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

WHAT IS RAMMED EARTH?

Rammed earth is a building system where walls are created out of compacted subsoil.

Essentially, we're doing what mother nature does over millennia; turning earth into solid rock.

The construction process starts with us 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. A test cylinder of this mix is made and strength tests are run to ensure each of our homes’ structural integrity surpasses engineering specifications prior to building.

To build the walls themselves, we first prepare custom built reusable wall molds (or forms). These forms become the temporary framework for the walls of the home.

Watch our team building a rammed earth form.

The subsoil mix is then shoveled in to the forms and then compacted (this is the ‘ramming’ part) 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.