Friday, October 17, 2008

The World's Longest Contemporary Rammed Earth Wall?

Is it possible that this hand-tamped laterite-cement wall near Kome, Chad is the longest rammed earth wall of our modern era?

The entire project encloses a road construction staging yard of about 1.5ha. The total length of the wall is about 500 to 600m. Each "lift" is 6m long by 0.5m tall and the wall is 200mm thick. Eight women ramming and eight men mixing produced about six "lifts" per day, aproximately 3.6 cubic meters of rammed earth or 18 square meters of surface.
About a dozen of the first sections are 3m long. All the rest are 6m, post to post.

Project head Mark David Heath writes:

"I wanted to test the limits of the material here so I built this wall without any footing, at all. The ground was cleared of vegetation and leveled and tamped solid. The forms were set directly on the ground and the wall rammed directly on the ground surface. I know that this violated common construction practice, but I wanted a severe test and quickly. Without a footing the wall has to face the full force of the rainy season. After 3 seasons it is performing very, very well. There is also no protective cap on top, for the same reason. After 3 rainy seasons, the top is only slightly eroded and there is little to no erosion nor softening at the base of the wall."

This project took ten weeks to complete.

1 comment:

Max Shue said...

Yay Africa!