Thursday, April 03, 2008

Rammed Earth in Madhya Pradesh

These photos come from our correspondent in Bangalore about a project undertaken by Chitra Vishwanath.

Where's the compressor? Where's the fancy tamper?

So where's the skidsteer? The bobcat? The roto-tiller?

The wood chamfer strips look very detailed. I wonder how it looked on the finished wall?

But, but....where's the rebar?

Those are custom made pipe clamps. Apparently China forgot to make some for India.

Next time, I suggest a wheelbarrow and shovels.

He's thinking, "This sure is labor-intensive..."

Well, this will never catch on, there's no diesel being used here.

I could make a joke about formwork with built-in plumb bobs for the amusement of my devoted Cascadian readership, but I'm trying to restrain myself since I'm playing to a larger audience. Enjoy the restraint while you can, guys.

What is diesel going for these days? It' s not getting any cheaper to run all the fabulous machines that keep everything so affordable in North America.

Best dressed rammed earth builder since Bibo of Montreal.

I would be interested to know how that little wiggle in the plywood affected the finished wall. We put tape along the seam between the waler board and the form-ply to keep soil and stones from lodging there.

Now that's some natural building.

What happened?

I think initially they were using a slip form method but found that unsatisfactory.

I look forward to posting more about this project as it develops. So inspiring.

I'm American, HA HA HA.


Ben Lepley said...

I enjoyed this series a lot, found it on a search. I worked in India for 18 months at an architecture firm in Mumbai. At first I couldn't believe how Indians worked, it seemed inefficient and so strenuous. After a few months I learned its all about teamwork, friendship, trust, and trying to employ your whole village. We had a whole few villages of Rajasthani carpenters working for us, they were AMAZING! anyways, check out my own rammed earth project i am just finishing in Arizona. chears,
Ben Lepley

Biome said...

This firm which did the builsding works under the name of Biome environmental. One needs to undertand that the place where the above project was done is a in a remote jungle and one had to get innovative and make do with resource, material and skill available there. the completed project can be seen at-

More works of this firm can be seen at

vt said...
im indian.. doing a few rammed earth projects in bangalore.. now in montreal doing a masters on rammedearth..