Swoon

This Earth-inspired project by Tres Birds Workshop is a 7,000 sf private artist’s residency that uses 100% renewable resources, demonstrating fossil-free potential of the built environment. Four vertical geothermal wells were installed to transfer the Earth’s energy to the building’s heating and cooling system. A solar electric roof on the carport generates energy for interior LED lighting and electricity. To test the energy efficiency of the structure, a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) was performed, ranking it in the 74th percentile and exceeding code requirements by three times.

The structure was built using 200 tons of rammed Earth, a composite of regional dirt and pigments, compressed into 30” thick walls. This adds significant thermal mass to the building’s whole, optimal for temperature regulation. Bearing the structural load, these dense walls allow the space to exist free from obstructions, ideal for a simplified interior and exhibiting artwork.

More information at tresbirds.com/SWOON

Ricola Herb Centre

The Ricola Herb Centre in Laufen (Basel), Switzerland was designed in 2012 by renowned architects Herzog & de Mueron with a facade constructed by master clay builder Martin Rauch, the building is a high-volume long building with flat roof and façade built using the rammed earth. Façade elements made of compacted local clay sourced from the Laufen valley will form Europe’s largest loam building by 2014. From spring 2014, Ricola’s herb processing activities will be entirely carried out at a single location. Distinctive features of the brand new production building are high energy efficiency and state-of-the-art green building principles.

The new building reveals many aspects of Ricola’s strong commitment to its production location in Switzerland and at home in Laufen. Its self-appointed high goals for ecology and sustainability are consistently pursued: Logistics efficiency and the sensible use of resources are at the forefront for this project. The new building will be completely constructed using loam sourced from the Laufen valley. Lehm Ton Erde Baukunst GmbH (LTE), a specialist company based in the Vorarlberg alpine region in Switzerland, manufactures the prefabricated façade elements. Production is housed in a temporary hall in the neighboring town of Zwingen where LTE practices a newly developed procedure. No elements are used other than natural and organic earth from Laufen.

More information at: [ www.lehmtonerde.at/en/projects/project.php?pID=87 | www.ricola.com/en-ch/Meta/Media/Press-releases/Ricola-Herb-Center ]

House No. 6

The Drachman Design Build Coalition, a non-profit organization at the University of Arizona’s College of Architecture + Landscape Architecture led by professor and Associate Dean, Mary Hardin, received grants from both the City of Tucson and Pima County in 2007 to fund the study, design and construction of affordable, sustainable homes for low-income families in south Tucson’s Barrio San Antonio. More at Archinect…

Rammed Earthenware

The Rammed Earthenware collection by the Japanese design collective, Bril, is made from a combination of soil in various colours, sand, lime and water. The mixture is poured into a mould and rammed with three wooden sticks, each with a different shaped tip, until it becomes hard.

Rammed Earthenware by Bril from Dezeen on Vimeo.

[ More at Dezeen ]

THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN / rammed earth at the BIENNALE DI VENEZIA 2012

There is nothing new under the sun is an installation comprised of rammed earth and created for the 2012 Venice Biennial. The installation was done within the collateral event, “Traces of Century and Future Steps”, organised and curated by artist Rene Rietmeyer (head of the Global Art Affairs Foundation) and hosted at the Palazzo Bembo just next to the Rialto bridge. The architects Estudio Altiplano, from Bogota, Colombia, were given a space at the fourth floor of a 15th century palace to install the work—a performance piece that consisted of hoisting 3.5 tons of earth into the small chamber then compacting it into a solid rammed earth object. The work engaged many participants, simultaneously a demonstration in the process of fabricating allowing a discussion to emerge about topics of tradition, contemporaneity, territory and the built environment.

The installation formally suggests to the observer how architecture depends on matter in the form of territory, energy and resources. Earth was used to demonstrate how earth is a basic building material used all over the world and that traditional building techinques necessarily depend on oral tradition or transformation of knowledge to evolve and survive. Additionally, the use of earth demonstrated the plastic notion that conjures the act of subtracting compacted earth from the ground to mold it into new shapes without interfering in its material capacities. A continued discussion surrounding the project continues at http://www.rammedweb.com/

Saint Bartholomew’s Chapel

Saint Bartholomew’s Chapel, by Kevin deFreitas Architects, is located in the picturesque back country of northern San Diego County at the base of Mt. Palomar alongside the San Luis Rey River. A very small and intimate historic chapel was destroyed by wild fires that ravaged the reservation in late 2007 and only the original adobe bell tower survived, which became the anchor element in the redesign planning of the new church. The needs of the current congregation and community had changed quite a bit in the past 100 years. Though the fire destroyed a building that hosted many, many important events and celebrations, it also presented a “blank slate” opportunity to update the facility, primarily by doubling the seating capacity.

[ More at ArchDaily.com ]

The Hinterland House

The Hinterland House by http://www.morrispartnership.com.au/ is a rammed earth house designed to be in harmony with the Australian bush. No fences, screens or garden areas were incorporated to insure as little disturbance as possible to surrounding inhabitants. The local animal and plant life can continue to roam as freely as before the structure was built.

Along with rammed earth, the material palette includes spotted gum, rough recycled timber, concrete floors, corten steel and zincalume. Building environmental features include the earthen thermal mass, double glazing, shading and cross ventilation that mitigates against the need for air conditioning. Sustainability solutions include the use of worm farm waste treatment, solar heating and hot water, and the cellar pantry drawing cooled air through an underground chamber.

The Hinterland House program includes:

· Living/dining/kitchen core
· Clients’ separate bedroom suite
· Separate studio & study
· Separate guest accommodation