Rammed earth is both a building method as well as a material. The rammed earth material is a combination of earth, gravel, silt, clay and lime/cement as a stabilizer combined into a damp mix and is then rammed into forms in order to create a monolithic wall.
Rammed earth construction has been around for many years, one of the most popular rammed earth walls in history is part of the great wall of china.
Rammed earth construction isn't new, but it's going through a renaissance today. This construction method is quickly gaining popularity due to its amazing eco credentials and in some cases it can be inexpensive.
The world is becoming more eco conscious and rammed earth is quickly gaining popularity.
The 10 incredible rammed earth homes
Modern Rammed Earth
Today we are all trying to find ways to be more environmentally friendly. Wth the way that the planet is going it is imperative to add some eco elements to a new building project.
Rammed earth is becoming a very popular choice as it's one of the most natural building materials and techniques that you can choose.
Today a lot of rammed earth companies are experimenting with different colors, textures, shapes and patterns.
Rammed earth is also being used to make furniture and art installations.
What are the advantages of rammed earth
Rammed earth construction is quickly becoming a popular eco-friendly alternative building method. The process is using the Earth under our feet or from a quarry to build a wall. It's a great eco alternative since it requires little to no cement, iron rods and it’s non toxic.
Rammed earth buildings have many advantages. What draws a lot of people to build with rammed earth is that it's natural, has very low carbon footprints and provides a great indoor climate.
These are just a few advantages amongst the long list of advantages that rammed earth buildings offer.
High thermal mass
Rammed Earth walls have a high thermal mass absorbing heat energy through the day and releasing it into the building as temperatures fall at night. Experiments have shown that rammed earth walls can reduce daytime temperatures by 4 or 5 degrees, therefore leading to less energy consumption to keep your homes cool.
This advantage makes rammed earth very popular in hotter climates. Rammed earth can also be used in colder climates with the right insulation.
The passionate environmentalist holiday home in Botswana
This self-sufficient eco home was built in the northern part of Botswana in southern africa. The Owner of the property is Daryl freeman who is an interior designer who specializes in the design of safari lodges. So using rammed earth was a natural choice. The home is in the design of a pavilion using rammed earth.
Daryl’s home also consists of a plunge pool and separate guest suite. The home is located in Maun, a town on the Thamalakane river in Botswana. The home took just over 3 years to build. What is amazing about this home is that the walls contain lime as a stabilizer. Therefore the walls are completely natural and non toxic, nothing artificial in the walls at all.
The Low budget rammed earth summer house in Mexico.
This home was built and designed by renowned architect Tatian Biliabo. The aim of this home was to build a low budget summer home. This consisted of geometric rammed earth cubes connected by pathways to each other. The architect has a taste for bold forms but also being aware to tread lightly in the earth. Rammed earth was a perfect choice for this project as its thick monolithic walls leaves a statement whilst having a very low carbon footprint.
One of the first insulated rammed earth homes in Canada
Aerecura rammed earth and designed and built this home. This rammed earth build and design firm are based in Canada, Ontario and are specialists of building in colder climates. Normally rammed earth is associated with hotter climates because of its thermal mass and cooling abilities. But the same also applies for keeping the internal temperature warm when rammed earth walls are correctly insulated.
For this particular project a single-family home in a small rural subdivision surrounded by forest was built. It was a must to use passive House strategies throughout the home. The thermal mass potential of the rammed earth was maximized by insulating the walls, harvesting southern light and cross breezes ventilation. The rammed earth walls enhance the passive ventilation. The company also made sure to add windows and overhangs where appropriate.
The rammed earth architects studio featuring pawpaw in Paraguay
This earth box, designed by Paraguay architects firm Equipo de architectura is a great showcase of how rammed earth can blend into its surroundings. This building was designed by the firm and built for the architectural form itself. This was design was created to challenge themselves to build something small scale but yet also affordable. This gorgeous office was an experimental process to utilize what recycled materials they could use for the build such as land, glass and formwork wood. The stand out piece is the guava tree in the middle of the space.
A Daughter's dream earth home in India
This stunning rammed earth house was designed by architects Meethi-Mishti nu Mati Ghar / SferaBlu Architects + Naman Shah Architects. The clients in mind for this project were 2 little girls 3 & 9 years old. Throughout this eco-friendly rammed earth house you can see that the design was truly a reflection of what the girls wanted to incorporate. The architects really played around with amazing layers, colors and textures in the rammed earth walls, to give it that playhouse feel.
The earth that was used for the construction was found right on the site and was stabilized with around 8% cement. As well as the rammed earth walls throughout the space, the architects also made sure to use upcycled wood for the fixtures and fitting throughout the space. This is truly a stunning home for a young family.
The rammed earth dessert home in Texas
The Marfa ranch house is located in the Chihuahuan desert was designed by Flato Architects. This unique home is situated in the middle of the desert that blends perfectly with its landscape. The house consists of 8 separate structures all arranged around a central courtyard. The home also has an outdoor walkway which extends into the landscaping to connect with the pool and the hot tub. The home is minimal using as much natural materials as possible, earth, steel and wood. The home is just under 500 feet.
The rammed earth family home in Texas hill
This private residence is located in Texas hill,U.S. The architects that designed this home is Jobe Corral architects. The clients chose to build with rammed earth as they wanted to have something that was a strong connection to the land. And what is better than being close to the land than building with the land itself. This house is a courtyard style house and it formed with the main house, the pool and the guest wing. The outer layer of the house uses rammed earth and forms a protective layer for the interior of the building. The color and texture of the rammed earth blends very well with the land, so it really treads lightly into its environment.
The earth Holiday home, Tuscan mountains
This is one of the most iconic modern rammed earth homes in the world. Featured in many publications and in the bbc’s world most extraordinary homes. This holiday home in the Tuscan mountains was designed by dust architects.
This stunning holiday home was built to tread lightly on its location and to blend but not stand out too much from its untouched landscape.
“The soft tones and rich texture of rammed earth mark a simple program that opens up to the landscape generously, while circulation through the spaces folds the landscape in with the program. “
Two bedroom rammed earth home in Australia
The Retreat is a two-bedroom home designed by heansbuilt. All the walls for this home were built entirely of rammed earth with the exception of a feature wall . The roof structure and timber posts are recycled hardwood. Rammed earth, copper, stone and timbers are used throughout this home creating a rich natural palate.
The earth eco home, South Africa
Designed by Xavier and Damien Huyberechts / GLH Architects, the concept of this eco lodge was to create something that combined vernacular building elements with modern minimalistic design. The location of the eco lodge is on a protected unesco heritage site, so it was important to the architects to respect the landscape. Therefore the lodge was designed to blend and disappear within the landscape. The building was built with natural materials such as rammed earth, earth bag & compressed earth bricks, taking full advantage of its eco advantages such as high thermal mass walls.
The soil that was used for the building was excavated from the site. There was no cement used in this build so the materials used are truly circular and can one day return back to the earth without losing its value.
The building also features a green roof, recycled pallets for the ceiling and earth plaster for the internal walls. This house is truly inspiring as the architects were extremely meticulous to use natural materials for every part of the build.
Would you build with earth?
Have any of these homes inspired you to build with rammed earth? Which one is your favorite home on this list. Let me know in the comments.
Are you think of self building your own rammed earth home?
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