Michael Thompson at rammed-earth.org shared a copy of his new book with me, it’s called DIY Rammed Earth Manual, How to build with DIRT! I was really happy to find it packed with real DIY information. The first section covers all the basics you’ll need to know to build a rammed earth home including the tools you’ll need, how to build formers, lay your foundation, and test soil for suitability. The next covers the building of a small earthen building from start to finish.
If you dream of building a tiny house on a trailer dirt won’t work, but if you dream of a tiny homestead dirt may be the way to go. Rammed earth is the process of compacting dirt to form walls. It’s slower going than framing a house with lumber but the thermal mass an earthen wall provides can help you get a comfortable quiet home the old-fashion way. For over the last 200,000 years humans have been creating different ways of building with earth. Here are just a few of the most common methods.
- Earthbag – Bag filled with dirt and tamped into place.
- Adobe – Dry mud blocks stacked into walls.
- Cob – Wet mud blobs stacked into walls.
- Rammed Earth – Walls formed in place by tamping it into a reusable form.
- Compressed Earth Block – A cross between adobe and rammed earth.
- Wattle and daub – Mud filled woven lattice.
Michael’s book is available in print an as an ebook. He also teaches workshops in Europe. Visit his site to learn more about DIY Rammed Earth Manual, How to build with DIRT.