How to Build a Rammed Earth House

Everyone wants to save money. When deciding to build your own home, you could strongly consider a rammed earth house. This technology has been around for thousands of years. Some of the greatest lasting structures have been created using this technique, which is quite cost effective and environment friendly.

Rammed earth homes have their outer walls made of condensed earth and clay. They are pounded or “rammed” down into a dense hard material. You can then stucco, paint it, or leave it natural.

 

Required Materials

  • Low-grade brick-layering loam
  • Rebar
  • Cement
  • Sand
  • Water
  • Rail ties
  • Hand-pounder (mechanical vibrator if one of appropriate size can be found)
  • Large saw
  • Drill with bolt-removing bit
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil/paper

Instructions

  1. You’ll first need to set up the site. When you select the place to build, contact an architect to design the home. Once it’s designed and the permits are in order, you can start the foundation.
  2. You will then need to order the slab. This is the foundation of the home. Attach rebar in a lattice network going vertically up into the wall space to hold the walls in place. This will give something for the earth walls to attach too.
  3. Next, you’ll need to frame the house. Use standard foundation frames, and build a section of the wall frame. The forms don’t need to be full wall frames. You can use corner frames for this. The corner helps you with interlocking the walls as you progress. It’s advised that the wall width is kept 400mm to leave space for insulation.
  4. Pour earth into the frame and start ramming with your hammer. Fill it about 2-3 ft of earth and hammer it down.
  5. Keep adding till you get to the top of the wall. This will give it a sediment layer look.
  6. When you get to the top, unscrew the bolts at the bottom that hold the forms in place.
  7. The windows and doors are quite easy to install. Choose where they should go and plug them in!
  8. Now we need to build the house! We have the walls made; now we need to do the interior.
  9. Get the electrical and plumbing fittings professionally installed.
  10. Install other walls using normal sheetrock and framing techniques.
  11. Move in the furniture, and enjoy living in your eco-friendly home!

Tips

  • Get the designs reviewed from a well-known rammed earth company. You can get all the information on complete home building from them.
  • Be sure to add to your eco home by attaching solar panels and windmills for additional energy, this will be a great investment and help you save on costs throughout the year.

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