Rammed Earth House

The owners moved to retirement in this new house at Wantiool, near Junee, NSW. This design creates energy efficient summer cooling and winter warmth through the use of earth and glass.

Passive solar design features include the rammed earth (pise) walls, a polystyrene pod insulated floor slab, heavily insulated roof and northern glazed living areas. The floor and walls act as a heat bank, re-radiating warmth into the interior through colder periods. The concrete slab floor reveals a special mix of river gravels and mineral oxides which are machine polished and varnished. The interior maximises views over the valley below. It blends the polished concrete floor with earth wall tones and a rich variety of joinery timbers: Tasmanian oak ceilings, blackwood kitchen, cedar doors and windows, and west Australian kiauri trim.

The fires that swept through Junee in early 2005 destroyed all of the surrounding countryside, but the house survived, testament to the fire-resisting qualities of earth stabilised construction.