What Is Rammed Earth Building?

What Is Rammed Earth Building?

‘Rammed earth’, and ‘Rammed earth homes’ are words you may have heard cropping up more and more lately. Because of the ever growing consciousness in sustainability, and green building, and green homes. Consumers, and Architects are focusing on sustainable materials. And none would be more sustainable than the earth itself, right?

rammed earth
rammed earth

We are here to explore what seems to be the modern trend of Rammed earth house building, and other forms of Rammed earth construction

What Is Rammed Earth Building?

Rammed earth meaning is pretty much what the name suggests.The act of compressing sand water and earth or clay, to get a hardened, (almost cement like in strength) structure. 

What Is Rammed Earth Homes?

Known as ‘Taipa’ in Portugese, this building method uses raw building materials, from gravel, lime and chalk. If you are looking for a Rammed earth how to, see below

How To Build Rammed Earth Walls?

First you need a plywood or similar frame, which will act as temporary panels. 

Next you need a mixture of sand, dirt and water, and clay. 

rammed earth modern building
rammed earth modern building

This is then compacted down time and time again with a pneumatic drill or something similar. Eventually when this hardens and makes a natural hardened clay wall, the temporary walls are removed. Now you have a  Rammed earth wall.

How To Build A Rammed Earth House?

That being said, the method is relatively easy. Make sure you have laid our plans before you start, on where you want your bricks and walls to be placed, and make sure you have the temporary structures up and running. You will need a substantial amount of building material, due to the nature of the compression, a lot of building materials are used. 

Once you have your home, maybe you are looking to decorate it in a modern way? Visit my guide to 2020 colour combinations.

Modern Rammed Earth Homes

You may think this concept a new one; but pretty much since buildings began, this method of Rammed earth building has been adopted. Still seen today in traditional African buildings, and across the globe. This method of compacting sand and clay, is essentially a monolithic form of building. 

original earth brick home
original earth brick home

Of course – the modern rammed earth house has a few aesthetic differences to that of its monolithic descendants. These homes are now becoming the building material of choice for its freedom, and interesting architecture designs. Rammed earth architecture works with nature – rather than against, using natural materials that will be used to the elements of the surrounding area. These homes will keep cool, and provide shelter. They are especially useful in Warmer places, such as Texas, and Ontario. Building with earth bricks and rammed earth in Australia is also a very popular, and growing occurrence. 

Rammed Earth Disadvantages

As with anything – there are disadvantages to this building method:

  • Insulation can be an issue- This is why you will find more Rammed earth homes tucson, than in the UK where the weather is not guaranteed. 
  • Durability, and practicality in extreme weather is also an issue in some places. 
  • The construction process takes longer than regular building methods. 

Rammed Earth Advantages

  • Good at internal temperature regulation – which is why you will see Rammed earth house plans australia floating around online, because these homes work well in the Desert heat. 
  • Rammed earth sustainability is high, and the materials can be reused when not needed any more. 
  • Rammed Earth DIY is brilliant because the materials are easy to source, and they look brilliant! Certainly a talking point. 

Is Rammed Earth Expensive To Build With?

Rammed Earth is a cheap building material, and it also supports local businesses and people as it is so readily available, anywhere you go (given that it is the correct soil type.). That being said, it is somewhat questionable whether it is long lasting in extreme weather. 

It does stand the test of time though, just look at the great wall of China for proof! 

The Great Walls’ Rammed earth floor and miles of Rammed earth facade, have truly stood the test of time (and can even be seen from space). We think this is a testament to the durability of a material!

rammed earth modern desert
rammed earth modern desert

Is Rammed Earth Waterproof?

Yes, it is. To a degree.

Best Of The Rest

Aside from all of this – i also think that it looks fantastic! Think minecraft sand blocks in a tower… and you have something close. Rammed earth cladding has that rustic, sandy vibe that looks like if you took a cross section of the earth beneath you. It almost feels like you might see a fossil in it if you look hard enough. Totally one off and individual looking homes. 

We also love Interior rammed earth wall options. These bring the individuality indoors and can provide endless hours of impressing guests and talking about your eco friendly walls. 

Rammed earth modern designs are super cool, fun and interesting, and will provide a talking point for guests, family and friends for years to come.  We also sell Art and Modern art if you would like to match some natural walls and some art!


I hope we have successfully shown you How to build with rammed earth, and its positives and negatives. Maybe more unconventional and sustainable building methods will be more readily used in the future. 

Modern rammed earth architecture is an exciting place to be at this point in time and could point the way to a lot more ideas and opportunities. Especially given that climate change means that places in the world will only get hotter year upon year. Perhaps it is something that we need to think about.