Rammed Earth Building
Rammed earth is created by compacting a clayey soil for use in walls or
floors of buildings. When placed in walls, formwork is constructed to
determine the shape of the final wall construction. Rammed earth walls can
either be finished with plaster or left without additional finishing. The layers
of the material when it is rammed into placed can create a beautiful, layered
appearance in the finished surface.
Rammed earth construction can use siltey soils with a clay content ranging
between 10 and 20 percent. If the walls are not stabilized, the walls can be
susceptible at any time to the degrading effects of water. To improve the
durability of the walls, a stabilizer - such as cement or other materials - may
be added to increase the resistance to water. If cement is used to stabilize the
walls, the clay content should be reduced which will increase the
effectiveness of the cement.
The French word for rammed earth is pise'.
An example of this type of construction is the Wolf Creek residence in
Eugene Oregon. More information about this project can be found here.
ELT & Associates
Seismic Engineering of Earthen Buildings
Serving California and the World Since 1984
Telephone: (510) 295-4299