FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Does the environment have any structural effects on Rammed Earth?
A: Rammed earth homes have been built in a climate that endures up to -50 degree Celsius winters. Walls have not shown or resulted in any cracking due to these harsh environmental effects. Rammed earth is also very resilient in wild fire conditions. This is an imperfect product, which is the beauty of it. Some visual imperfections may include shrinkage cracking and cold joints.  Shrinkage cracks are non-structural and are part of the curing process; as rammed earth cures, moisture evaporates from the walls causing them to shrink and slightly crack. Some people may notice cold joints in the product and may mistake it for a structural deformity. Cold joints form when the lower portion of the wall is finished and must cure for a length of time. After the lower section of the wall is cured and the construction is commenced for the next section (above the cured section), a cold joint can be seen between the two sections. This joint is not a structrual deformity and does not effect the integrity of the product.

Q: How is the electrical system incorporated through Rammed Earth?
A: The electrical is ran through conduit that is embedded in the rammed earth during the building process. The electrical box’s are also installed as the wall is being constructed.

Q: Insulation for Rammed Earth?
A: Because of the frigid winters and the building codes in Canada and parts of the US, insulation is installed and embedded within the rammed earth. There are many types of insulation that can be used such as a rigid foam-based product, or high density ROXUL. The typical average R-Value of a Rammed Earth wall is between R22 and R30, depending on the types and thickness of insulation.

Q: How thick are the Rammed Earth Walls?
A: Insulated rammed earth walls are typically 18 inches thick. Depending on the application or product, the walls can vary from 1 inch to 24 inches thick.

Q: What’s the difference between Rammed Earth and ICF?
A: ICF is a concrete forming system which requires finishing on the exterior and interior of the walls. ICF results in the on-going maintenance that comes with whatever interior and exterior products used. Rammed Earth has no maintenance once completed and does not endure any damage resulting from the environment.

Q: How long does Rammed Earth take to complete?
A: This all depends on the project ie size, location and difficulty. For an average 1200 sq ft home it will take about a year.

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