Hello- I'm selling my house & buying land to build a cabin on. I'm in loved with rammed earth walls and want to DIM (do it myself).
First, I think it's most wise and simple to only do some accent pieces, I'm not planning to do the whole home. I'll be stuck in my RV on the land through most of the winter and think I could work on sections to pass the time & experiment. I read a little on Permies about Old Himalayan rammed earth and that sounds interesting too. I need more info.
1- Has anyone created a form for sections (basically large bricks) then pieced them together? I'm thinking of creating a form that is the length I want, and creating height by stacking. 4'X 2' X ? thick.
2- If I were to do these sections, should I create holes in them for rebar, as is done with bricks? Does the answer depend on what I'm using it for?
3- I've read that in Colorado I might only want to use rammed earth as a veneer, or only on interior of the home.
I'd greatly appreciate any advice, ideas...
Disclaimer: I have not build a rammed earth house yet (but am planning on doing so next year), so don't take my words for granted.
Sounds like compressed earth bricks to me. I don't think large sections are a good idea, unless you have a crane to lift them in place. (Normal bricks have a weight that is easy to handle, making them much heavier will likely make handling them exhausting.)
If you only want it for decoration / interior climate, then cob (clay + sand) might be a good alternative. (I have added clay plaster to a quite a few brick walls so far, not too complicated.)
A 4-foot x 2-foot block of earth is going to be very heavy. In Colorado, insulation is probably a good idea for an earth building. It sounds like someone will be building the house for you. Are you building in tornado country? Lots of good info here about creating a tornado-resistant house: IBHS Creating a Roof the Right Way.
Too slow for those who Wait,
Too swift for those who Fear,
Too long for those who Grieve,
Too short for those who Rejoice,
But for those who Love,
Time is not.
-Henry van Dyke
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