Rammed Earth


  • Rammed earth dates back as far as 5000 BC where it was used commonly in China.
  • Rammed earth is still a common building material in parts of North Africa, like Yemen and Morocco.
  • This technology became very popular in parts of France in the 1700’s where it became known as Pisé de Terre as well as in the USA in the early 1800’s.
  • Rammed earth was widespread in Zimbabwe after the 2nd world war.
  • In 2012 the SADC Bureau for the Harmonization of Standards adopted the Zimbabwe code for rammed earth Construction for all SADC countries.
  • Many buildings exist nowadays in all climatic regions of the world.


  • This material is very durable.
  • Offering very good levels of thermal comfort.
  • Materials can often be sourced from the site itself saving on transport costs.
  • A raw off-shuttered wall gives a smooth beautiful finish itself and these days is typically left without further plastering or painting.

Technical information:

  • A formwork is first built, usually out of wood or plywood, to act as a mold for the desired shape.
  • A moist mixture of clay, sand & gravel is poured into the formwork in layers of 10-15cm & is compacted by ramming.
  • Rammed earth using re-bar, wood or bamboo reinforcement can prevent failure caused by earthquakes or heavy storms.
  • Without mechanical tools rammed earth construction can be very time consuming.
  • This method of construction lends itself to high levels of mechanization and can be done very speedily, however it requires extensive testing at the beginning.

Company track record and examples of work:

  • House Klipspringer, Wild Rivers Estate, Hoedspruit,
    Mpumalanga, 2020-2021
  • House Botes, Agte Paarl, Western Cape 2014.
  • OR Tambo Narrative & Enviro Centre – Leeupan, Johannesburg, 2010 – 2012

We offer a number of construction & info manuals on our website on natural building technologies which specifically refer to the South African context. The info manual "A LIME DUNG PLASTER RECIPE" has recently been added to the collection.   Click here for more information.

All our manuals are also now available as E-Book downloads. Click here for the E-Books.