Sustainable Building : Rammed Earth

Photo: Aidan Taylor 2011

Photo: Aidan Taylor 2011

The use of rammed earth is an ancient building concept that is slowly being rediscovered. This building technique consists of creating solid walls from a balanced mix of raw materials - including earth, chalk and gravel. This technique is outstanding for its ability to produce strong, durable, insulated and noncombustible walls from sustainable materials that can be achieved via natural building methods. The building process itself consists of compressing damp earth into framed moulds. This process allows you to create a solid wall, or alternately individual blocks to be used as would cement or lumber. The benefits of using this alternate construction method include providing an eco-friendly lumber substitute, high sound resistance and minimal maintenance. The sheer thickness of the walls reduces need for heating as well as serving as a shield from harmful electromagnetic radiation. Portions of the Great Wall of China were built using rammed earth design, proving it can withstand the test of time; not to mention these structures are also bulletproof, fireproof, earthquake proof, wind and weatherproof. That should be all the proof you need.

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