I know we like to quote treehugger – but they always have such great info!
When designing a solar passive home, one of the most important features functionally is constructing the exterior walls to perform as a thermal mass to capture, store and distribute heat throughout the space. A thermal mass could be made of any material – sometimes water, sometimes concrete, and perhaps rammed earth, as discussed in this article.
We’ll need to research rammed earth further to determine whether its a good solution in the temperate climate for our little house in Indianapolis, but for the west coast of the U.S. where the climate is dry, these super thick (sometimes 2′ thick) walls seem to be a great construction solution, creating interesting designs with beautiful striated walls and happy homeowners. As a bonus, these projects are often fabricated with materials found on the site.
Here is a blog we found dedicated to rammed earth construction – there are some great photos of really beautiful walls.