Monolithic Rammed Earth Building
Stabilised Earth Adelaide builds Monolithic Rammed Earth Walls that are imbued with unique properties structurally, aesthetically and thermally.
A house built of Earth looks as if it grew out of the ground it stands on. The soft, subtle colours of the rammed earth walls blend harmoniously with their environment and a balance with nature is achieved, which no other building material can match.
The 300mm or 400mm thick walls moderate internal temperatures giving the warm-in-winter, cool-in-summer effect characteristic of earth houses. The high thermal mass walls store and radiate warmth in the winter and, in summer, absorb heat during the day and release it externally in the cool of the night.
The Stabilised Earth construction process is quick and accurate. The nature of the process is such that each crew can only be working on one project at a time and the rate of production is predictable, which means that we know how long each job will take and can schedule our work programme to suit each clients’ needs.
We have a reputation in both the domestic and commercial fields for being reliable in getting projects completed on time and in budget. Costs are favourably competitive with double brick.
The walls are not restrictive in design or style and mix happily with a wide range of other materials, having a distinctive layered texture but with a quite smooth surface which makes them aesthetically compatible with materials of more or less texture, e.g. stone on one hand and painted plasterboard on the other.
The monolithic slab character makes Stabilised Rammed Earth particularly suited for courtyard designs, we have built many houses incorporating rammed walls as beautiful Mediterranean style garden features.
Stabilised Earth Adelaide can offer a whole design and build package with our contacts with rammed earth building experienced Builders, Engineers, Architects, Designers, Plan Drafters and Energy Assessors.
We also offer simple guidelines, formulae and procedures to ensure you can successfully design and build to your budget.
New scientific recognition of the superior benefits of C-values over R-values in building comfort.
Everybody knows that stone and other heavy walled buildings keep cool in summer.
Combined with good design to let winter sun in through northern windows, allowing solar gains, heavy walls also help to keep warm in winter.
Anecdotally, we know that well designed house with earth walls are more comfortable than lightweight houses but it has been difficult to prove this scientifically.
The energy debate has been dominated by the insulation industry and focussed on R-values.
From the Master Builders Association magazine ‘SA BUILDER’ of Oct. 1999 in an article on thermal mass ;
“ The Cement and Concrete Association of Australia and the Concrete and Masonry Association of Australia . . . .have commissioned a project by the CSIRO to assess the energy efficiency of various combinations of wall and floor construction, to determine the contributions that thermal mass and insulation can make. . . . . findings indicated for cooling, buildings using solid wall options . . . require no insulation and outperform the lightweight walling alternatives tested, even when insulation is incorporated. Insulation had little effect on the energy efficiency for the walling systems tested.“
The C-value or thermal capacitance of a material measures how much heat it can store. The heaviest walling tested in this study was 150mm thick concrete which had a C-Value of 300, compared with an insulated timber/wallboard clad frame that had a C-value of 12.
A 300mm thick stabilised rammed earth wall would have a C-value of approximately 500 and als be a better insulator than concrete as it is not quite as dense.
Our claim is that stabilised rammed earth offers the most cost effective and efficient means of building high thermal mass structures and is therefore very valuable in considerations of building comfort.