Frequently asked questions about rammed earth walls

Click on a question about rammed earth to see the answer or use the search field below the FAQs.

What happens with plumbing and electrical wiring?

All plumbing and electrical points are positioned internally as the rammed earth walls are constructed.

How thick are rammed earth walls?

Olnee Constructions can provide 200mm, 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm thermal mass rammed earth walls. Walls from 400mm and above can be insulated if required.

What are the stabilised rammed earth (SRE) walls made of?

SRE walls are constructed using a quality road base material (soil and gravel mixture) stabilised with cement.

Where does the material come from?

Olnee Constructions’ materials are generally sourced from quarries as close to site as possible. This reduces energy costs for cartage.

How are rammed earth walls finished?

Rammed earth walls are an off form finish, which means each wall will have a unique appearance. If required (e.g. bathrooms), internally they can be sealed with a clear waterbased sealant. Externally, Olnee Constructions’ rammed walls have a waterproof added to the mix, making the outside a finished product.

Can I fix shelves? Hang pictures? How?

Shelving can easily be fixed to rammed earth walls with masonry wall fasteners. Pictures can be hung using a nail, wherever your heart desires, as you do not have to find that elusive wall stud to hammer your nail into.

Why are rammed earth homes so energy efficient?

Well-designed passive solar homes coupled with the high thermal mass of the rammed earth walls enables a home built with rammed earth to naturally store energy (warm or cool) creating a stable internal temperature.

My property is in a high fire risk area. How does rammed earth compare with other materials?

Rammed earth walls are non-combustible and have a fire rating of 4 hours. Rammed earth is one of very few building materials that has been included in the Building Code of Australia for high risk fire areas.

We have termites on our property. Why are the rammed earth walls termite resistant?

Due to the materials and construction method, rammed earth walls are deemed ‘termite resistant’ under the Building Code of Australia.

Can my rammed earth walls be curved?

Yes, it just depends on the shape of the formwork. It may cost a little extra to have special formwork made up if it is different to our stock formwork.

Will you design a rammed earth home for me that incorporates my ideas and specific needs?

Yes! Olnee Constructions will help you in any way we can to make your project the best it can be while keeping stress and hassles to a minimum!

Will you build my designer’s / architect’s plans?

We have a variety of architects and builders we work closely with but we are always happy to work with other designers and architectural plans.

Can we see some of the rammed earth walls of the finished places you’ve built?

Yes, Please call our office to arrange a time (03 9551 5149).

How long do rammed earth walls last?

Rammed earth walls date back 6000 years. There are numerous examples of rammed earth walls, such as The Great Wall of China, Egypt’s Pyramids and the first house ever built in Australia.

If you have a question about rammed earth or about Olnee that’s not answered by these FAQs, please send us a message.

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East Brighton, Melbourne, rammed earth project