Skip Nav
What Really Happens After You're Cast on Fixer Upper
House Tour
You're Not Dreaming: Ellen DeGeneres's Fairy-Tale Estate Just Hit the Market
Personal Essay
What I Wish I Had Known Before Becoming a Landlord

In the News: Rammed Earth Construction Gets Updated

From adobe to cob masonry, people all over the world have built with earthen materials to create their homes. Now, one form of earth building — rammed earth — has been given a technological update. In the San Francisco Chronicle article "Sonoma Couple's House Shows Mexican influence," husband and wife Bruce Needleman and Edna Hayes recount the process of building their beautiful earthen home.

The rammed earth building technique, which entails pounding layers of soil, mixed with a small amount of cement, into molds, has been around for literally thousands of years: Pliny, who wrote before the Common Era, recounts Hannibal seeing rammed earth towers in Spain. However, this ancient building technique is perfectly at home in the modern world.

To find out how the Hayes-Needleman's home used an update of rammed earth,


The Hayes-Needleman house used an update of rammed earth developed by David Easton. This technique is called PISÉ, or Pneumatically Impacted Stabilized Earth. PISÉ utilizes a new type of mold, which is a quick-lock form that cuts down the time needed for the building process. In PISÉ, a cement, water, and earth mixture is sprayed through hoses into the forms, and a wall of two- to three-feet high can be constructed in about an hour.

The Hayes-Needleman's house, which utilized this method, is a gorgeous, Mexican-influenced 3,600-square-foot house. It features terracotta roof tiles, lavender and cacti landscaping, a tranquil pool and courtyard, and two-foot-thick walls that make heating and cooling the house a breeze. In fact, even in hot Sonoma county, this house doesn't require air conditioning. Read the entire article to find out more.




Around The Web
Join The Conversation
Michelle Kaufmann Designs Closing Doors
In the News: Country Living Forges Ahead
In the News: Celebs Losing Big Bucks on Their Dubai Digs
International Chair Design Competition Looking For Entries
In the News: Versace Launches New Home E-Boutique
In the News: Gaetano Pesce Wins Design Prize
In the News: Cabins Go Green

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Home & Garden
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds