Rammed Earth House
5-star energy rated 5,000 sq. ft. rammed earth house. Westlake Hills, TX.
Featured on the 2004 Green Building Tour, this rammed earth house received a 5-star energy rating from the City of Austin Green Building Program and received the 2004 Austin AIA Premier Home Award. The house consists of two massive rammed earth volumes linked by a glass walled great room that acts as a breezeway or “dog trot.” This volume has a metal roof with deep overhangs to the south and a ventilating cupola at the ridge that acts as a heat chimney to encourage passive cooling when the breezes don’t blow. The two foot thick rammed earth walls are a very efficient thermal mass, and minimize the need for air conditioning. The house also has a hot water radiant heating system, photovoltaics for power, and constructed wetlands for septic. Other sustainable features include low VOC finishes, recycled content materials, Hebel air entrained concrete block wall construction (where not rammed earth) and high efficiency glazing.
Photography by Austin Energy