Sylvia Cook explains why rammed earth doesn’t wash away in the rain.

WHAT IS RAMMED EARTH?

Rammed earth is a building system of walls created with compacted subsoil.

Essentially, building with rammed earth echoes what mother nature does over millennia. It turns earth into solid rock.

The construction process starts with sourcing subsoil from a nearby quarry. The subsoil is mixed with a small amount of binding agent and a waterproofing agent. These two agents contribute to the longevity and durability of the rammed earth. Test cylinders of this mix are produced and strength tests are run to ensure each of our homes’ structural integrity surpasses engineering specifications prior to and during building.

To build the walls, custom built reusable wall moulds (or forms) are prepared. These forms become the framework for the walls of the home.

Watch our team building a rammed earth form.

Next, the subsoil mix is shovelled in to the forms and then compacted (‘rammed’) in sections, or ‘lifts’. These lifts are what create the striated, asymmetrical wave patterns that make rammed earth walls so aesthetically unique.

The forms are removed the next day, revealing a completed rammed earth wall.

Fun fact: You can add colour, precious stones or other distinguishing features to a rammed earth wall to add your own personal touch.