Colors of the Earth: Ghana’s Incredible, Rammed Earth Walls

Rammed earth construction is gaining new popularity as an economical, sustainable and potentially beautiful form of architecture, especially at the hands of Ghana’s Joelle Eyeson. The young African entrepreneur, is betting that it may be the answer to the housing deficit in her region. This is a rudimentary construction system in which earth is compressed into wooden boxes and the clay is horizontally placed in layers of 15 cm in height, and compacted with manual or pneumatic tools, to achieve its ideal density creating a resistant and durable structure. Rammed earth constructions are not a novelty, on the contrary, some sections of the Great Wall of China were made using this technique. Relegated and replaced by modern methods of construction, the mud walls are currently re-emerging as an economic, sustainable solution, with low environmental impact. In addition to its low cost, another benefit of building with earth is that it can cool interior spaces, decreasing the use of air conditioning systems. Its maintenance is also low and there is no need to paint the walls. The walls are sound and termite-proof, as well as free of chemicals and toxins that may be present in cement.


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