Image source: Course faculty
Earth as a building material has been prevalent since time immemorial. In present day scenario, with sustainable building materials and appropriate building technologies being more relevant than ever, rammed earth wall construction has a lot of scope in its application on a global scale and to modern design sensibilities. It is cost effective and has favorable thermal properties. To form it- Earth, sand (around 25-30%) and cement/ lime /natural materials (around 5-9%) are thoroughly mixed with water to get a homogeneous humid mix. A slipping type form work has been designed and developed by Earth Institute Auroville and made by Aureka, Auroville. It can facilitate making of a rammed earth wall 24 cm thick, 240 cm high and up to 99 cm long. The intent is to make al teast three rammed earth walls Wall 1. Using cement as the stabilizer, Wall 2 Using lime as the stabilizer and Wall 3 in which no stabilizer will be used. For wall 3 students will come up with their own mix experimenting with the proportions of soil, sand and alternative materials e.g. jiggery oil, alum, rice husk ash, fly ash, cow dung, straw, dry leaves and so on. It’s a hands-on workshop wherein participants will be involved physically in the construction of the rammed earth wall, in addition to basic theoretical inputs regarding the subject. Diversity and universality of earth architecture, sustainability and environmental friendliness, basic data on raw materials and rammed earth, earth techniques, soil identification, soil stabilization principle and calculations, improvement and stabilization are the topics covered during the workshop. Theory, workshop & relevant site visits are the modes in which the course will be conducted. Expenses for students: Material cost: Rs.1500/-, local travel: Rs. 3500/-.