Glendale Childcare Center

Located in Glendale, California, the 23,000 square-foot childcare facility, designed by Marmol Radziner, accommodates 236 children between infant and Pre-K ages. The complex is the first LEED Gold Certified building in Glendale, and is the largest rammed earth building in Southern California. The sustainable strategies incorporated into the building, including photovoltaic panel canopies and structural rammed earth walls, are key visual and tactile elements in the design, emphasizing the facility as both a learning environment and an educational tool.

The Terra [In]cognita Project

The Terra [In]cognita (Earthen architecture in Europe) project was created to raise public awareness of the heritage and contemporary application of earthen architecture through the Outstanding Earth Architecture in Europe Award in the following categories:

  • Buildings with archaeological, historical or architectural interest
  • Buildings s subjects of a remarkable and relevant intervention (restoration, rehabilitation or extension)
  • Buildings constructed after 1970
  • View the Terra [In]cognita Project here.

Windcatcher House

The Begay home is Design Build Bluff’s first project since opening the door to more universities. The students of architecture of the University of Colorado Denver designed a home that responds to a sustainable ethos by using local clay and soils for rammed earth walls and compressed brick for a wind catching chimney which cools the temperature inside during the high summer temperatures. The Windcatcher House, which is totally off-grid and harvests all its water, features an innovative wind tower designed to capture the wind to cool the house.

The Windcatcher House includes local clay for its hand-built compressed brick, as well as the south- and east-facing wall facades. Thermal mass cools the home during the hot, dry summers, and soaks up heat during the very frigid winters. Rainwater is collected from the adjacent carport’s roof and gets reused for the garden.

As with all Navajo Nation homes, this house is nowhere near a power grid, which makes relying on the surrounding earth even more useful and important. The Begays don’t have a car, so they plan to use the carport for an animal barn.

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Announcement of PhD Position in Rammed Earth

The School of Civil and Resource Engineering of the University of Western Australia has a PhD position available for the following PhD project:


The significance of this project lies in recognition of the economic, environmental and social benefits of rammed earth as a construction material in Australian remote communities, and addresses the lack of a proper Australian Standards code supporting its wide-spread use. Qualitative and quantitative characterisation of the material and structural properties of rammed earth will be done through a comprehensive program of laboratory and industry-supported on-site experimental tests. The project will result in a first ever “Proposal Form for Standards Development” for rammed earth structures, to be submitted to Standards Australia. The findings will significantly improve cost effectiveness and safety of rammed earth structures in Australia.

For more information download the position brief here.

EARTHWORKS: International Summer School

EARTH WORKS: International Summer School will take place September 1st – 18th, 2010 in Gmunden, Upper Austria. Instructed by Martin Rauch and Anna Heringer, the aim of the summer program is to acquire intensive hands-on experience and to gain application-oriented knowledge in buiding with earth to associate this timeless material to innovative architecture. The central focus in to obtain practical experience and to learn by doing.

The program is jointly organized by BASEhabitat, the Technical University Munich , CRATerre-ENSAG and the UIA. Closing date for application: 28th of June 2010. For further information and online-application, please visit

Ma Terre Première Pour Construire Demain

Ma Terre Première Pour Construire Demain is an exhibition on earth raw as a building material as it pertains to environmental, economic and aesthetic of today and tomorrow. The first exhibition of this magnitude on the subject, Ma Terre Première Pour Construire Demain reveals the full potential of this granular material found in geology, physics, architecture and art. The exhibition was produced in collaboration with the research laboratory of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Grenoble, CRATerre. Ma Terre Première Pour Construire Demain is co-produced with four regional agencies as the host in turn until 2013: The Flying Strasbourg, the Science Forum Villeneuve d’Ascq, the Pont du Gard and Confluence Museum in Lyon.


Mumemo is a blog about a training course carried out in Mumemo (Maputo, Mozambique) on earth construction by two Portuguese architects, Miguel Mendes and Teresa Beirao, during May and August 2006. The project was created for the inhabitants of a new village, created as a resettlement for the victims of the massive floods in the year 2000. The course gave students a wide and solid knowledge about earthen construction and three main techniques (rammed earth, adobe, compressed earth blocs) as well as provided them with the ability to direct similar courses in other communities. During the course, a small 50m2 house was built.