Method of Rammed Earth Construction
The method of rammed earth construction hasn’t changed much over the years and we will start with the construction of the walls.
The framework is built up as described in the previous section and set on top of the foundation wet-proof membrane.
The mixture is poured into the frame to a depth of about 200mm, right along the frame length, and then compressed using a tamper. A tamper can be purchased or fabricated from a flat piece of steel plate with a vertical rod welded to the center of the plate.
This is used to pound the mixture from top down, either by hand or a mechanical means until the mix is compressed to half its original height, removing the inner stiffeners as they appear.
Several more layers are laid using the same procedure until the frame is all most full. The screwed rods are removed and the wall is then left for a few hours to set.
During this time another identical frame is laid firmly and accurately on top of the original one, located using the wood guides.
This procedure is continued until the required length and height of the wall is attained when it is allowed to dry out.
Window and door apertures are left in the walls, by using end shutters where required.
Once the walls have dried out, they can be wire brushed to a gloss finish, and given a couple of coats of specialized earth - wall weatherproof sealer on the outside surfaces to complete the project.
Thermal insulation may be required and this is attached in the normal way by strapping the inside walls.
Rammed earth buildings should have a compacted floor of the same material, which again can be wire brushed by hand or polished with a machine to bring up the finish.
A wet-proof layer of polythene sheet may be required between the soil surface and the compacted earth floor.
Windows and Doors
In order to keep our rammed earth construction environmentally friendly as possible, recycled doors and windows can be used.