The Permaculture Podcast

    1909 – Essential Rammed Earth Construction with Tim Krahn

    My guest today is Tim Krahn, a Canadian engineer, builder, and author of Essential Rammed Earth Construction from New Society Publishers.


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    Tim joins me to share his thoughts and experiences with rammed earth as a natural building method. This includes the distinction between raw and stabilized rammed earth and how rammed earth can reduce the amount of cement required for a long-lasting wall. Tim also gives an estimate of the price difference between stick-built walls and professionally installed rammed earth, while acknowledges that natural building is a growing but still niche field. We close with a discussion of the importance of valuing our time when considering the cost of erecting a building or other project to come to the real price for any of our work.

    You can find his book, Essential Rammed Earth Construction at Below you’ll also find links to the earlier interviews from the Essential series and natural building, including the conversations with Bob Theis who we mentioned in this episode.

    I’m giving away a copy of Tim’s Essential Rammed Earth Construction, a $40 value, here on Patreon.  That giveaway runs from March 28 to April 8, so leave a comment today and all you need to do is enter a comment in that post.

    Enter the Essential Rammed Earth Construction Giveaway

    As Tim works full-time as a professional engineer, the best place to find his thoughts and knowledge about Rammed Earth are in this interview and his book. If you do have any questions for him, please forward those to me here at the show, and I can send them to Tim for a follow-up interview.

    What I love about natural building, which Tim reinforces in this interview, is the flexibility and forgiveness of the materials and techniques compared to stick-built homes. Whether stacking earthbags for a dome, filling tires for an Earthship, or ramming earth for a wall, at many steps along the way we can put things up and tear them down again, trying different ideas and learning as we go. Though the costs may be more expensive when we account for our time, we can learn a lot along the way about what satisfies our physical or aesthetic needs.

    By being involved in the process, we become connected to the spaces we build and what it means to inhabit a place.

    What do you think of natural building? What techniques and materials have you used where you are? I’d love to hear more about your projects and accomplishments.

    Call: 717-827-6266

    The Permaculture Podcast
    P.O. Box 16
    Dauphin, PA 17018

    From here the next interview is an interview with Kevin Jones, recorded by co-host David Bilbrey.

    Until the next time, consider all the natural techniques you can use to design and build the world you want to live in while taking care of Earth, yourself and each other.

    Natural Building Interview
    Essential Rammed Earth Construction

    Natural Building and Design with Bob Theis
    More Natural Building with Bob Theis

    Rob Avis on the Essential of Rainwater Harvesting
    Essential Earthbag Construction with Kelly Hart

    The Mudgirls Natural Building Collective
    Natural Building, Community, and Opportunity with Clare Kenny of The Mudgirls
    Natural Building and with Eric Puro
    Natural Building with Cliff Davis
    Natural Swimming Pools with Eddy Garcia

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