With the pipework and foundations having been laid in the summer months, much of the recent activity on our Rammed Earth House has focused on the visual and structural testing of various on-site follies. Through the ramming and compacting of aggregate, sand, and clay, the distinctly tactile quality of rammed earth begins to surface. Subtle variations emerge between one wall and another, despite their structural uniformity.

In order to improve stability at vulnerable intersections, erosion checks of truss lime are added to the walls, producing alternating horizontal patterning in the form of grey lines. Selecting the type of erosion check will have a significant effect on the character of the wall, not only for its initial appearance, but for how it will evolve over time.

The design of drip edges and choice of plinth foundation will similarly influence the walls’ response to the effects of weathering and erosion. The photographs show an experimentation of brickwork drip detailing, and the use of concrete and brick foundations. To complement the palette of the earthen mixture, the final design suggests all brickwork will be lime-washed.

All in all, construction continues in a steady rhythm: observant and responsive to the structural behavioural of the rammed earth.