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By bob

On 19, Jul 2013 | In | By bob

Sustainable Living Rammed Earth Home- Stokers Siding

Sustainable living was the focus of this brief for a house design in Stokers Siding near Murwillumbah, New South Wales. Rammed Earth was the material they chose and can be used for almost any building style and still look contemporary.

With the earth for the walls mostly sourced from the local terrain, it is definitely one of the most sustainable of the “Alternate” building materials.

The house sits high on a hill overlooking Tweed Valley rural lands. The clients were very particular about the sustainability of their project, not wanting to use a concrete block base as is often the case with this type of construction.

The builder was happy and confident to have the whole structure from footings to roof to be completely formed and rammed. The bearers for the timber floors were easily bolted to the earth walls and the joists and flooring was laid straight over. Large recycled bridge timbers were used for the window lintels and posts becoming a real feature of the house and giving the project even more environmentally sustainable street credibility.

Sixty thousand litres of stored water, solar hot water and 5 kilowatts of solar power generation complete with battery bank make the owners completely “off the grid” and fully energy self sufficient.
Aluminium windows and doors were chosen for low maintenance.
The beauty of the earth wall is also in its mass. This provides the home with that quiet, muffled effect as the sounds are soaked up into the walls.

The beauty of the earth wall system is that once it is rammed, the forms are removed and the finish is complete. No painting or plastering just lay tiles wherever you need and it is done.
Using the latest in CAD software, Barefoot Building Design was able to simply and easily place all electrical switches, light fittings and plumbing in the drawings for the trades to set up all the services in the forms.

There was no need to fit after the forms were removed so the whole job was one smooth process from start to finish.