Experts say the home of the future will be made using greener, more earth-friendly and more sustainable building options, as people continue to lean towards making more sustainable and ecologically aware lifestyle and consumption choices. This leaning has turned the spotlight to processes and practices from the ancient past, because some of them have been rediscovered to still be as relevant, and sometimes even better, than modern solutions. One of these age-old practices still applicable today is the concept of building with rammed earth construction.
In rammed earth construction, the building materials are naturally sourced and ideally excavated from the site. A mixture of raw earth components, including subsoil, gravel, chalk, clay, lime and other elements serve as the primary materials for the walls and foundation of the house. By sourcing materials right from the site, you already cut back on fuel and energy consumptionearly on this stage of the construction process.
Finished rammed earth walls are dense and compact, and its typical thickness of 18 to 15 inches provides solid, excellent thermal mass. It’s strong and solid, fire-proof, pest-proof and can withstand most earthquakes. The density of the walls also has the ability to store heat energy, slowly releasing it as the day gets cooler. During warm seasons, this same ability provides great insulation for the indoors, keeping the temperature inside warm and comfortable. Thus, homes built using rammed earth are truly energy efficient homes since the need to consume more energy to run their heating and air-conditioning systems is significantly reduced.
Leading rammed earth building specialists have also made innovations to the process to make rammed earth structures even more durable, sustainable and environmentally friendly. Architects and engineers today utilize elements, layout strategies and add-on components to further increase the energy efficiency of a home. For instance, some builders can design a layout that takes into account the position of the sun (so the home receives the best natural light) and takes advantage of solar power (to fuel some of the household’s electricity needs).
A typical rammed earth structure showcases a beautiful, warm and organic look. You have the option to add other decorative elements such as coloured stones or a pretty flower bed, but there’s actually no need for paint and other coatings.The walls take a polished, stunning finish even without the use of toxic substances that typical stick houses require. For homeowners, this translates to low emissions construction, additional coast savings, and the benefit of living in a non-toxic environment.