very efficient, artistic, and highly aesthetic. It is thus slowly gaining recognition in parts of the Western world, such as Australia, Canada and California.
In Israel, climate conditions are ideal for rammed earth, and yet there are very few structures built using this method. This may be due to the conservative building market and the high degree of professionalism which rammed earth entails.

How Does It Work?

Within a form, a balanced moist mixture is rammed, layer after layer, thus compressing it and gluing all components together, leaving no air inside. Without the need for plaster, the wall is finished once the form is taken apart at the end of the ramming.
The walls are 50 cm thick. In Western rammed earth building, stabilizers such as lime or cement are often added to the mixture. Without these, the walls will go through a process of erosion of approximately 1cm every 100 years.

It is Healthy

The walls do not emit any poisonous materials, VOC’s.
Since the walls are rammed and contain no oxygen they are resistant to mould, fungi and pests.
Humidity level is more or less stable, around 40%.
The walls naturally create a pleasant and calming acoustics.

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