Building Rammed Earth Homes

Building rammed earth homes out of adobe clay walls, includes planning the design of your home, creating the foundation, the art of formbuilding, building walls, and the essentials of soil.

Earth is poured into wooden forms, simple structures which can be as large or small as you wish. Here, the builder has chosen to use large forms covering the whole perimeter.
Designed and built entirely by the owners, the structures are free to grow out of, and into, the landscape, and it can be as simple or as complicated as you wish.
Rammed earth 1
One of the beauties of rammed earth is that as soon as the walls are set, the roof, whether manufactured trusses, hand-cut timbers, or round vigas, can be set immediately.
The moistened earth can be rammed inside the formwork either quietly with hand tampers, or, as shown here, with pneumatic backfill tampers hosed to air compressors.
Rammed earth 2
Where earthquakes are a hazard, the tops of the walls are tied together with a bond beam, poured directly on top of the earth using the formwork.
Rammed earth 3
We see concrete flowing from the grout pump and a finisher using a vibrator to ensure consolidation.

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