The Rammed Earth House: Rediscovering the Most Ancient Building Material

The Rammed Earth House: Rediscovering the Most Ancient Building Material

The Rammed Earth House: Rediscovering the Most Ancient Building Material Author(s): David Easton

Publisher: Chelsea Green Pub

Paperback: 306 pages

ISBN: 0930031792

ISBN-13: 978-0930031794

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How-To Editor’s Recommended Book, 10/01/96:
The beauty and grace of rammed earth construction is described in fascinating detail by David Easton. The photographs of different structures, both modern and ancient, by Cynthia Wright, create a breathtaking glimpse into a building technique that is as old as human history, but exactly suitable for today’s resource-conscious and environmentally friendly building needs. Trees may be getting a bit scarce these days, but there’s no current shortage of dirt, the main component of rammed earth homes. From such a prosaic material, gold has been spun in these timeless, graceful, and nearly indestructible homes and buildings. Card catalog description The Rammed Earth House is an eye-opening example of how the most dramatic innovations in home design and construction frequently have their origins in the distant past. By rediscovering the most ancient of all building materials – earth – forward thinking home builders can now create structures that set new standards for beauty, durability, and efficient use of natural resources. Rammed earth construction is a step forward into a sustainable future, when homes will combine pleasing aesthetics and intense practicality with a powerful sense of place. Rammed earth homes are built entirely on-site, using basic elements – earth, water, and a little cement. The solid masonry walls permit design flexibility while providing year-round comfort and minimal use of energy. The builder and resident of a rammed earth house will experience the deep satisfaction of creating permanence in a world dominated by the disposable.

Customer Comments , 02/24/97, rating=8:
Excellent, lacks some detail on construction. In Venezuela, South America, there is some interest in reviving an old method of construction, called tapial in spanish (rammed earth). Many old building remain in South America from the time of the spaniards. The book illustrates how a modern engineer, David Easton, in California, has taken over the problem of building with rammed earth in country where there is very little tradition, hence know how, on building with rammed earth. The book lacks detail on the rammed earth system employed by the authors. More drawings and pictures would be very useful to translate modern technology to underdevelopped countries. Best regards, Miguel A. Megias, Professor of Engineering Universidad de Carabobo Valencia, Venezuela e-mail

Table of Contents
Ch. 1. The Evolution of Earthbuilding
Ch. 2. The Point of Beginning
Ch. 3. The Architectural Plan
Ch. 4. In Preparation for Building
Ch. 5. Foundations
Ch. 6. The Essential Soil
Ch. 7. The Art of Formbuilding
Ch. 8. Soil Preparation and Compaction
Ch. 9. Doors, Windows, Niches, and Nooks
Ch. 10. Bond Beams and Other Connections
Ch. 11. After the Wall
Ch. 12. The House in the Garden
Builders’ Resources: A. A Photographic Step-by-Step
Builders’ Resources: B. A Sample Home Design Program
Builders’ Resources: C. How to Identify Soils
Builders’ Resources: D. Restoring the Chew Kee Store
Builders’ Resources: E. Structural Engineering Design

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