Eco-friendly homes: How to build rammed earth

This age-old building technique is part of Nepal’s vernacular architecture

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 09 March 2023

Rammed earth is a technique for constructing foundations, floors and walls by ramming natural raw materials such as earth, chalk, lime or gravel using a formwork. This age-old building technique is part of Nepal’s vernacular architecture and is now trending again, thanks to the efforts of a few eco-building enthusiasts in Nepal. This is the second video of the two-part series on rammed earth architecture.

Basant Shrestha, director of strategic cooperation, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), had worked on rebuilding Nepal after the devastating 2015 earthquake. During the process, he and his team at ICIMOD explored various construction options that were earthquake-resistant and less burdening to the environment. One of the options was rammed earth. Shrestha used this technique when he planned to build his own house in Godawari, Nepal.

This video explores how the two-floor home was built, thereby explaining the construction procedure of an eco-friendly home made of mud. Narayan Acharya of Sustainable Future and architect Saurav Shrestha demonstrate the extraction of soil, preparing the earth mix, significance of concrete ring beams and wooden formworks.

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