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WHAT IS RAMMED EARTH?

Rammed earth is a method of building walls whereby a mixture of earth is compacted in layers between forms. Each layer of earth is approximately 15 cm (6 in) deep. As each form is filled, another form is placed above it, and the process begins again. This is continued until the desired wall height is achieved. Forms can be stripped off as soon as the form above is begun, as the compressed earth wall is self-supporting immediately. Most rammed earth builders in Australia, including our company, use pneumatic rammers to compact the earth within the forms.

The soil mix needs to be carefully balanced between clay, sand and aggregate. The clay and moisture content of rammed earth is relatively low compared to that used for mud brick or other earth building methods.

A wider range of soils are suitable when a small amount of cement is added to the mix. Most rammed earth builders in Australia add some cement. The result, known as ‘stabilised rammed earth’, is a strong masonry product which provides excellent thermal mass.

WHO IS RAMMED EARTH CONSTRUCTIONS PTY LTD?

Rammed Earth Constructions is a multi-award winning building company specialising in rammed earth projects, taking on full building and renovation projects and also subcontracting for rammed earth walls. The company has extensive experience in building  residential and commercial projects in a variety of styles and for a range of budgets.

The company was established in 1989, originally to meet a strong demand for rammed earth homes in the newly established Crystal Waters Permaculture Village near Maleny, SE Queensland. There were a number of residents in the village who were keen to use rammed earth in their homes because of their interest in healthy, environmentally friendly and low maintenance buildings.

The company's work soon attracted attention from outside the village and it has since built homes and walls throughout the SE Queensland region, and as far west as Jericho in Central Queensland. While preferring to keep as close to home as possible, last year the company was sought out to construct the rammed earth walls for a private art gallery in NSW, an exciting and challenging project with extensive and very high rammed earth walls, and which also incorporated a relief artwork built into the rammed earth entry wall.

Stabilised rammed earth in Queensland was initially pretty much a niche market, with early adopters often being engineers or the very eco-conscious. These days it has moved into a much broader market, and is increasingly appearing in suburbs, bush retreats and commercial projects as more people recognise its various practical and aesthetic benefits.

SCOPE OF WORK

The company is a both a full-construct building company for projects of all sizes and also a subcontractor for rammed earth walls. We take on full-construct contracts in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and Sunshine Coast, Qld, and we also subcontract for the walls to owner builders within the Maleny/hinterland area, and to other builders outside it. Projects further afield are also taken on when there is sufficient rammed earth to cover the higher costs associated with away-from-home work. As well as a great variety of homes (see photo gallery), Rammed Earth Constructions has built walls (or the complete building) for a number of commercial projects, including the Garangula Gallery in NSW, the Green Harvest Organic Mail Order Supplies offices and warehouse in Maleny (full construct project), Australia Zoo's animal hospital, the Billabong Surfwear HQ and showroom in Burleigh Heads, the award winning EcoCentre at Crystal Waters (full construct), and the hall for the Doonan Steiner School.

We recommend that you contact us early in the design process so that we can provide advice and allow time for your project in our schedule. We have found that sometimes people contact us out of the blue for immediate work, and we have been unable to assist within their required time frame. We are currently scheduling work 3-6 months in advance.

John Oliver, the Managing Director of the company and QBSA Nominated Supervisor, is a fully licensed builder and carpenter, with more than 30 years experience in many sorts of construction methods.

 

 



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