BUILDING with RAMMED EARTH – An Impressive & Super Durable Natural Material!

Rammed earth is an ancient building technique that has been modernized to be stronger, more durable, and energy efficient with the addition of structural components like rebar as well as insulation. SIREWALL is the acronym for this modernized green building technique and it stands for: Structural Insulated Rammed Earth.

In this video, we’re meeting Tony Johnson from Earth House Holdings to learn about rammed earth construction, and to get a peek at the rammed earth home he is building for his family in British Columbia, Canada.

To follow and find out more about Tony’s rammed earth construction:

The rammed earth mixture in this project contains soil aggregates (~90%), cement (~9%), and pigment (less than 1%). It is mixed and deposited into plywood forms, then it is rammed with a pneumatic tamper to squish the earth down, and finally, it is cleaned up with a manual tamper. The wall is built in lifts of 6 inches at a time which gives the wall the striations and lines that are typical of rammed earth.

Some of the benefits of rammed earth as a green building technique include the fact that it is energy efficient due to the thermal mass and thermal break created by the insulation. It is also an airtight material which means that there’s little heat loss from a poor air barrier. Some studies have also shown that it is fire resistant as well.

To find out more about rammed earth be sure to give Tony a follow!

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle




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Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat of Exploring Alternatives.

Editing Credits:
Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives

Filming Credits:
Mat of Exploring Alternatives

Photo Credits:
Additional build photos provided by Tony Johnson from Earth House Holdings

#rammedearth #greenbuilding #earthhouse

26 Replies to “BUILDING with RAMMED EARTH – An Impressive & Super Durable Natural Material!”


    The New Atherton Libray in Menlo Park CA. has 5 walls of rammed earth costing upwards of 4 Million Dollars. Yeah, I'll stick to concrete,
    Thank You! 🤣

  2. Emanuele Anderson

    where is the water tank? If you have how much does it weigh? I'm Brazilian and I don't know your language much.
    Could you explain to me how much weight a pair of this can hold?

  3. Krishnamurthy Venkateswaran

    What would it cost to build per m2? Could you help me build a hospital in Tanzania of 5,000 m2?

  4. Romanus Antonius

    Thanks for sharing. Let me know if you are ever in need of a reliable employee. Would love to build rammed earth.

  5. Lacoste1212Blanc 1212

    Damn it looks really nice kinda like a natural stone i can imagine some white marbeling troughout 🤩

  6. SOLOman

    Basically an up market Adobe house. 😉 Yeah I like it, heard about rammed earth construction and looked into it many years ago – but some of us just have to be content with we have or what we can get or afford – according to our circumstances and, economies are not going to do well with all the Covid 19 lock-downs and restrictions making rural houses in Australia, at least, even harder or almost unreachable – due to constant travel restrictions being enforced and basically turning Australia back into what it once was:

    A Penal colony.

  7. Victor von Adrian

    Immediately thumbs down the rating, due to two commercials right at the start. Just keep it up if it pays off.

  8. Susan LaDuke

    This reminds me of the earth homes which aren't always practical due to necessity of having to build where there's more sloping ground. This is more practical, incredibly energy efficient & absolutely stunning! I love the look of the shading, curves & variety of colors within the packed earth. Have any of these been built in the US- PNW area? Fire resistance is my primary concern given the recent wildfires. I've been researching various materials for building an energy efficient smaller square foot home. I've look at SIP which is prone to moisture & mold & ESP which sounds like a better option but not compared with this technique. Will need to look into this process further.

  9. Bibi Jo

    I have been in love with rammed earth homes for quite some time. Love how you built this house. Thank you. I wish more people would consider rammed earth, especially in tropical climates.

  10. Jess Rouse

    Wow what a waste of good soil. And too many metals ….not a fan myself. I definitely wouldn't want to live in the movie Aladdin lol

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