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Building with Rammed Earth

Written by Sarah Stukalin, AMAST Content

Rammed earth material is a construction material that is made by compacting soil into multiple layers. Rammed earth is typically used for structures such as foundations, floors, and walls using natural, raw materials. However, because rammed earth is a natural substance, there is still a lot of skepticism surrounding its use in the construction industry. Here are the benefits of building with rammed earth.

Insulation

The external walls of a building made of rammed earth are a minimum of one foot thick. This provides excellent insulation in extreme climates, as the density and thickness of the wall allow for minimal heat or cold penetration while keeping the internal temperature of the building stable. Buildings made with rammed earth walls will feel warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Noise Reduction

Because walls made with rammed earth are thick and dense, noise transmission is reduced. This is useful for structures such as apartments and townhouses, where noise reduction is a priority in construction. In bad weather and crowded houses, this is an advantage that is necessary for a construction project.

Strength and Durability

Rammed earth has been proven to be extremely durable and weather resistant. With modern technology and scientific testing, manufacturers monitor the quality of rammed earth to ensure maximum strength and durability for every construction project. Rammed earth is also load-bearing, meaning you will not need any other structural framing for your project.

Fire Proof

Because earth and soil do not burn, rammed earth is the ideal material for leafy suburbs and bush settings. Studies done by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) concluded that a 250mm earth block wall was resistant to fire for up to four hours.

Pest Proof

Termites and other pests who often damage construction projects have no interest in rammed earth. The walls are load-bearing, meaning there is a reduced amount of structural timber that usually tempts termites. There are also no cavities in rammed earth for other pests to live in or use as a route to roofing or other materials.

Environmentally Friendly

Rammed earth is non-toxic and comes from completely natural materials. It is also non-polluting, and has the ability to “breathe.” This is not only good for the environment, but it is good for the inhabitants of a rammed earth structure, as it creates an easy and comfortable living environment.

Low Maintenance

Walls made with rammed earth are extremely low maintenance. Once they are built and sealed, they do not require any attention for at least ten to twenty years. Rammed earth walls stand alone and don’t need finishing with render of plasterboard inside or outside. There is no need to spend time and money painting rammed earth, but it can be treated in the same way as other walls made with masonry.

Versatile

Contractors use rammed earth for many different styles and functions. There are varieties in color, finish, and texture, with the ability to incorporate artwork and windows. Rammed earth is a natural material that blends well with the environment, and is aesthetically pleasing as well as structurally pleasing.

Works Cited

Rammed earth benefits — natural & beautiful buildings. (2020, June 07). Retrieved February 12, 2021, from http://www.rammedearthconstructions.com.au/rammed-earth-info/#:~:text=The%20many%20advantages%20of%20building,natural%20and%20environmentally%20sound%20material.