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 Post subject: Rammed Earth Journey
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:29 am
Posts: 179
Location: Blue Mountains
After keenly watching the progress of your projects over the last few years, I feel it is time to add my contribution.
I am planning on building a rammed earth house and like all good owner builder projects it starts with a small scale trial in the form of a garden shed.

Here are a few pics of the little shed during construction.

I wanted a splayed top on the footing (to shed water away from the earth walls) so to save making special formwork for the whole shed I made a set of forms for the corners...

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..and a set for the straight sections.
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After the footings the first corner wall formwork went up...
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then the first layer of soil/cement mix placed (150mm thick)...
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This was compacted into 100mm layers up to a height of 900mm. After a couple of hours the forms could be stripped....
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....and the surface wirebrushed to give a uniform appearance (right hand side brushed).
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Finally a groove is made in the end of the wall where the next wall joins.
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There is a start at least. I will try to add more when I get the chance.
:D


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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 6:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:29 am
Posts: 179
Location: Blue Mountains
Here are some more pics of the garden shed.

The walls continue...
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The top half of the walls were made from recycled timber framing and second hand corrugated iron.
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Once the shed was enclosed I used the rock that was sifted out of the soil to make rubble drains and retaining walls around the building...
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And finally, the finished product.
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I hope the tools appreciate it. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 1:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:46 pm
Posts: 320
Location: wycheproof
wow what an awesome job so neat if this is a trial i reckon you mastered it cant wait to see the house top job congrats :D :D :D :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:29 am
Posts: 179
Location: Blue Mountains
Thanks Shelley, it's been great watching your house take shape. Must be very rewarding for you.
I love your reference to colorbond moments. I find myself having many of these, even if it is just to admire a pier hole I just dug. :)


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 Post subject: Next the garage
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:29 am
Posts: 179
Location: Blue Mountains
After the garden shed I started on the garage/workshop. This is separate to the house and this time a full scale trial. I have now almost finished it and hopefully soon I can start on the house.

Here is a summary of progress on the garage.


The block had a few trees to clear and a bit of levelling to be done. An early investment in a Bobcat has been money well spent, especially since the house is all rammed earth walls and floors.

After some friends helped out with tree lopping and felling, I went to work on the stumps.
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It is amazing how much fun you can have in a machine like this.
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Probably a bit more than it is designed to do but if you take your time anything is possible.

After levelling the site the underground power went in. I positioned the meter box on the garage to avoid having to put in a temporary box.
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The pier holes were drilled...
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...and filled.
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The footings were set out...
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and trenches dug...
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Like so many other owner builders this will be the house that ebay built and one of my greatest wins was a complete bundle (2 tonnes) of rebar for $150. I had my engineer modify the plans to suit and as a result there is enough in that one bundle to do all of my house.

It has meant that I have had to cut, weld and bend all the reo and that my poor little van now thinks it is a truck but it is certainly worth it.

The footings for the garage are the same detail as the garden shed only twice as deep...
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Doing them in small sections has allowed me to mix and pour them by hand. I am pretty much building this all by myself so I have tried to work out ways of doing everything in managable sizes.

The wall formwork started to go up and generally I could do a wall section and a couple of footing sections in a day.
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I could use the Bobcat to sift, mix and fill the soil directly into the formwork. I'd then climb into the forms and compact it with a air driven tamper. As the layers are around 100mm thick this would happen quite a few times in a day. Not a bad exercise regime.
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I made a simple wire mesh screen and a measuring box for the soil....
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and using the Bobcat the soil would be sifted through the mesh and than loaded into the box. 4 bags of off-white cement is added and the pile is mixed using the Bobcat bucket (water added if needed).
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Once a couple of walls were up I could mount and connect the meter box...
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And finally it all started to take shape.
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That's enough for tonight. Stay tuned...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 2:21 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Werribee
Good Work. well done.

_________________
Locked up, the house that is!
Building In Welshmans Reef, Vic.
more photos here

http://s925.photobucket.com/albums/ad97 ... y%20House/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:29 am
Posts: 179
Location: Blue Mountains
Once the walls were complete to door height, scaffolding made from recycled timber and the plywood from the wall formwork went up.
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I poured a concrete lintel over the garage doors.
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Next the formwork was set for a complete reinforced concrete tie beam. This ties the top of the walls together and has the roof tie down bolts set into it.
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Steel purlins span across the garage and are exposed around the eaves. The rough poured earth walls above door height will later be covered with corrugated iron.
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Insulation and roofing went on with a gutter set into the purlins to expose the end of the roof sheets on the edges.
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Finally the roof takes shape (a small section of roof sheets will cover the remaining framing).
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And here is the present state of things.
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So that is what I have been up to fo the past couple of years. I will attempt to update things as they progress from now on. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 10:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 10:37 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Morwell Vic
WOW Whats the story with the underground power


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:51 pm
Posts: 104
Location: Tungkillo, South Australia
That's a very neat looking project so far Bluey, please keep the updates coming.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:29 am
Posts: 179
Location: Blue Mountains
Quote:
Whats the story with the underground power

If you mean why, I just do not like the look of wires hanging off the front of the house. Wasn't that much more expensive than putting up a temporary pole and later having to relocate it to the house.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 12:49 am 
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Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 10:37 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Morwell Vic
Bluey wrote:
Quote:
Whats the story with the underground power

If you mean why, I just do not like the look of wires hanging off the front of the house. Wasn't that much more expensive than putting up a temporary pole and later having to relocate it to the house.


No sorry I mean who did it
Dont look to regulation depth to me


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 8:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:29 am
Posts: 179
Location: Blue Mountains
Quote:
Dont look to regulation depth to me

That area of trench was dug in rock so I went for a reduced trench depth with concrete encasing and layer poured over the top. Also that area was then built up with the levelling layers for the house. Thanks for checking.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 12:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:46 pm
Posts: 320
Location: wycheproof
im so in love with this method of building. im so not a greeny or conservationist but im loving the rammed earth look. you are doing a fantastic job congratulations well done.
and yes its so rewarding sometimes i just look at what weve done and think in awe omg we actually done everything its very surreal.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 7:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:15 am
Posts: 44
Location: SA
Brilliant!

Thanks a lot for posting these up. More and more inspiration by the day.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:29 am
Posts: 179
Location: Blue Mountains
I am now getting the site prepared to start on the house footings. Once they go in, I will lose most of the flat space on the site so I have come up with a new soil sifter that makes use of the slope down the back.

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Now I can just tip the soil over the top and it will sort it into fine soil for the walls through the first screen, gravel in the middle part and any large stones at the bottom. The fine soil can be scooped back out from under the top screen and the lower screen lifts out of the way so the Bobcat can scoop the gravel out from the side.

The piles of stone that were excavated from the site were starting to get in the way, so instead of continually having to move them I have started putting them in place as retaining walls.

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