A High Performance Rammed Earth Wall System for Cold Climates


The Casa Sanitas project has been featured in the February issue of the Journal of the National Institute of Building Sciences (JNIBS).


Buildings are responsible for more than 40 percent of global energy used, and as much as one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. As the cost of energy rises, and rapid urbanization increases, it has become imperative to take advantage of low-cost passive strategies to reduce the energy demand of buildings, improve the resiliency of local communities and contribute to a positive energy future.

Conceived as a sustainable alternative to the conventional wood-frame houses found across the Colorado Front Range, the Casa Sanitas prototype is designed to be a “positive energy home” (positive energy homes produce more energy over the course of a year than they use) and combines cost-effective, passive-design strategies that include the high thermal mass of stabilized rammed earth (SRE) walls, natural ventilation and passive solar orientation, with photovoltaic panels, solar thermal hot water and a small ground-source heat pump for radiant heating and cooling.