Rammed Earth building

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Rammed Earth building

  • Shawn Warren

    Has anybody looked into rammed earth building? I find it interesting and stunning the way it turns out.

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  • Roger Browne

    Like most forms of alternative housing, rammed earth construction is cheap but incredibly labor-intensive. I’ve seen a few rammed-earth buildings in Australia, but it seems to me that mud-brick buildings are much easier to build.

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    Shawn Warren

    Does mud brick have the same benefits as rammed earth?

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      Roger Browne

      Which benefits are you concerned about? Mud brick and rammed earth homes both have great thermal mass and good sound insulation. Both require careful design to minimise the amount of driving rain that hits the wall. Both use inexpensive materials that can often be sourced on-site. Both are labour-intensive to build.

      The major difference is that rammed earth requires the erection of framework around the walls. Damp earth is poured into the frame a layer at a time then rammed to make it solid. Mud bricks are not made in-situ but are formed and sun-dried separately. The drying takes a long time, after which the dried mud bricks can be used to build walls in a way that is very similar to building walls with regular bricks.

      Incidentally, we use the terms “earth” and “mud”, but in both cases it’s essential to have enough clay in the mixture to bind the sandy bits.

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    Shawn Warren

    I had heard conflicting reports on the insulation of of Rammed Earth. I have been told that you have to add a layer of insulation to the walls. I appreciate all the info.

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      Roger Browne

      Modern building codes require high levels of insulation, so in most western countries a rammed earth house is required to have a layer of insulation. But that’s not the whole story. The rammed earth house has very high thermal mass, so the heat it absorbs during the day is released at night. For a given level of insulation, your fuel bills will be considerably lower than for a lightweight modern construction having an identical level of insulation.

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    Anonymous

    I think Adam TSA Kokesh is building an earth ship on some land, might be worth checking out the sites he talked about in his recent video

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