|The Renaissance of Rammed Earth||
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Let's live in harmony with Gaia
The Kooralbyn Hotel Resort on Australia's Gold Coast, Arch. David Oliver
An article, published in AMC Aspects magazine, January 2001
Georgi Georgiev, architect
|There is a certain magic to living in
buildings with thick earth walls. It's hard to describe, but easy to notice.
Just take a step inside one on some warm summer day and you'll feel it
immediately. It's cool, of course-everyone knows adobe houses are “warm
in winter and cool in summer”-but there's something else, too, a little
hard to put your finger on. “It's quiet, feels somehow incredibly solid
and sturdy, very different from other houses, timeless even. I feel secure
in here...instantly comfortable ...it's almost I'm in some ancient building
with centuries of its own stories to tell...”I once had a happy home-owner
tell walking into her rammed earth house was like walking into her lover's
From the book “The rammed earth house”, David Easton
For the last 20 years more universities, science institutes and firms
take part in the revival and production of technologies, using raw clay
as a basic building material. One of these technologies is called “rammed
earth”. The used material is a damp mixture of 20 % clay and 80 % sand
and other components. Sometimes as a hardening element concrete is added:
3-5 %. The walls made of rammed earth are considerably thicker- 50-60 cm.
Archive of the Ethnographic Institute with Museum of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Rammed earth is not very popular in our lands. In Northwestern Bulgaria rammed earth is used by Banat Bulgarians who have brought this tradition from the lands of present Hungary.
In 1999 the Gaiapolis Foundation managed to build an experimental social building, made of rammed earth in the village of Varvara. This project was financed by International centre for minorities study and cultural interactions, “Caritas Bulgaria” and “Open society” foundation. Unfortunately the future owner of the building - municipality Tzarevo did not fulfill their obligations for building external infrastructure and the house remains unoccupied. This prevents the making of any conclusions about the exploitation characteristics of rammed earth in this experiment.
| May be at the dawn of the XXI
century we'll hear the echo of the enthusiasm and gratitude with which
Francois Cointeraux called rammed earth: “a gift of Provedence...a present
which God has made to all people”.
1. TERRA 2000 Preprints,
2. David Easton. The Rammed Earth House. 1996
3. Gernot Minke - Lehmbau - Handbuch: der Baustoff Lehm und seine Anwendung. Freiburg, 1995. Okobuch.
4. John Northon - Building with earth. London, 1997. Intermediate Technology Publication Limited
5. Julian Keable. Rammed earth structures. London,1996. Intermediate Technology Publication Limited firstname.lastname@example.org