Essential Rammed Earth Construction
The Complete Step-by-Step Guide
by Tim Krahn
Rammed earth – sand, gravel, and clay or lime/cement binder packed into forms – is a low-energy, high-performance building method, yielding beautiful, sustainable results. It’s thermally stable and can be insulated, can actively modulate humidity, provides a healthy indoor environment, and allows site materials to be used for major structural and building envelope elements.
Essential Rammed Earth Construction covers design, building science, tools, and step-by-step building methods for any climate, with a special emphasis on building in cold climates of the northern US, Canada, and northern Europe. Coverage includes:
- Overview of earthen building
- Appropriate use of rammed earth walls
- Stabilized versus raw rammed earth
- Design considerations, including structural, insulation, and building envelope details
- Special considerations for cold and freeze-thaw climates
- Construction drawings, with step-by-step building instructions
- Tools and labor covering industrial methods, low-tech techniques, formwork options, mix design, budgets, and schedules
- Codes, inspections, and permits.
This guide is an essential resource for experienced builders, DIY home owners, designers, engineers, and architects interested in learning about rammed earth construction.
Click here to view an excerpt and here to see the table of contents.
About the Author
Tim J. Krahn, P. Eng. is a registered professional engineer and partner in Building Alternatives Inc., consulting engineers specializing in non-conventional structural and building envelope design. He holds a masters degree in geotechnical engineering, a bachelors degree in civil engineering, is a founding member of the Natural Building Engineering Group, and is the chair of the Ontario Natural Building Coalition. He currently resides in Ontario, Canada.