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Rammed Earth & You won't Believe How They Build This!

Ever hear of a ram to earth house? In this video, Matt Risinger, master builder, introduces us to a type of building that most of us just haven't seen called rammed earth. At the job site, the builder describes rammed earth is the making of sedimentary rock, packing dirt into forms at 1800 psi. Portland cement is mixed into the dirt from a local quarryThe features of the rammed earth include thermal mass, so the wall retains and radiates heat. Each later of the house is 6" to 7" thick after compaction. The base of the house is concrete slab that will have radiant heat and a stem wall at the base, forming up from there. The walls maintain a constant temperature, the same way a basement does. Walls are two-foot thick the windows are set in the center and then they poured the slab later on. A ledge rests on top for the roof support. The dirt walls, because of the concrete in the mix, are stabilized. While it's possible to put a sealant on them, it's also not necessary. It has similar performance to old brick. Wood bucks hold windows and doors in place. Dimensionally stable Western cedar that is not subject to twisting or bucking. An in-wall toilet is made with a carriage recessed into the wall so that the toilet floats and then carriage bolts are used to bolt the toilet into. The tank is recessed into the wall. There is spray roof but no other insulation in the wall, just the rammed earth, which helps moderate those temperatures when there's a cold nighttime desert and a hot daytime. Using a combination of steel and wood, windows screw into the Western red cedar and a fireplace will is glass with steel siding. The features and attention to detail is amazing on this structure. Tricks learned as the process went along include consistent tamping of the material all the way across so you can see the bands, having hidden concrete bond beams on the tops of the walls, it's important to pour when the earth is damp and when you dump the dirt in with a machine you can get patterning. If the compacted earth is not exactly 6", it's not a problem because there's beauty in variation. Discussion moves to the use of rebar, roofing, parapet walls and concrete bond beams. When asked how long the structure will last," a response was that the walls are five-hundred-year walls. Check out the video to see the details of this amazing build.