Rammed Earth House
This house is beautiful – from the inside out. Outside, the unpretentious design is at home with the wooded lots, the wildflowers, and the rugged terrain of the Gatineau Park. The deep-plum tones of the rammed earth walls are both stately and subtle, suggesting a strength and a one-ness with the earth that can only be achieved with this unique building material. Inside the house, the rammed earth was invite you to touch them; their undulations suggest the handcrafted nature of ramming the earth. Great care was taken in layering the colour, and in the art of bringing the ‘earth’ into the walls. And in lockstep with the aesthetics and beauty is the energy efficiency. The house is designed to optimize passive solar energy according to passive house design. Between air quality, pleasant acoustics, natural materials, warmth, lack of drafts, ample natural light, the home has an incredible liveable comfort that invites you to stay. Architects who have visited the house have remarked that, unlike many featured homes, the photos do not exaggerate its charm. Rather, being there in person is the more gratifying experience.
Our main objectives were to be the most energy efficient rammed earth house in the world, and to showcase rammed earth as a beautiful and sustainable building material. Our material innovations include a unique design adaptations of rammed earth for northern climates allowed for the elimination of nearly all thermal bridges anywhere. The house is also solar optimized — we used a passive solar design, where building faces perfectly to true south, and has large triple-gaze Austrian windows which capture the sun in winter. The deep roof overhangs to shield that block out the summer sun. The large roof has a 9:12 pitch which is optimized for photovoltaic at this latitude.