CSIRO Building, Construction and Engineering
The pisé or rammed-earth method of wall construction consists of ramming suitable moistened sandy loam between shutters. The dense, hard walls thus obtained are somewhat similar in appearance to walls of soft sandstone.
Designs for earth-wall buildings closely resemble those commonly used for other forms of construction. However, certain peculiarities of the materials should be taken into consideration, particularly the low lateral strength of earth, a factor which dictates not only the minimum thicknesses of walls, but also the minimum widths of piers between openings for windows and doors.
The following notes briefly outline the methods of construction recommended as a result of investigation, experiment and test to eliminate the risk of failure and reduce the labour factor to a minimum. Careful site organisation is essential in order to achieve economical earth-wall structures. Since labour is the principal factor affecting costs, any building time that is non-productive owing to lack of foresight in planning the work, or to any other cause, will inevitably result in an excessive rise in the cost of the work. For greater detail, refer to BTF 06 Earth-wall Construction.