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Interview With The Architect - Rammed Earth

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

Rammed earth, or tapial, is an ancient construction technique used to create structures.The technique employs locally available earth that is compacted to form structural elements, most typically building walls.

Rammed earth construction is the processof ramming a mixtureof aggregates,like gravel,sand,silt and clay in to a form work to create walls.When the earth is dry the form work is removed to reveal solid monolithic walls.This construction technique is widely seen in the ruins of Indus valley civilization & in Great Wall of China.

Youtube link : - Making of Rammed Earth Wall

Benefits Of Building In Rammed Earth

The many advantages of building with rammed earth include superior thermal mass, temperature and noise control, strength and durability, low maintenance, fire proofing, load bearing and pest deterrence, as well as its beauty and the pleasure of building with a natural and environmentally sound material.

Thermal Mass

The external walls of our rammed earth buildings are a minimum of 300mm (1 ft) thick, providing excellent protection from extremes in climate. The thickness and density of the material means that heat (or cold) penetration of the wall is very slow and the internal temperature of the building remains comparatively stable, with the end result of it feeling warmer in winter and cooler in summer than the outside temperature. Rammed earth has long been a popular choice for buildings where temperature fluctuations need to be kept to a minimum.

Low Maintenance

Rammed earth walls are extremely low maintenance. Once they are built and sealed, they shouldn’t need any further attention for at least 10-20 years. At that point exposed walls may benefit from a second coat of sealer, which is an easy process. Rammed earth walls are features that stand alone and don’t need finishing with plasterboard or render, inside or outside. There is no need to ever again spend time and money painting. However, if you do want a different finish, rammed earth walls can be treated in the same way as other masonry walls. You can cover them by applying plaster or render, or paint directly onto the surface.

Load Bearing

Rammed earth walls at 300mm thick are load bearing, so you are unlikely to need other structural framing for your home, reducing fire and pest susceptibility. Rammed earth also provides substantial bracing to buildings.

Healthy and Environmentally Friendly

Rammed earth is non-toxic, non-polluting and ‘breathes’. This creates safer, more people-friendly buildings. It is very low in embodied energy, and extremely comfortable to live in.

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