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basic principles of oldfashioned rammed
Earth has been used for putting up dwellings since time immemorial. One method of use, superior
to others, and which was known by the Romans, has been preserved by convention to present
This process incorporates ramming slightly damp, specifically selected soil, minus the addition of
straw or other material, in between movable forms, and is known as rammed earth.
Rammed earth building is a dependable building component when correctly handled and is
admirably adapted to those who wish to build a green and eco-friendly structure.
Earth has been used in the construction of building walls by almost every race of people whose
history has been recorded. Two techniques have stood the test of time, they are the rammed
earth method and the adobe construction method.
Rammed Earth walls are constructed by the straightforward process of ramming selected earth
containing a suitable amount of moisture between removable profiles. These forms can be
removed when the earth is compacted. Different rammed earth builders have even used such
items as square shaped bags, long sausage type bags as well as old car tires to be the basis of
the structure's walls.
Not only is this sort of construction environmentally friendly, but it can be exceptionally
inexpensive, especially if your property has the dirt right there.
Selection of Material
The most important considerations in rammed earth are the selection of a proper soil having:
a. the right amount of moisture;
b. and a careful compacting of the earth.
Pure clays are not recommended because of excessive shrinkage, and sandy material will not
Most ordinary earths are okay, or may be made so by mixing. Nonetheless, according to several
builders, all organic or other matter dependent on rotting should be eliminated.
If the earth forms into clods when excavated or if the sides of an excavation remain firm, it is an
indication that the soil may be suited for rammed earth walls. The soil in a footpath which
continues to be hard in wet weather is encouraging material. Earth in which wheels have formed
ruts may also be suitable. Difficulty in squashing a dry lump of soil between the fingers is another
indication of suitability. Frequently the soil from cellars or trenches is fit for building or may be
quickly made so by blending with other soils.
If earth located on the proposed building site is not of the correct composition, it may be made
suitable by blending it with some soil from another location.
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