Rammed earth construction is foundation, floors and walls made from natural
materials like earth, clay, sand,lime and chalk. It is most commonly used
as a wall system in buildings.The mixture is proportioned and machine
compacted into removable formwork making a stone like walls. It is fire
resistant, water resistant, load bearing and long lasting. Not only is the
material extremely environmentally friendly it is also architecturally
beautiful. The Rammed earth home building materials bring texture and colour that is
not found with man made building materials. The walls are load bearing
meaning they can be used throughout the building. Rammed earth
constructions demands builders skilled in this type of construction.
The many benefits of rammed earth construction include;
Suitable for high risk fire areas (4 hr fire rating)
Thermally regulated for lower energy costs
Highly energy efficient
Resistant to pests and termites (due to no spaces or cavities)
Health benefits from no VOC’s as all material is organic
Image courtesy of Earth Structures Group
Fire Resistant Properties in Rammed Earth Walls
In a bushfire prone areas, for those people living in high fire risk areas,
building with rammed earth means a better fire resistant home. It has a 4
hour fire rating. It is a very popular building material in high fire risk
places. Rammed earth material is also recyclable unlike traditional
building materials such as concrete and steel. The maintenance is much
lower than plaster walls, timber floors or your usual construction
Another advantage of rammed earth building materials is the thermal aspect.
The walls are a radiant heat source. With excellent environmental planning
homes can have solar panels, outer wall insulation and rammed earth walls
to significantly reduce heating and cooling costs. This is another reason
its is important to work with expert rammed earth construction specialists.
The rammed earth walls have excellent acoustics, cancelling out harsh
echoes with such thick and compact construction. The building will be calm
and bring a tranquil sound quality.
Rammed Earth Walling System
Often most rammed earth construction is used as a walling system for homes
as they are load bearing. The amazing look of rammed earth walls brings a
bespoke and beautiful visual appeal to any home. But it is also possible to
have a feature wall built from rammed earth. And landscaping with rammed
earth is another construction use.
Architects love to work with rammed earth as the look is so natural and
unique. In addition the unseen aspect of rammed earth walls is the acoustic
benefit. The sound does not bounce off or through the walls, meaning a
peaceful and serene feeling to the home.
What is the Cost of Rammed Earth Walls
Generally the square metre is around $200 to $350. But it depends on
different factors. The cost is more than everyday building materials but is
offset by the little maintenance and long lasting durability. Not to
mention less trades are needed. The rammed earth walls do not require
painting or rendering due to the natural beauty of the walls. This means no
extra trade costs of renderers and painters. And it’s water resistant
properties mean it does not usually require waterproofing.
Overall building with rammed earth is becoming more popular, especially in
bushfire prone locations. Planning of rammed earth construction is vital
and essential. Incorporating solar aspects of the build with rammed earth
construction will mean the best outcome for heating and cooling. Plus an
energy efficient and sustainable building or home. Only work with experts
in rammed earth construction.