Rammed Earth Building

We build in rammed earth because it is a sustainable and affordable way of building.  It is an alternative to brick buildings (firing bricks uses firewood and contributes to deforestation) and an alternative to building from concrete (making cement causes lots of environmental damage).

We have built and are building many buildings from rammed earth at Sam’s Training Village and are now building an office for African Vision Malawi in Njewa, a suburb of Lilongwe.  Njewa is also a demonstration site for the benefit of people who cannot travel from Lilongwe to Sam’s Village.

Both at Njewa and Sam’s Village the buildings are surrounded by permaculture gardens.

 

Read here The Story of Njewa – building an office from rammed earth – with photos:

The Story of Njewa

A borehole for a water source

  • The earth is often too hard to dig straight away and you need to soften it with water

Somewhere safe to store your equipment

  • For us, a shipping container that will become a building itself
Shipping Container for storage

Shipping Container for storage

A fence around your site

Fence around the site

Fence around the site

Digging earth

Digging earth

Digging earth

Profiling the office site

Profiling

Profiling the office building

Digging the foundations

Digging the foundations

Digging the foundations

Watering the foundation trenches with termite poison (soliginum)

Watering with termite poison

Watering with termite poison

Filling the foundations with stones

  • Stones of various sizes fit together
Fitting stones into the foundations

Fitting stones into the foundations

 

Fitting stones into the foundations

Fitting stones into the foundations

 

Topping the foundation stones with a layer of rammed earth and lime

Laying a metal sheet to prevent both damp and termites

A layer of metal to protect the walls against termites and damp

A layer of metal to protect the walls against termites and damp

Making formwork, door frames and window frames

Making door and window frames

Making door and window frames

Setting up the formwork for the walls

Setting up the formwork for the walls

Setting up the formwork for the walls

Building the walls

Building the office walls

Building the office walls

Planting trees on site

Planting trees on site

Planting trees on site

 

A banana tree at the end of the borehole runoff makes use of runoff water

A banana tree at the end of the borehole runoff channel makes use of spare water

 

Weeding the orchard

Weeding the orchard on the two acre site

Add the roof

Add the roof at Njewa

Roofing begins

 

The roof structure goes on at Njewa

The roof structure is almost complete

The roof is on

View from the north

View from the south, showing the back door and permaculture store

 

Permaculture gardens blossoming

Permaculture gardens growing well

 

The interior corridor

The interior corridor

 

The front door

The front door to the new office and the kitchen

 

The banana tree thriving on the runoff water from the borehole

The banana tree thriving on the runoff water from the borehole

 

If you would like to visit Njewa, just a 15 min drive from the centre of Lilongwe on the Mchingi Road, and see our projects in action please email us.

You can also follow progress on our Facebook page.
To donate to our projects, please click here:

Zikomo kwambiri!