Earth Structures buildings are well known for their construction quality and significant environmental benefits

Bushey Cemetery, UK.

This short video describes architect Andrew Waugh’s decision to use modern rammed earth in this 2018 RIBA award-winning building just north of London

Construction Methods

Material Used By Earth Structures

We use a blend of locally sourced quarried aggregates which provide the bulk of the compacted density as well as the natural colours and textures of the walls. We test and analyse these materials for structural stability and density. We add between 8 to10 percent Portland grade cement to provide surface hardness and durability and sufficient water to gain optimum density during compaction.

Earth Structures Group also uses a silane/siloxane aqueous based waterproofing admixture called Plasticure which minimises water penetration and eliminates using external waterproofing coatings and future surface maintenance.

Wall Finishes

Earth Structures walls have a unique off-form finish. The walls express sedimentary compaction lines that inform a simple and natural texture for which the material is famous. External wall surfaces are left un-treated and allowed to “breathe” while internal surfaces are coated with a tough acrylic emulsion.

Fire Rating

Earth Structures walls have a 4 hour fire rating. The walls offer an ideal option for buildings in fire-prone areas.

Pests

Earth Structures walls have no timber portal frames or cavities and so are termite-proof. Door and window frames may require some protection though typically they are well above ground level and not prone to termite infestation.

Maintenance

Earth Structures walls are maintenance free. Each panel is constructed as a “fully articulated monolith” so stress fractures due to any shrinkage are eliminated. Like all solid masonry, the base of walls must be kept a minimum 50mm above the surrounding ground level to prevent rising damp, and the top surfaces of the walls require capping. Our group members will provide you with these details early on so they can be incorporated into the design of the building.

Structure and Stability

Our walls are load bearing so do not require additional portal frames. The massive structural panels add substantial bracing to the fabric of a building and can withstand significant point loads such as roof beams, verandah beams, floor beams and bracing beams. Your structural engineer should contact your Earth Structures group member for ideas and information as to how best to use the walls as structural elements.

Note: We cannot use earth sourced from the building site. Site-sourced materials may crack and spall and the practice does not warrant the risk.

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OUR PRODUCTS

Below are three basic products of Earth Structures Group

Stabilised Earth Wall Panels

Stabilised Rammed Earth Walls

Stabilised rammed earth wall panels. These walls are 300mm, 400mm or 450mm thick.

Insulated Stabilised Earth Walls

Insulated stabilised earth wall panels. These walls are 400mm or 450mm thick with a 50mm Styrofoam panel set in the centre of the wall. These walls are ideal for western facing or all external walls requiring higher R values.

Elevated Stabilised Earth Wall Panels

Elevated stabilised earth wall panels. These walls are nominally 200mm or 300mm thick and are designed similar to precast concrete panels to be elevated into difficult locations.