Design Green Design Martin Rauch Builds His Dream House (Rammed Earth, of Course) By Lloyd Alter Design Editor University of Toronto Lloyd Alter is Design Editor for Treehugger and teaches Sustainable Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Lloyd Alter Updated October 11, 2018 Migrated Image Share Twitter Pinterest Email Design Tiny Homes Architecture Interior Design Green Design Urban Design Rammed earth is great stuff. The material is literally dirt cheap, formed like concrete but without the use of CO2 producing cement. It has great thermal mass and acoustics- when your wall is up to two feet thick, nothing gets through it. Martin Rauch is one of the pros- we have shown his rammed earth fireplaces here. He worked with architect Roger Boltshauser to build his own rammed earth house. Black and white photographs from Boltshauser ArchitektenAnarchitecture writes: Earth buildings are costly in terms of labor. The silt and earthen mixture is compressed periodically in horizontal layers and compressed with air compression beaters and vibration rolls. In case of "House Rauch" 41% of the house's volume is under earth, which results in some subterranean cave-like spaces. The building's foundation is made of 60cm trass cement - the traditional roman cement, the ceilings are "Dippelbaumdecken" (beam ceilings) and the interior thermal insulation is made from rush mats, which is also a perfect underground for the finishing coat. Martin Rauch's website describes it: The house which was finished 2008 reacts in its position and in its character directly to the topographic gradient of the slim plot and its genuine landscape context: A monolithic structure becomes a sculptural bloc, an abstract and artificial nature pressed upward from the underlying earth. Through this process the technique of solid rammed earth walls becomes the result of the wish to build a house exclusively with ecological materials. The construction shows, because of the planning cooperation with Roger Boltshauser and the resulting construction of the house through the constructor and earthen structure craftsman Martin Rauch, a consistently experimental approach.