J. Dahmen
University of British Columbia - School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
Vancouver, Canada

J. F. Muñoz
Watershed Materials LLC
Napa, CA. USA





This paper describes a modular rammed earth masonry block fabricated from soil materials that could radically improve the environmental profile of one of the most common construction materials the planet. Although compressed earth blocks have been widely available for half a century, most are specialized building products that cannot be easily integrated with the conventional concrete masonry construction due to differences in form and performance. In contrast, the modular rammed earth block described in this paper is functionally interchangeable with ordinary concrete blocks and meets common performance specifications for concrete masonry. The block is designed to be interchangeable with conventional concrete block, and includes hollow cells to permit the placement of grout and reinforcing steel. The block reduces embodied energy by as much as fifty percent compared to conventional concrete masonry due to the reduction of energy-intensive Portland cement binders, dramatically reducing CO2 emissions of this common construction material.



Rammed Earth Construction
Cutting-Edge Research on Traditional and Modern Rammed Earth
Edited by Daniela Ciancio and Christopher Beckett
CRC Press 2015
Pages 79–83
Print ISBN: 978-1-138-02770-1
eBook ISBN: 978-1-315-69294-4
DOI: 10.1201/b18046-16