Finalist of the Terra Award 2016, this earth house in Spain follows vernacular architecture principles and helps to re-link human to nature and to build a more sustainable architecture.
The Rammed Earth House is one of the finalists of the Terra Award 2016. This house attempts to awaken the interest of the community and the curiosity about this type of sustainable buildings that are strongly linked to the territory, the Aragona region in Spain. The project has been inspired by old local earthen buildings regarding their orientation, morphology and the use of local materials.
Technical improvements, as adding straw to the mixture to improve thermal behavior, have been applied to the traditional rammed earth technique. It’s also been applied an awareness choice of low tech, low energy and low impact materials and building systems. The 80% of the building’s weight, composed by earth, stone and straw, is local. A life cycle analysis (cradle to gate) has shown a 50% reduction of CO2 emissions.
Upper floors are built in 45cm thick earthen walls and timber decks support the housing spaces. The interior and exterior lime plaster was built using the “calicostrado” vernacular technique. Wooden work form used was a standardized system and was mounted continuous and simultaneously fitting it immediately before the filling. The construction process was mechanized to improve execution and economical performance.
Coverings of interior partitions were made by local clay plasters. Swan timber floors were unidirectional and the beam fillings were made by pine wooden planks. The roof is isolated with 20cm of sheep’s wool in order to avoid thermal loss during winter and overheating in summer. Inner wooden floors are isolated with natural cork boards.
South windows have heavy interior curtains and roller exterior wooden shutters to manage shadows. A cistern for reutilization of rain water is buried in the patio. A biomass heating boiler heats the house and produces the hot water needed. This modern earth house follows efficient vernacular architecture principles and helps to re-link human to nature once again and to build a more sustainable architecture.
Rammed Hearth House, Ayerbe, Spain
Typology: single-family house
Architect: Angels Castellarnau Visus (Edra arquitectura km0)
Clients: Alejandro Ascaso Sarasa, Angels Castellarnau Visus
Contractor: Construcciones Salinero S.L.
Area: 276 smq