Stabilised earth or “rammed earth” has long been one of my favourite building materials and I have designed many houses using this wonderful product.
This most basic of construction techniques have been used for thousands of years. In its rawest form, it is simply earth compacted between forms to create a wall. Developments over the past 50 years have seen the creation of better formwork and scientific research has added cement to stabilise the soil and water repellent additives to waterproof the walls.
The resulting “solid formed mass” walls give a sense of structural simplicity and a beautiful handmade quality that leaves behind all of the marks of the construction process.
Rammed earth has excellent thermal mass properties providing protection from climatic extremes and outstanding sound absorbing qualities. Interiors stay warm in winter and cool in summer.
As a building material, rammed earth is a totally natural, durable, low maintenance, energy efficient, non-toxic eco-friendly, fire-resistant alternative.
Inhabitants of rammed earth houses are left with the feeling that the walls are a living, breathing thing with a soul of their own.