Rammed Earth Construction- Pros and Cons

rammedearthRammed earth construction is gaining in popularity with home owners seeking to build Eco-friendly. Rammed Earth Construction is basically using the dirt under your feet, or from a local quarry to build a wall, house, shop, or anything else you can think of. Its a great concept since it doesn’t require brick, wood, quarried stone, etc to be used and transported. Everything is local!
Rammed Earth Pros:

  • Great for off-grid living. The thick walls retain heat during the day and slowly release it at nigh.
  • Easy to work with. Can be built with little to no experience.
  • Expense. Done right, you can easily put a lot of “sweat equity” into the building process and save bundles on the construction cost.
  • Easy to acquire building materials that can be had locally.
  • Can stand the test of time, and has proven it.

Rammed Earth Cons:

  • Soil selection is critical. Not any soil can be used. If using it from your own site, you’ll have to figure out what to do with the large holes.
  • If you don’t do it yourself, the labor costs can be expensive. Count on it costing 5-15% more than a conventional home.
  • Colder climates may require added insulation, like a foam wall with stucco on the outside.
  • Due to the difficulty in designing the forms, circular shapes are usually out. Most rammed earth construction is box shaped.

Here are a few sites to get you started on your Rammed Earth research: