Alabama Rammed Earth




Designed by former students of the Rural Studio, this rammed earth house in Greensboro, Alabama has several interesting features. The walls of the house are not load-baring. The roof is supported by steel columns at the corners and the earth wall slides upwards between two steel beams on which the rafters sit. The floor is constructed with what seem to be foam sandwiched plywood flooring on large steel joists.

WPA Earth Buildings

It is often forgotten that when the United States was dealing with the economic depression of the 1930’s, the federal government sponsored adobe home-building project in several locations across the country. One outstanding example was at Bosque Farms, a small farming community a few miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The community was established to help relocate farm families devastated by the droughts that created the “Great Dust Bowl” of northern New Mexico, west Texas and Oklahoma. The government acceptance of earth building techniques during the Great Depression years of the 1930’s was also seen in Gardendale, Alabama, where a homestead program was instituted.