Tenant Spotlight: Rammed Earth Solutions

11 September 2019 - Rachana Khatri

Narayan Acharaya has been a part of the Nepal Communitere community since 2015. You can find him in one of our container offices, doing important work for Rammed Earth Solutions, a company he co-founded. Narayan’s dedication and drive and goal to see sustainable environmentally friendly buildings become more common inspires us to also be sustainability-minded here at Nepal Communitere. 

Rammed Earth Solutions uses a technique called rammed earth construction where building materials are natural sourced, and in most cases are excavated from the site. The primary materials for the walls and foundation of the house are subsoil, gravel, chalk, clay, lime and others, which are raw earth components. The reason the materials are sourced very locally is to cut back on fuel and energy consumption early in the construction stage. The raw materials are turned into a mixture, which is then made dense and compact. These dense and compact bricks or units are turned into rammed earth walls, which is typically 15 to 18 inches thick. 

The walls are solid and can withstand most earthquakes, and are also fire-proof and pest-proof. Because of the density of the walls, it can also store heat energy. This type of insulation for the indoors keeps the temperature inside warm and comfortable. The rammed earth homes are energy efficient as they require almost no consumption of energy to run heating and or cooling systems, since it is done naturally. While they do require protection and maintenance, as all  houses do, the walls are non- combustible, strong, and durable. 

Narayan has over four years of experience project managing sustainable building projects, which includes the construction of the first eco-friendly rammed earth and bamboo home in Nepal. He gives trainings about rammed earth to architects and engineers, and also students of various colleges in Nepal. He has also coordinated research on agroforestry and beekeeping, has been producing his own honey for the last 15 years, and has done grassroots development work in the area for almost a decade now. 

Narayan, who has been passionate about the environment and has been active in grassroots organizing for the environment, on Rammed Earth Solutions: “When I began learning about rammed earth, my focus was on providing a healthy future for my family, using local materials whilst being as sustainable as possible and respecting the environment. Everyday I see brick factories producing smoke around Kathmandu valley, this does a lot of damage through pollution. People use too many resources and don’t recycle things, and this is something I would like to help change.”