Nicholas Backer

Nicholas Backer

State College, PA, US


Rammed Earth Research and Development

A residential project with a research twist: this is a house built with rammed earth construction utilizing the finished product as both a cladding system and a means to adhere a secondary cladding system of batten boards to break up the facade.

The interior walls are all constructed of 4" thick earthstone meaning that every interior wall on the first level can be a bearing wall.  The wall system is constructed with two 6" thick rammed earth walls sandwiching a 1" thick rigid insulation board to help regulate the thermal mass of the earthstone. 

The exterior walls provide an amazing amount of bearing capacity while also acting as a natural air filter, humidity regulator, thermal regulator. Construction costs are offset by being able to use the soil at the site removing the need for dirt hauling and transportation of materials.

Presently the only factor that contributes to the overall cost the most is the labor involved. However, as the methods of rammed earth construction are similar in theory to concrete construction, this barrier should be able to be lowered significantly with more expertise.

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: State College, PA, US
My Role: Lead Designer