Constructing with Rammed Earth

Crude and Technological

Fernando Vela Cossío 

Martin Rauch, Vivienda unifamiliar

Earth has been the quintessential building material of farming people. Thanks to its being so extraordinarily available and cheap, combined with its bioclimatic performance and its capacity to blend into the environment, raw earth has been a constant in the history of construction. Moreoever, the buildings raised with the different techniques and procedures of constructing with earth present a unique aesthetic that, with the passing of time and geographic dispersal, has produced a rich and varied language that is able to thrive without losing the simplicity and austerity of inherited traditional models. For this reason, all the systems and procedures that use raw earth – such as the techniques for compressed earth, adobe, and mud mortars – remain a fundamental part of building in many parts of the world.

Earth as a material is versatile and highly compatible with others. We often find it used with wooden structures, such as reinforced walls and frames, as well as with stone structures, as in the case of mixed mud walls or of adobe on masonry, but the two most common techniques of traditional construction with earth have always been the mud wall and the adobe wall...

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