Tire walls are made by laying tires in staggered courses like bricks or concrete blocks. Each tire is filled with compacted earth, so that it becomes a rammed earth brick encased in steel belted rubber, about 95% compacted.
A pounded tire weighs over 300 pounds, therefore, all tires are pounded in place and are NOT moved after the tire is fully pounded and leveled.
The tires are set on leveled undisturbed ground and pounded in place using a sledge hammer. Each tire takes about three or four wheel-barrows of dirt. The tires are pounded level in all directions.
Scrap cardboard or empty cement bags are used to fill in the holes in the tires and make them temporarily contain the earth on all courses other than the first course which is flat on the ground and plastic is used. The first course gets a double layer of 6 mil plastic in the bottom of each tire. Since both sides of the tire wall will eventually be buried or covered by plaster, the cardboard could decompose without affecting the rammed- earth.
Tire Building Code
Important: If any building concept is used but not executed competently with appropriate respect for and understanding of the nature of the material, an unsafe building can be the result. This is true of any building technique. This is why we have building inspectors. These building inspectors have a code (the Uniform Building Code – UBC) to follow.
This code provides criteria for an inspector to relate to in determining whether a particular building technique is being executed safely or not.
The purpose of a Tire Wall building code for bearing and retaining walls made from rammed earth encased in steel-belted rubber tires is to provide that same kind of criteria for an inspector to relate to in determining whether a tire building is being executed safely or not.
Any building technique can be executed in a competent manner or an incompetent manner. Tire bearing walls and peripheral details are no exception. The Tire Wall building code is aimed at both the inspector and the builders as a clear simple presentation of tire construction standards (“Do’s and Don’ts) that must be followed to insure a successful, safe, comfortable and structurally sound building.
A thorough presentation of the standards for bearing and retaining walls made with rammed earth encased in steel-belted rubber will be used as a guide to those whose job it is to inspect tire buildings for structural integrity, safety and quality.