Taking cues from its flat open surrounds, the EarthWall 2 residence is as much a nod to its plane-like site as a product of it. An unabashed ground scraper, the home’s sod-covered roofline enforces the horizontality of the site while deem phasizing the 6,000-square-foot volume. Composed of Ward + Blake Architect’s patented Earth Wall post-tensioned rammed earth wall construction, the earthen walls literally rise from the soil that was used in their construction.
Transparency of design is achieved on multiple levels: Large glass elevations that open the structure to the outdoors are paired with continuous poured concrete floors that seamlessly flow from patio to interior, blurring the outside/inside distinction. An environmentally responsive design, the structure is oriented to maximize solar gain through its energy efficient windows and high-thermal mass walls.
The building’s passive solar design is coupled with other green energy features such as a ground source heat pump and super insulation that creates a energy use intensity (EUI) of 0.17, saving the Owner significant cost to heat and cool the house. Sustainable building materials such as reclaimed douglas fir used for soff its and ceilings as well as reclaimed stone for architectural detailing further enforce the client’s desire to reduce the environmental impact of the building footprint.