Thursday, March 16, 2006

Double Feature, Pass the Popcorn!

Some of us learn best by watching. Some of us learn best by reading. Some of us learn best in a cold tent in the rain at a overpriced, poorly planned, chaotic info-mercial/workshop happening months after the promised date where only a fraction of what was advertised is actually delivered.

If you're the type who learns best by watching, there's this:

Rammed Earth Construction

Beautiful examples of rammed earth construction.

29 minutes
Grade Level: 9-12, Adult
US Release Date: 1987
Copyright Date: 1985
ISBN: 1-56029-019-6

Produced by Hans-Ernst Weitzel

Here's the web site.

PEOPLE PEOPLE PEOPLE! The information is out there, and it's there at a price point you can afford!

Movie Time!

If you like to watch, there's also a quicktime movie on this site

on the making of rammed earth homes.

Oh to live in New Mexico, where rammed earth is in "The Code", they have crazy socialist organizations like The Earth Builders' Guild and there's more than one ONE! one way to span a window.

Check out the section in Gary Wee's website entitled "Architect Package" and revel in the variety of

Lintel Types:
1. Bondbeam (Can be concrete or wood) Note A: This is the actual bond beam that is on top of the rammed earth

2. Wood beams (heavy timber) Southwest Style

3. Decorative concrete (Cast stone texture)

4. Steel

5. No Lintel

with photographic examples and in some cases, STAMPED ENGINEERED DRAWINGS and CALCULATIONS!

Print 'em out, share them with your engineer friends.

Bravo Gary Wee! I salute you!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

If You're Ever Down In Texas

Texas Toast, Texas Tea, and now Texas Rammed Earth!

Texas means BIG.

Texas means "can do"--more specifically "you can do." And you can do it yourself!

Here's a great web site from the Lone Star State.

We are Bill & Stephen Betzen, a father and son team who started the planning process in 2004 to build a rammed earth home in Dallas, Texas by 2009. We are on schedule. We want to share research we have done and make connections with similarly interested Do It Yourself (DIY) people also interested in rammed earth construction and benefits.

Did you catch that: they are on schedule *and* they want to share research and make connections with the similarly interested. Guess what else--they are building 2 (two) stories! TEXAS SIZED!

It would appear that they went to a RAMMED EARTH TRAINING COURSE with Quentin Branch. Mr. Branch's site can be viewed here.

Mr. Branch charges $375 for his course. No, not $6000, but $375. He appears to be teaching a course September 30th through October 2nd.

A rammed earth course for $375 in a dry climate during the month of September. Hmmm.

What We Do

When not grappling with the conceptual disjunct of insurers and lending institutions, we're on the virtual look out for other rammed earth builders. For the next several posts, we shall share said links and hopefully in so doing, make the the following points clear:

1. RAMMED EARTH IS FOR *EVERYONE* (not just the ultra mega rich)

2. THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO FORM A WALL (despite what your ethics professor may tell you)

3. PEOPLE ARE RAMMING EARTH ALL OVER THE WORLD, ALL THE TIME. (belly up to the sneeze guard and take a look)

(Group hug everyone.)

Lets begin!

Beautiful! The South West vernacular and rammed earth go together like soup and sandwich. When you see HUSTON's great work you wonder why anyone would go with that synthetic stucco santa-fake nonsense. Thank goodness firms like Huston are fighting the good fight and getting the job done.

Hooray for Joe Dahmen!

Everyone's favorite MIT earth rammer has a new site! Great pictures of the Great Wall of MIT.

Here's a teaser:

Rammed Earth N51 is a sixty-foot-long freestanding rammed earth wall built by a team of students and staff at MIT during the summer of 2005. The project combines research on historical and contemporary rammed earth methods with material research undertaken in the geotechnical laboratory at MIT.

Check it out!