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  • The fundamentals of rammed earth construction haven't changed much in 40 years. And that might be a good thing.

  • True to Form 2

    Short Stack. Forms typically go up in five foot sections, allowing workers to stand inside them during compacting.

  • Symons Earth Forms

    Some Assembly Required. Standard Symons concrete forms are bolted together. Soledad uses 18"-thick walls, for optimal wall performance in this region.

  • Compacting Earth Walls

    Muscle Work. Compacting the earth to a minimum of 300 psi is done with pneumatic tampers and a lot of hard work.

  • Rammed Earth Structure

    Fortress Facade. New Mexico's building code allows rammed earth walls to be left "unprotected from the elements" if the builder desires.

  • True to Form 6

    Fixed Framing. Wood framing attaches to the rammed earth walls with anchor bolts, set at least 12" into the compacted soil.

  • True to Form 7

    Southwestern Style. Soledad's rammed earth homes typically reflect the architecture indigenous to this area, with exposed vigas (timbers), tile floors, built-in fireplaces and deep niches. When installing a niche in rammed earth, the NM Code dictates that it must not exceed 1/3 the thickness of the wall. And any void wider than 2' requires a lintel. Behind the walls, wiring must be enclosed in a channel or conduit.

  • True to Form 8

    Read the NM Code for rammed earth construction here: http://www.nmcpr.state.nm.us/nmregister/xii21/14.11.11NMAC.htm

 

     

To learn more about Soledad Builders:

www.rammed-earth-homes.com

www.theearthbuildersguild.com