Traditionally, the rammed earth process involved manually tamping layers of high clay content subsoil into removable form-work. To meet modern North American building codes, rammed earth construction requires that a stabilizer such as cement or lime be added to the mix.
Rammed Earth Artisan merges traditional techniques with modern improvements in building science to produce high-performance, stabilized, reinforced, and insulated, structural rammed earth walls. Our walls will last for centuries, even millennia, with little to no maintenance required. This is accomplished with the use of locally available, quarry-sourced aggregates, stabilizers (cement, lime, etc.), hydrophobic admixtures specifically designed for rammed earth construction, iron oxide pigments, rebar reinforcement, and a core of rigid insulation for exterior walls. The use of pneumatically powered rammers provides superior and consistent compaction, as well as reducing the manual labour component of rammed earth construction.
Stabilization of rammed earth occurs through two means – chemically by the reactions of portland cement &/or lime, and mechanically through compaction. Test cylinders of the rammed earth mix are compacted, and laboratory tested for structural integrity to ensure that they meet or exceed the required engineering specifications for the particular application. These tests in combination with other best-practices result in a finely honed process that allows us to produce a dense, highly water-resistant, sandstone-like monolithic wall with the durability of concrete and the stunning beauty and texture of nature’s stratified sandstone formations.
Planning of mechanical systems and wall openings must be done carefully and thoughtfully, as modifying rammed earth walls is not an easy or desirable task after they are completed. Windows, door openings, and decorative features such as niches, are achieved with the use of Volume Displacement Boxes (VDBs) which are integrated into the formwork. For larger openings, lintels of steel, concrete, or wood are used, and they can be designed to be visible or hidden in the final product.
Water, Air, Vapour, and Thermal Control layers are all effectively achieved in a properly built rammed earth wall.
The top of each rammed earth wall is typically capped with a high-cement content cap.
Rammed earth construction creates beautiful, functional, high-performance walls that are inherently one of a kind, durable, maintenance free, and environmentally responsible.
#505 - 333 25th St E, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0L4
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