Rammed Earth

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What is Rammed Earth?

Rammed Earth is an ancient building technique dating back 10,000 years. Combined with modern building techniques, rammed earth buildings are making a resurgence across the globe for many reasons.

Modern rammed earth buildings are not only healthy for our planet, they’re healthy for those that live in them.

Some rammed earth structures and products we offer:

  • Homes
  • Veneer Walls
  • Retaining Walls or Sound Barrier Walls
  • Pool Liners
  • Birdhouses
  • Signs
  • Benches

Learn more about our perfected process.

What is the process?

The rammed earth building technique uses available aggregate from your local quarry. A minimal amount of Portland cement is used to meet Canadian engineering requirements.

Taking suitable proportions of sand and gravel combined with Portland cement and a small amount of water; we pour the materials layer by layer into an external frame.

The walls need to be 18″ to 24″ thick with insulating materials embedded in the walls. The walls are further stabilized with rebar.

Using a delivery and forming technique developed by Innovative Earth founder Dennis Battig, we are able to do the job more efficiently.

By adding iron oxides we can change the colouring of the wall which gives the walls their desired, signature look.

What are the Benefits?

There are a number of benefits that Rammed Earth can provide. Ranging from aesthetics to health benefits and durability, there isn’t much of a downfall of using Rammed Earth.  Let us explain why we are so passionate about what we do.

Appearance

The ramming process is done layer by layer. This introduces the appearance of horizontal stratification to the walls. The layered look enhances the overall appearance of Rammed Earth.

Since aggregate material colour can vary, finished rammed earth colour and texture is dependant on the aggregate source. When you think of rammed earth, think of imperfection and uniqueness. The beauty of rammed earth is evident by its rawness; pieces of gravel can be exposed, as well as lines of cold joints.

You can personalize your product by adding elements such as stones or glass. Alcoves or relief mouldings can be incorporated into rammed earth walls. Unusual finishes can be ‘stamped’ into your rammed earth wall by etching or adding shapes into the formwork. Once the wall has been tamped and cured, the forms are released and you will have your desired look.

Environmental Impact – Construction

As with all companies, we lessen our impact through our choices. The manufacturing impact is quite low since the majority of the building materials come from local suppliers and sources. The small amount of water and cement contributes to an eco friendly product.

The Rammed Earth building process has minimal waste compared to other conventional building methods.

We believe very strongly in making the right environmental choices and we will work with you to ensure that our practices fit your beliefs.

Environmental Impact – Home Ownership

With passive solar design; the thermally massive rammed earth walls reduce your heating and cooling needs. This in turn lessens your dependence on electricity and natural gas.

With proper design and window placement electrical lighting needs can be minimal.

This is sustainable building. The structures built will be present and useable for generations to come.

In building a rammed earth home we ask you to be a part of a major paradigm shift. When you build a rammed earth home it is going to last for hundreds of years.

Heating

Rammed earth homes have a high thermal mass meaning that large amounts of heat energy is stored in the heavy walls.

The densisty and mass of the walls control temperatures nicely during winter and summer. Keeping the house cool in the summer, and warm in the winter.

Rammed Earth shouldn't break the bank.

Learn how we perfected our process and can save you money.

Health

Most conventional home building materials contain many harmful chemicals. Using locally tested aggregate, a rammed earth wall contains none of the chemicals used in modern building.

Another common problem in many conventional stick framed homes is moisture. Mold that can form in the walls of stick framed houses can lead to a myriad of health problems. This is not an issue with rammed earth walls. 

 

Durability

Current building codes require that any structure built has to be able to last 30 years. Considering that parts of the Great Wall of China were built with rammed earth and are still standing is one of the best product endorsements we can think of.

To meet engineering requirements, the use of cement and rebar placed within the walls further adds to both the strength and durability.

When natural disasters may hit your community and your rammed earth home, your family will be protected from the effects. The result of natural disasters on a rammed earth home are of minimal damage. Flooding also does not affect your rammed earth walls; with no mold growth or repairs needed. You will see significant amount of time and cost savings in clean up and repairs after a flood may affect your home.

Cost

Rammed earth structures cost can be on par with comparable conventional building options. The savings of rammed earth are seen over time due to the small to non-existance of maintenance. You do not need to seal the walls or replace any part of the walls over time.

In case your home is hit by a natural disaster, there is no chance of mold growth and there are minimal repairs needed depending on the intensity of the storm. These are true cost savings you will see over time, this is what makes rammed earth a comparable price option to conventional homes.

Proper planning is required to further keep costs down. Talking with our builders will give you a clearer picture of the costs associated. Our staff will do everything we can to meet your budget.

Pest Resistant

Rammed earth homes are far less prone to bug and vermin for two main reasons. The first is that there is nothing in the building material to attract pests. The second is that are no cavities in the walls for these unwanted pests to enter your building.

 

Noise Reduction

The acoustics of rammed earth are like all monolithic structures, amazing. Many theatres, libraries and other community buildings around the world are constructed with rammed earth because of the acoustic integrity of this building material.

In addition outside noise is absorbed by the thick earth walls which make rammed earth homes a compelling choice for inner-city residents.

Fire Resistant

Australians have embraced rammed earth home construction and have produced a wealth of data about the safety of these buildings. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) tested rammed earth homes and found that they had a four hour fire rating, the highest for Australian code.

Rammed earth homes are an excellent choice for those that live in fire prone areas. Using the modern rammed earth technique sees finished buildings far less prone to damage due to environmental factors such as fire, flood and earthquake.

Book your free consultation today.

We offer limited free consultation to help you determine your needs.