Pneumatically Impacted Stabilized Earth (PISE) utilizes one-sided formwork and a high pressure application method. Trained crews can complete up to 1,200 sq ft of 18″ thick walls in one day. Cement is mixed with earth (preferably from the site) and shot against a flat form, cut on one side and left to set.  When the flat plywood form is removed and saved for re-use, the result is a beautiful, finished, natural earth wall with the color and feel of the native soil. The benefits in this technique include thermal mass and the use of local materials.

The rebound that is collected from the off-spray is compacted like rammed earth into large blocks that are later used for landscaping. There is hardly any waste with this building method. Whatever waste there is returns to the earth.

“There is a certain magic to living in buildings with thick earth walls…It’s quiet, feels somehow incredibly solid and sturdy…timeless even.” – The Rammed Earth House by David Easton

Rammed Earth Method, like PISE, employs a mixture of earth and cement, but the mixture is compacted in two-sided forms. Using local materials with a minimal carbon footprint, combined with steel reinforcement, we create beautiful structural walls. These walls provide thermal mass, stabilize interior temperatures, providing heat in the winter and keeping the home cool in the summer. The finish texture is smoother than PISE and rammed earth walls have more of the look and “grain” of ancient sedimentary sandstone. Once the walls are completed, the wood form materials are used for roof sheathing to conserve materials.

For more information on either of the techniques, please contact Paul Rose at paulr@semmesco.com..

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