Rammed Earth Structures

A code of practice (2nd edition)

Julian Keable and Rowland Keable

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 has been adopted as a Building Standard in Zimbabwe. Further progress is being made extending the use of rammed earth as an offi cially sanctioned building material across all SADC countries. This book is now therefore becoming 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.


£15.95 /€23.95 / $31.95 | 2011, 128 pages, paperback | ISBN: 978-1-85339-727-1


About the authors

Julian Keable is an architect of long standing who initiated the use of rammed earth for projects in Africa in the 1970s and continued working in the field until the end of the 1990s. Co-ordinating the writing of this Code of Practice was a major milestone in the development of the use of the technology. Julian also worked on replacement materials for roofs in Africa and has been involved in research and development of direct solar conversion of water into hydrogen and oxygen. He has had a long career in passive solar design and was the chair of UK Solar ISIS.

Rowland Keable has been working with rammed earth and building rammed earth structures since the mid-1980s. In collaborating on this Code of Practice a new direction was set leading to the Code becoming a national standard with progress towards a regional standard more recently. This in turn has led to guidelines for use in the UK and recognition of the material by the Building Research Establishment in their Green Guide. Rowland is a founder member of Earth Building UK, a national trade and research body for earth building technologies, and runs a consulting practice working principally in the UK and Africa.


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