Davidson earth berm house

Range Road, Summertown
Earth berm, rammed earth and Rapidwall house
Building and systems choices by Davidson family informed by this practice.
advanced construction 2004


Emilis Prelgauskas - design elements embodies climate responsive design, solar hws, rain water, clerestory, ventilated pantry, Mini-hydro power system grid connected, solar floor heating cycle system,


The land is a high lying steep sided gully facing metropolitan Adelaide in the Hills Face.
The house is on the north facing hillside face of the gully, serviced by a steep access track.

The building layout features the house set back into the rock hillside strata with multiple waterproofing layers including a rear services void tunnel with weep drain.
The north facing building faces have shaded glazing to main level rooms and split level upper gallery. South facing rooms have multiple glazing orientations including clerestorey.
The main level integrates outdoor clear glazed recess area for clothes drying.

Concrete floors have solar water heated space heating loops fitted.
Solar hot water is planned.
Compost toilets and grey water reed bed are planned.
Potable water includes roof waters collected in tanks, and overflow to dam fed by all-year-round spring on the land.
Dam overflows to keep creek flowing and has mini-hydro power system in dam wall.
On-site power generation is grid connect.

Construction is concrete on ground and suspended floors, and retaining walls. Rammed earth exterior main walls, Rapidwall (gypsum and glass reinforcement) hollow panels internally, insulated where exposed, sand filled internal.
Insulated steel roof decks, board ceilings over laminated main beams radiating from main steel supports.

Passive ventilation pipes for void tunnel, and pantry.
Drying cupboard around floor heating system manifold in laundry.
Laundry chute from upper level.

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