Offers design and construction of thermal mass homes, incorporating passive solar design and other energy efficient features. Our services include General Contracting, Construction Management, and Sub-Contracting, specializing in Cast Earth, Concrete and Rammed Earth Homes.
We have been in business for 30 years in Greeley, Colorado which is approx. 45-60 miles north of Denver.
Building with Earth
Half of the worlds humans inhabit shelters made of earth. Earth is an abundant and viable building material used by humans since our early ancestors began making primitive permanent shelters with earthen walls. Over the millennia man has learned to use earth as a medium for building vast structures including churches, temples and mosques. Utilizing today's technology we have improved earth building dramatically and begun a revolution in the way homes and buildings are constructed and perceived.
What is an "Earth Home"?
When we speak of an "Earth Home" we're referring to homes built with thick, earthen walls (as opposed to earth sheltered or underground homes.) These homes fall into four basic categories: Adobe, Rammed Earth, Cast Earth and Concrete.
Adobe construction uses mud bricks which have been dried in the sun, and then are stacked and stuccoed to form walls. Adobe homes are prevalent in the American southwest and are known for being "cool in the summer and warm in the winter."
Rammed Earth walls are constructed by erecting forms similar to concrete forms and then compacting or "ramming" layers of moist soil into them. The soil mix is augmented with cement to serve as a binder. The forms can be removed immediately after ramming. The result is a wall of immense strength with a finished appearance similar to sandstone.
Cast Earth is a new innovation which consists of mixing earth, water, calcined gypsum and a retarding agent into a pourable slurry which is then "Cast" into wall forms. The mixture is fast setting, and virtually non shrinking, yielding a finished wall of immense strength with a "feel" of comfort and beauty. Due to the proprietary nature of this product it must be supplied by a trained and licensed Cast Earth Builder.
Concrete walls are thicker (1 ft plus) with 2" foam insulation in the center of wall. The Concrete is dyed with our special technique. The walls are generally the finished look for the exterior and interior of the home. ( Although they may be plastered/textured/painted if desired.) This method allows us to set the home back into the hillside "bermed" and tie into the stable temperatures in the earth.