The Materials Book

An Ur-material Reconsidered: Prefabrication can modernize a traditional building method The ancient technique of building with rammed earth offers advantages such as the material’s moisture storage capacity, which buffers humidity in a room, and a high thermal mass that eases swings in temperature. Walls are typically created on-site by compressing locally excavated dirt into frameworks. To speed up production, it’s possible to adapt existing facilities near the building locale where walls and other elements can be prefabricated in varying shapes and sizes with a mobile ramming machine. After drying, these are transported to the construction site where they are integrated into the structure. Example: Prefabricated interior rammed- earth wall from Lehm Ton Erde Baukunst, seen in Ricola Herb Centre, Laufen, Switzerland, by Herzog & de Meuron Contributed by: Martin Rauch, Austria 296