The following guest article concerning the value of rammed earth construction has been written by Kenneth Lawrence. Please read his informative document on natural building methods.
In the past few years, numerous eco-home designs have come to the forefront, including the use of composting toilets, the use of alternative energy sources like solar energy, and the use of green building materials like rammed earth.
On one hand, homeowners opt to build green homes for practical purposes, including efficient use of energy, which translates to lower energy bills. But more importantly, this trend indicates a growing consciousness among homeowners with regards to their individual role in saving and protecting the environment and the Earth’s natural resources as well as leaving a legacy to their children.
If there is one method of building a green home that has gained popularity among custom homebuilders, it is rammed earth construction. This construction method is not necessarily new, having been used by various civilisations in the past. Today, many designers and builders favour its use because of its natural beauty, versatility and numerous other benefits. If you are still mulling over using rammed earth for the construction of your new home, consider these other benefits.
Rammed earth is a great alternative material to timber and other construction materials. This means that instead of depleting precious natural resources, you are using a material that can be easily sourced. In terms of stability and sturdiness, rammed earth construction does away with core filling. Instead, engineers employ a variety of stabilisation techniques using cement and steel. In addition to this, walls made with rammed earth do not have to be finished through the use of plaster, paint or wall papers, giving homeowners more savings.
For most homeowners, their belief is that the home is their sanctuary — a safe place to make happy memories. However, some materials that are currently used in the construction of homes have adverse effects, including air quality inside the home. With the use of rammed earth, you do not have to worry about succumbing to allergies caused by toxins coming from other building materials.
A huge portion of the energy cost in a household comes from the use of artificial methods of regulating temperature including air conditioners and heaters. Rammed earth offers the benefit of improved thermal performance. This means that the heat during daytime is collected and during night time, the heat is released.
Finally, when you compare rammed earth to traditional building materials, it is not susceptible to both pests and fire, making it perfect in areas that are prone to bush fires and infestations.
Author: Kenneth Lawrence
Photo: Rammed earth wall striations from Shutterstock