Building with Rammed Earth

Building with Rammed Earth

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Learn how to create low impact earth walls using an ancient construction method.

Flexible in design and application, rammed earth has excellent thermal mass, load bearing, fireproof and acoustic properties as well as embodying low-tech construction methods. This two day hands-on course gives a good grounding in this building method and its application around the world.

Key information

  • Duration: two days
  • Upcoming dates: please see booking section below for all available dates
  • Start and finish times: starts at 9.30am and ends at 3pm on the last day
  • Fees: waged £270; low waged / concessions £240
  • Includes: tuition, all materials, full board shared accommodation (single accommodation is available for an additional £20)
  • What to bring: as this is a highly practical course, safety boots are required and waterproof clothing is advised

What you will learn

Rammed Earth is an ancient technology, currently being used around the world in a variety of situations and applications.

It’s a cliché, but the technology really is only limited by your imagination.

Rammed earth walls have superb thermal mass, load bearing and fireproof qualities and with impressive acoustic attenuation. They also look good, they are the colour of the surroundings they are from, and with minimal carbon dioxide emissions could be part of an answer to fast growing pollution from construction.

This course is for anyone with an interest in natural building materials and methods. This includes architects, engineers, surveyors, contractors, students, owner builders, local authority regulators, farmers, developing economy workers and DIYers.

The course is very hands-on and participants can expect to get muddy. There are evening lectures and discussions on rammed earth theory.

Rammed earth can be used for a simple hut or a castle, a Passivhaus classroom or bespoke home.

It’s in BREEAM and the National Building Specification, there’s a national standard for it in 15 African countries and you can get a loan to build with it in the UK from the Ecological Building Society, so what’s holding you back?

Students will build a piece of formwork from the most basic resources, and then build a piece of wall with the simplest materials. The wall might be load bearing, have an arched opening in it, a corner detail or coloured highlight. The main thing will be gaining that all important feeling of how to build, whether by hand or at a larger scale, at home or abroad, for yourself or for others.

You should leave the course with a sound knowledge of rammed earth and gain the confidence to embark on your own projects.

Meet your tutors

The course tutor Rowland Keable began building earth structures in Sierra Leone in 1985 and has extensive experience of working across Africa and the UK.

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