Rammed Earth Consulting CIC

building is more than buildings, it's people


Rammed Earth Consulting CIC are a not for profit consultancy dealing with a wide range of projects concerned with the built environment. With many years experience there are plenty examples of rammed earth buildings which we have both built and consulted on.

We offer services in soil selection on or off site. This may involve mixing more than one other material to site soil, more sand to a clayey soil, more stones where the soil is very fine. And once a soil is looking ok we take it to commercial labs for testing.

We offer design help, often at the start of a design process, helping architects, engineers and surveyors to better understand how rammed earth fits into a job, how strong it is, the shapes it can be formed into and of course the cost.

We train contractors on site and liaise with specialists where a main contractor can't manage the work. We work with contractors on site, and we are working on training standards which can be applied on site or at a training centre.

But building is not just buildings, its about people, their knowledge, hopes, ideas. Building is the something which happens in a context, hot or cold, money or loans, team or self build, experience or not and many other factors.


  Rammed earth needs people with skills, and recognised standards  

The past century has been the development of building standards and regulations. These have appeared around the world and while some materials have received a lot of attention, others have been 'forgotten'. It is this deficit which is a major area of work for us.

Rammed Earth Consulting have written a Code of Practice for Rammed Earth Structures which is now a national standard in 15 countries in Africa. A UK publication, Rammed Earth: Design and Construction Guidelines has become the de-facto standard for the use of rammed earth in the UK, and has also influenced similar work in France. The Guideline has also lead to BREEAM acceptance of rammed earth, and inclusion in the BRE IMPACT system. Rammed earth is an integral part of the IMPACT system, to know more about IMPACT read this article.

Rammed earth also has a National Building Specification, 25-00-70, but you need to be on their system to use it. Being part of the NBS system, like BREEAM, means that rammed earth has a wider audience which leads to better understanding.

Building buildings allows direct experience of what an earth building could look and feel like, it is a chance to experience something very old in a new way. This is true for the people that inhabit the building, that use it, as well as for the designers and builders. We have concentrated on public buildings because they allow the widest group of people to experience this without having to use their own resources. Over time as they come to appreciate the qualities of the material their confidence will grow and perhaps invest in their own earth building.

So it is necessary to work with buildings and with the wider context of building to make the use of rammed earth easier and 'normal'. Because this takes time we have to use a wide range of means and so we were a founder of Earth Building UKI, a charity which seeks to bring together the widest group of earth building builders, users, designers, producers, funders, regulators and students to understand better what each of us is doing. We also try to reach as wide an audience as we can outside the earth building world.

EBUKI has allowed us to reach across to partners in Europe, following on from the ECVET earth plasters project Learn With Clay where you can download the training materials and standard



    Writing standards takes time, but changes the context of building  


free. We are now writing Training Standards for Earth Structures under the PIRATE project, which stands for Provide Instructions and Resources for Assessment and Training in Earthbuilding. Training can be given on site or in a technical college, it can be self taught or from 'father to daughter' but for that knowledge to be assessed to allow trainees to get work there needs to be a common understanding of what needs to be known, the skills needed and the level of responsibility someone can be given. This is another major part of the context which building has, the people that do it.  

    Take a look at this film from the 1940's, we can learn from the past