Ramming earth has been a method of construction for centuries in various parts of the world. Earth is extracted from the ground and compacted in layers inside specially constructed formwork. After compaction, the formwork is released and moved along to a new position in the wall. In this way, the building goes up rapidly, layer by layer, row by row. Little of no non-renewable energy is needed. This technique can produce buildings that are strong, durable, safe and desirable, and because earth is an abundant and cheap resource, rammed earth buildings are often very economical. To achieve the best results the right techniques for selection and testing of solids must be used to protect walls from water damage and shrinkage. This document aims to show how high standards can be achieved and the criteria on which rammed earth structures and building techniques can be judged.
The document can be used by loan and aid agencies to give assurance on durability/mortgage ability, by official building regulators to judge and show suitability of any earth structures under their control, by larger contractors and designers for outline specification and by local builders for basic standards to achieve long lasting results.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Materials: soil; water; mixing and blending; stabilization. Part 2 Formwork: formwork requirements; formwork in use. Part 3 Groundworks: foundations; rising damp protection to walls; floors; termite resistance. Part 4 Superstructure: compressive strength of walls; density of walls; water absorption of walls; weather erosion of walls, Part 5 Stability: stability of walls - slenderness; stability of walls - opening and lintels; stability of walls - bonding. Part 6 Details and finishes: fixing and ties; surface treatments; service inserts; walls, floors and health. Part 7 Earthquake areas: rammed walls in earthquakes areas.