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Rammed Earth Works
The Original Rammed Earth Builders
The Original Rammed Earth Builders

Rammed Earth Works's posts

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Rammed Earth Works is thrilled and honored to be featured in three beautiful pages of +Dwell Magazine's Materials Sourcebook Special Issue :

The letter from the Editor-in-Chief, Amanda Dameron, entitled In the Material World, speaks to our mission in more ways than one :

"Over the past 16 years, we've amassed a deep archive of architectural projects that convey modern values through conscious design decisions. This special issue celebrates the way that architects and residents alike have engaged bold material palettes as a vehicle for communicating their ideals.

In the pages that follow, we honor the artistry of the build through the lens of material exploration. We acknowledge that when architects experiment with material properties, they push their own power of expression.

While the wheel need not be reinvented with each use of stone, wood, concrete, metal, glass, and even recycled goods - surely we can chart modern architectural progress through technological innovation and ceaseless iteration. What would 'modern architecture' mean today if Alvar Aalto hadn't spent years experimenting with wood, if Louis Kahn hadn't embraced brick, or if Frank Gehry hadn't explored the limits of metal?

It's inconceivable to conjure the work without the materials, not to mention the tireless minds that dared to recast the mundane."

We couldn't agree more!

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More Compression and a Faster Machine : Big Steps Forward For A New Age of Masonry

+WatershedMaterials has invented a new, smarter way to manufacture concrete block that doesn’t just rely on cement to glue rock together but rather re-structures aggregate into a dense matrix that produces durable and beautiful structural masonry block.

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Are you attending BuildWell 2016? We're excited to be involved in our second BuildWell conference.

This year, David Easton will be speaking in two panels:

Ultra Low Carbon Materials : Natural building goes mainstream from 11:15a to 12:30p on Wednesday, February 10

Going Big League : getting to scale - the good, the bad, and the ugly from 11:15a to 12:30p on Friday, February 12

We're also hosting an Open House following the BuildWell conference at our shop / factory / research lab in Napa - a great way to end a week discussing the future of sustainable building materials.

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The Rammed Earth Works team has been ramping up production of our pre-cast rammed earth panels, made in our factory in Napa then transported to and installed on job sites.

These pre-cast rammed earth panels are 3-4 inches thick and are ideal for non-structural applications for projects that don't have the available footprint for traditional on-site rammed earth walls that can often range from 18-24 inches thick. Rammed Earth Works is able to produce these panels at our factory at much higher volume than on-site installations with custom one-off formwork. Rammed Earth Works is able to take advantage of re-using formwork as well as the factory environment to speed production time.

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Rammed Earth Works and Watershed Materials are hosting an Open House on Saturday, February 13th from 10am to 3pm at our production shop / pilot factory / research lab.

RSVP on the Facebook event page. Stop by to get an in-person tour of :

- Rammed Earth Works' curved demonstration wall designed by Andy Goldsworthy

- Pre-cast rammed earth

- Watershed Materials' new prototype high compression concrete block machine

- Zero cement block mix design made with lime, slag and aluminosilicates

- Zero cement geopolymer block

- Black block made with rice husk ash

If you're attending the BuildWell conference, this is a perfect finale. Our factory is located at 11 Basalt Road, Napa CA 94558. Call (707) 224-2532 if you need help finding the shop.

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Great post from our partners at Watershed Materials
We Already Have The Technology To Solve Climate Change. What We Need Is Deployment.

“Now that we have figured out solar and wind deployment, does anyone want to finally prioritize deploying the hundreds of other technologies ready to scale up?”

We couldn't agree more with this on-point editoral about ‪#COP21‬ and the ‪#‎BillGatesPledge‬ by the clean technology sage Jigar Shah

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Modern edge creeps into old town Palo Alto, California, in this rammed earth home designed by Cass Calder Smith at +CCS ARCHITECTURE and built by Kirk Welton Construction with +Rammed Earth Works.

The mix design used 30% of the site soil, a heavy yellow clay which was cut with cracked gravel and coarse sand to control shrinkage. A mix design like this one, high in clay and rammed in short lifts, will develop a dense, smooth surface. Differentiation between lifts is very subtle.

For the interiors, the architect chose wood paneling that mimic the color and the layering of the rammed earth walls.

Image © Joe Fletcher

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The rammed earth Watershed Blocks for this sustainable private residence by Arkin Tilt architects were manufactured using a combination of two different regionally sourced aggregates. Varying the ratio between the two in the formulation resulted in the “random mottling” that gives the walls their natural appearance. The architects wisely use the block to encase the wood stove to serve as a heat sink - a thermal flywheel. Oak from the surrounding forest yields its stored CO2 to warm both the living room and the kitchen beyond.

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Dr. Rongrong Hu - expert on rammed earth in China - visits Rammed Earth Works and +Watershed Materials  in California to share her perspective on the future and past of rammed earth in China. Read her guest post detailing the visit :

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Artist Andy Goldsworthy sculpts a ‪#rammedearth wall, blurring the lines between art and structure
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