Rammed Earth construction for buildings is thousands of years old. The technique is analogous to â€œmanmade sedimentary rock.â€ What occurs is layers of prepared dirt (optimally 70% sand and 30% clay) are layered and packed in succession with either man power or machine help. When completed the rammed earth walls are as strong as concrete, fire proof, of course weather proof, rot proof, and also minimize temperature swings on the interior.
â€œWhen designed and oriented to take the best advantage of solar energy, a rammed earth house can be comfortable with 80% less energy consumption than a wood-frame house.â€
Great benefits with rammed earth construction are some of the tweaks that can be added. Concrete, steel bars, and veneers can be added to the appropriate parts of the wall for strength and appearance. Another convention that is key is the use of old tires, aluminum cans, and even cardboard that can be added or used in conjunction with rammed earth construction methods.
â€œThose made of packed tires even make productive use of some of society's trash. Because the tires are sealed within 3 ft (0.9 m) thick walls, neither oxygen nor the sun's ultraviolet rays can react with them. This means they cannot catch fire and they do not release toxic chemicals. The structures qualify for better fire ratings than wood-frame buildings, and they do not smell of rubber.â€
Typically, construction of a rammed earth building uses the best possible orientation of the building with regards to the project site. The idea is to use the sun or natural shade barriers to minimize the need for artificial moderation of the interior environment. The interior of the walls can be sealed or plastered to prevent dusting.