By Mary Anne Constable
This post first appeared on Earthworks Magazine in April 2016. We are re-posting it here with the permission of Young Africa Publishing and author Mary-Anne Constable.
Of more than twenty different types of earth construction techniques, rammed earth has been lauded for its durability, sophisticated environmental performance and striking earthen beauty.
Rammed earth construction in South Africa has generally been stigmatised as a substandard and primitive building construction method reserved ‘for the poor’. Yet it is now gaining popularity for community social projects, as well as among wealthier clients. Although a building standard is yet to be formalised in South Africa, the rammed earth industry is established in many African countries, Europe, United States and Australia. This means plenty of expertise and established international building standards already exist and this construction method is now far removed from its primitive roots.