Rammed earth does possess a generally high durability but all types of rammed earth walls are porous by nature and need protection from driving rain and long term exposure to moisture. This is the part of the process that results in the beautiful layers sometimes seen in rammed earth walls.
Finished walls are inert but take care in the choice of waterproofing or anti-dust finishes to avoid adding toxicity to the surfaces. Fixings Most conventional masonry fixings work with rammed earth walls; they usually need to be set in at about twice the depth normally used for concrete.
Parts of the Great Wall of China were constructed using the technique and are still standing more than 2, years later.
Thermal mass Rammed earth behaves as heavyweight masonry with a high thermal mass. It typically requires high levels of control over material sourcing and batching, and expensive formwork.
As they cure dry out their compression strength increases.
Rammed earth advantages
Photo: Paul Downton Ramming the earth. Although rammed earth itself is old, our research is quite a new field compared with other more traditional construction materials like concrete, steel, masonry and timber. Proprietary approaches to rammed earth help guarantee consistency and predictable performance but come at a cost. As the wall rises it is possible to take out the lower portions of formwork provided the wall has set strongly enough. Rammed earth gives limited insulation but excellent thermal mass. A whole village of rammed earth. The second wall then moulds into this to lock the walls together for lateral stability. Perth rammed earth home. The scheme has successfully helped the local population to create entire new villages built with rammed earth. Simmons, G and Gray, A eds. Interesting structural features, including leaning walls, have been constructed in rammed earth.
Rongrong Hu, Xi'an University A closer look at the technique. Basic materials for rammed earth making are readily available across Australia, but cement and formwork may have to be transported long distances, increasing environmental and economic costs.
The rammed earth house. The form must be durable and well braced, and the two opposing faces must be clamped together to prevent bulging or deformation caused by the large compressing forces.
Rammed earth house cost
The rammed earth walls revealed. Although its buildability is good, formwork for rammed earth demands good site and logistics planning to ensure that other trades are not adversely affected in the building program. Horizontal curves are also possible but require specialised, and therefore expensive, formwork. Lawson, B. As a corollary to its high thermal mass, rammed earth has limited thermal insulating qualities — similar to an uninsulated fibre cement wall. Sustainable building blocks Both traditional rammed earth and CSRE have several characteristics that make them an attractive choice of building material. Elamang Avenue house by Luigi Rosselli. Footings Conventional concrete slab or strip footings are generally used, subject to soil conditions. So as long as you keep it minimally processed the better your rammed earth structure will be for both you and the planet. Sound insulation One of the best ways to insulate against sound is have monolithic mass, which rammed earth provides very well. Traditional rammed earth using human power for ramming and simple wooden formwork can be low cost and low energy but this is rarely a realistic option. In colder climates, rammed-earth walls can be insulated with Styrofoam or a similar insert. First used in Lyons, France, in , the term applied to the principle of constructing walls at least mm thick by ramming earth between two parallel frames that were then removed, revealing a completed section of compressed earth wall.
Walls are built in sections and the rise of each level of formwork is often visible in the final finish.
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