“Rammed Earth House”—named after its rammed earth walls throughout—was Steffen Welsch Architects’ first project in which environmentally sustainable design principles were applied.
Located in the northeast of Victoria in Australia, the house—oriented for passive solar with careful arrangement for cross-ventilation—generates all of its own energy and captures all of its own water.
The architects’ mission was to create a simple and compact home with a butterfly roof capable of holding solar panels and collecting rainwater. They used prefabricated roof elements, which made the ingenious home’s construction easier and quicker, while also allowing for large column free ceilings.
All of the water needed for the home is stored in a 110,000-liter rainwater tank, and the photovoltaics generate all the energy. Windows are positioned for cross ventilation, eliminating the need for air conditioning in the summer, and in the winter, only a single heater is needed, as the thermal mass of the walls helps to maintain a relatively constant temp inside.
The interior of the house was furnished simply to meet the clients’ budget, adorned with streaming light and uncluttered natural beauty and elegance.
With Rammed Earth House, Steffen Welsch Architects have achieved an admirable balance between being innovative, cost efficient and environmentally sustainable.
Photographs and details courtesy of Inhabitat