Clifton Schooley is a green building professional specializing in insulated rammed earth construction and architectural design in Canada and worldwide. His vision is to create environments that are beautiful, artistic, sustainable and have a positive social impact. Clifton believes that both design and construction of a building must be intimately connected to bring maximum benefit to both people and the environment. Beyond rammed earth his ambition is to become an eco-developer and influence society on a larger scale. For more information, visit: www.rammedearth.info
Q: I was impressed with your claims of how high the thermal mass of a rammed earth home is but I cant help but wonder if in Florida I would have a mold and mildew house instead of a rammed earth home.
A: (Kelly) I have never heard of mold or mildew associated with rammed earth buildings. Usually they are insulated and sealed from the outside. If the interior environment is that humid, then you are going to have problems with virtually any kind of construction.
Q: What can you tell me about the humidity in a rammed earth house?
A: (Bruce King) Nothing specific, other than that the porous nature of the earthen wall will tend to absorb (and release) moisture, thus serving as a bit of a modulator of indoor humidity. For the first few months as the wall cures, it will release some moisture, but that process, especially in Tucson, will be complete by the time the building is ready for occupancy.
Q: I'm helping a friend build a rammed earth house in Latvia. They do have heavy snow and cold weather in winter. When starting to build this house would it be OK to start with a damp proof on the concrete footing and then build the house on top of this?
A: You could just use a concrete sealer that is as eco as you could find, make sure the footing is clean and dry before applying on top of the footing.