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Rammed Earth Structures

A code of practice
By Julian Keable and Rowland Keable
ISBN: 9781853397271
This book aims to show how high standards can be achieved and the criteria on which rammed earth structures and building techniques can be judged. An important guide and resource for those wishing to employ this economical and low-carbon building material in the construction of public as well as private buildings in Africa and elsewhere.

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Rammed Earth Structures Look inside

  • Synopsis

    Visit the Rammed Earth Consulting website to find out about the Code of Practice which is now a national standard in 15 countries in Africa.


    Ramming earth has been a method of construction for centuries in many parts of the world and the technique can produce buildings that are strong, durable, safe and desirable. Because earth is an abundant and cheap resource, rammed earth buildings are often very economical. To achieve the best results the right techniques for the selection and testing of soils must be used to protect walls from water damage and shrinkage. This book aims to show how high standards can be achieved and the criteria on which rammed earth structures and building techniques can be judged. Since the first edition of this book was published, the standards described in Rammed Earth Structures have been adopted as a Standard Code of Practice by the African Regional Standards Organisation. Initially Zimbabwe published the standard followed by the 15 country SADC region. Publication as an all-African standard means this book is now an important guide and resource to employing this economical and low-carbon building material in the construction of public and private buildings in Africa and elsewhere.

  • Table of Contents
    Prelims (Praise for this book, Contents, Tests, About the authors, Acknowledgements, Preface to the Second Edition)
    1. Introduction
    2. Materials
    3. Formwork
    4. Groundworks
    5. Superstructure
    6. Stability
    7. Details and finishes
    8. Earthquake areas
    Back Matter (Appendix 1, Appendix 2)
  • Endorsements
    ‘An essential reference guide for anyone interested in the practice of rammed earth construction. This new improved edition includes updated photographs from recent projects.’
    Professor Pete Walker, Director, BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, University of Bath

    ‘You might say that rammed earth construction is a sort of tonic offered to a world still mindlessly addicted to fuel-intensive building, a breath of fresh air and reason that is so badly needed. Julian and Rowland Keable are the administering doctors, and with this lucid volume make rammed earth construction safe and easy for everyone. If you've thought of building a home from this most local of materials, you would do well to own and consult this guide.’
    Bruce King, Director of Ecological Building Network, author of Buildings of Earth and Straw

    ‘As an architect and builder who has designed and built in rammed earth in both Zimbabwe and Australia I wish I had had this document long ago. It is a true working manual which is demystifying, credible and well illustrated. The most important process with rammed earth is selecting, grading and mixing the material miles out in the bush without a testing lab down the road. With this book you can now do it yourself and build up your own knowledge base and methods using visual and physical testing with your hands and eyes. Well done to the two Keables! I would now like a similar manual for all the other building trades.’
    Mick Pearce AADipl (hons) RIBA MIAZ, architect with global experience
  • Details
    Sub Title A code of practice
    Author Julian Keable and Rowland Keable
    Editor No
    Number of Pages 128
    Format Paperback / softback
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