The Organ Mountains stand tall in the Eastern view of this Soledad Canyon Earth Builders masterpiece of a home. With an official HERS rating of a 36, this home beats all odds in relationship to its size. At 5,705 sq. feet of heated area (1,300 sq. ft. of it a walk-out basement) it is a testament to the benefits of building a home with a high energy efficient building envelope, efficient HVAC equipment, and Energy Star Appliances. Technically speaking it is a hybrid home. The walk-out basement and the living space above it is a ten inch frame wall, with the remainder of the home rammed earth walls. The frame walls are insulated with open cell spray foam insulation, as well, the ceilings are a spray foam insulation. With the addition of a 5 kilowatt photovoltaic system (and the local utility company paying for the energy produced by their system) the utility bills for 6 months (January-July 2013) were a total of $25.06, an average of $4.18 a month. This includes water, sewer, gas and electricity.Enjoy the beauty of this home knowing the real beauty in its contribution to a sustainable environment in our built world.
Alternative Homes – Rammed Earth
Circa 1997-98. This clip is from “A Sampler of Alternative Homes – Approaching Sustainable Architecture” by Hartworks, Inc. Our thanks to them for allowing us to share this clip of the late Mario Bellestri and Pat Bellestri-Martinez talking about building homes with Rammed Earth. The quality of the video is from 1998 when HD was not available. The methods used then are the same methods as what we use today.
La Quinta Rammed Earth Addition
Soledad Canyon Earth Builders recently completed a 750 square foot addition on an earth home built in the early 80’s. What a joy to pack so many green features into this jewel. The additional space added a main bedroom, main bathroom and a flex room (exercise/office w/washer/dryer space. In addition to the 18″ rammed earth walls, the project featured cork flooring in the bedroom (and the existing kitchen), ceramic and Talavera tile, double pane, low-e, aluminum clad/wood woods and doors, solid wood interior doors, dual flush toilet, metal roof, custom knotty pine cabinets, Air cycler, rain catchment system, and a grey water system. A model for how to go green!
A Las Cruces Home with a View of the Dona Ana Mountains
Hidden gems grace the Mesilla Valley. The Dona Ana Mountains are one of those gems. Our beautiful Organ Mountains overshadow all the other mountain ranges in the area! The Dona Ana’s are what you see out of every window to the north of this Rammed Earth home just outside of Las Cruces city limits. The simple lines of this home blend well with the simple lines of those mountains. This home is a four bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 2,550 sq. ft. with a 676 sq. ft. garage and 448 sq. ft. of portals. The 18″ rammed earth walls are the cornerstone of the quiet experience of this home. As always in a Soledad Canyon Earth Builder’s home it has quality wood/aluminum clad casement windows, open cell spray foam insulation, on demand hot water heater, water saving fixtures, along with beautiful alder wood custom cabinets. Take a look at this home and picture yourself in something like it!
Adobe Style Rammed Earth Home in Southern New Mexico
|The Organ Mountains serve as a perfect backdrop to Soledad Canyon Earth Builder’s latest creation. This 2, 727 sq. ft. rammed earth home sits on the eastern side of Las Cruces, New Mexico. We have affectionately nicknamed this home “Casa de Tierra 2010”. It is a three bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home with an open floor plan. A kiva fireplace graces the great room—it is finished with a venetian plaster. The electricity for this home is produced by Photovoltaic Panels on the roof. Enjoy the visit to the Barker’s New Mexico Home!|
Solar Powered Energy Efficient Rammed Earth Home
|The historic town of Mesilla is located next to the city of Las Cruces in Southern New Mexico. A perfect setting to create history. Soledad Canyon Earth Builders’ mission is to build homes that will be historic homes. Homes that will last through many generations. Bill Perry and Sally Williams’ home located in Mesilla will be one of these homes. The home was completed in 2006. It is situated on five acres with the all coveted view of the Organ Mountains from most rooms in the home. Construction began in 2005. It is a 3,445 square foot home with an 852 sq. ft. garage and 604 sq. ft. of portals. The home’s electrical usage is powered by the sun. Sixteen Photovoltaic solar panels are mounted on the roof of the home gathering the sun to generate electricity. Enjoy the tour—look for those 18” rammed earth walls.|
The Process of Building Rammed Earth Walls an Alternative Construction Method
|The exterior walls being constructed in this video are 18″ thick rammed earth. Rammed Earth is an age-old building technique used worldwide. Rammed earth homes and buildings built in the late 1700s and early 1800s can be found throughout the United States . Our rammed earth walls are built by tamping a mixture of soil, 3% portland cement, and a 6-10% moisture content. With a skid loader the soil is dumped into the forms. It is put in lifts of 7-8″ and is tamped down to 4-5″ with pneumatic tampers. A larger footing is required for the mass and weight. The forms can be stripped immediately, as the wall is strong enough to stand right away. For each day that passes, the wall becomes stronger. The exterior of the walls will receive layers of foam insulation, metal lath and stucco. The interior of the wall will be lathed, plastered and painted. The finished thickness of the wall will be nominally 21″ thick.|
Timeless Rammed Earth Southwestern Construction
|This home was built by Soledad Canyon Earth Builders in the exclusive golf course community of Picacho Hills in Las Cruces NM . It was custom built for clients in 2004. The exterior walls are constructed of 18″ thick rammed earth. The thickness and radius create a soft look of Santa Fe . Wood accents throughout the home create a warm southwestern atmosphere. The media room features a multiple cove ceiling. Both the ceiling and walls in the media room are finished with American Clay Plaster. This uniquely New Mexican Home truly epitomizes the term “timeless”.|
Contemporary New Mexican Rammed Earth House
|This home is of a contemporary nature. What makes it contemporary? No bullnose corners to be found in this house! All ninety degree corners-interior and exterior. No upper cabinets in the kitchen, white subway tile the whole length of the wall in the kitchen, birch and white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, concrete floors, glass interior doors, and cantilevered bathroom vanity and shelving. All this surrounded by 18? thick rammed earth walls. We like being able to show that rammed earth does not mean you have to have a pueblo style home, it means you can have the style of home you like and want, with energy efficient, sustainable walls.|
Alameda Style Rammed Earth Home New Mexico
|This particular project gave us a chance to show you another side of Soledad Canyon Earth Builders. The style of this home was not our typical southwestern/New Mexico look. We dubbed it the Alameda Style.Uniquely Alameda! With its pitched roof line, wood floors, white painted cabinets and trim it blends right into the neighborhood. Yet, its distinctive characteristics make it a stand-out addition to the neighborhood. The xeriscaped yard (the trees will grow up), the metal roof, the two car garage, and the ceramic light sconces add a fresh look to the Alameda District.|