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Ramming it home! Beachlands couple Joel and Rochelle Payne are in the middle of a three-year project to build a healthy, space-efficient home and target the Living Building Challenge, a certification process set up by the International Living Future Institute. As part of their effort they hosted a week-long workshop for artists from the Te Hononga-Hundertwasser Park Centre, Kawakawa, to build a rammed earth wall at the property. When Joel and Rochelle Payne’s neighbours agreed to let the couple pull down an existing boundary fence and build a new rammed earth wall they knew they were in for a huge amount of noise – not ideal with a new baby in the house. However, the neighbourly Brinkley’s happily gave the thumbs up! Subsequently, the Payne’s four-day

workshop in April during saw them and the Te Hononga-Hundertwasser artists experimenting with different colours and textures of rammed earth whilst erecting the wall. “Rammed earth walls are constructed by ramming a mixture of selected aggregates, including the likes of gravel, sand, silt, cement and a small amount of

Architect Pip Bolton (left) with Rochelle Payne.

clay, into place between flat panels called formwork,” explains Rochelle, who is a green building consultant.

the help of family and friends – the artists arrived to learn as much as possible about the construction potential of rammed earth.

“In total it took us about two weeks because first we had to pull down the existing fence and then pour new footings. Next came the 18 metres of formwork to hold the rammed earth. Once done – with

“They were absolutely great; everyone put in a huge effort and the group even presented us with an amazing carving which we put into the formwork to emboss the wall. What’s more we had loads of

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EastLife June 2018  

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