An installation of pre-cast rammed earth panels at the new Stadium Tech Center in Santa Clara, California. Four panels of rammed earth are stacked on top of one another, each panel 5' high by 22' long and only inches wide. The rammed earth panels were made in our factory in Napa, California and transported to the job site where they were installed on site.
This particular installation could not have been accomplished with traditional methods of monolithic rammed earth in which 18" thick walls are rammed on site - lots of material is needed and large formwork is constructed. In this case, the job site couldn't accommodate the construction of traditional monolithic rammed earth.
The team at Rammed Earth Works has continued to innovate rammed earth technology for 30 years, and the development of pre-cast rammed earth panels is one of the most exciting developments yet. It allows for installation of rammed earth in more applications, and can lead to a lowered cost.
Here are nine pre-cast rammed earth panels in our factory in Napa, California, waiting to be sawn to final dimensions and transported to the job site for final installation. A steel frame is installed on the back of each panel to use for attachment to the structural wall.
The face view of a pre-cast rammed earth panel is every bit as mesmerizing as rammed-in-place monolithic rammed earth. The engineers at Rammed Earth Works custom develop the mix designs to develop a color pallet to suit each application.
These pre-cast rammed earth panels are 3-4 inches thick and are ideal for non-structural applications for projects that don't have the available footprint for traditional on-site rammed earth walls that can often range from 18-24 inches thick. Rammed Earth Works is able to produce these panels at our factory at much higher volume than on-site installations with custom one-off formwork. Rammed Earth Works is able to take advantage of re-using formwork as well as the factory environment to speed production time.
Measuring five feet high by twenty-four feet long, each of the 3” thick panels weighs 4,200 pounds when fresh out of the mold - 3,850 pounds once the hydration water is converted. What keeps them together? Ultra high compression.
An overhead view of a panels being rammed in the form.
Each five-inch loose lift takes one minute twenty seconds to deposit into the formwork. Target density is 136 pounds per cubic foot. A Jet 2-T rammer has a tool weight of twenty-one pounds, works on 90 psi of air pressure, and has a strike rate of 700 blows per minute. To reach 97% compaction rate, the rammer travels along the twenty-four foot long wall at the same rate as the delivery conveyor - three linear feet every fifteen seconds.