Team Rambo, also known as Ramboland, is a project born from the need of Ron Rambo, born with Cerebral Palsy, for a home that can support his disability and increase his quality of life. However, Ramboland doesn’t just stop there. LEED Fellow Max Zahniser, has used his experience with Green Architecture to combine Ron’s social vision with an environmental one that can benefit the entire community. The meeting of these objectives has been defined by the goal “to design a project that will actually increase the vitality of life and life-support systems in every way possible,” using architecture to make a difference.
The building that will result from the Ramboland project aims to be not only energy grid independent, but also water grid independent and 50% food “grid” independent. As a result of the solar panelled roof, the house is estimated to generate about 40,000kWh/year – far more energy than it consumes. Any excess energy could be shared with neighbors, as well as support the surrounding common area. In addition to this, Ramboland hopes to generate funding for an accessible electrical car that could be shared with nearby residents in wheelchairs. The building’s backyard will be an edible Permaculture garden, with the only required maintenance being to harvest all the fruits, nuts, herbs and vegetables that will be growing there.
In order for Ron to access the agricultural space, the building will contain wheelchair accessible planter beds, in addition to adjustable height furniture and appliances, a suspension system between the bedroom and bathroom, automated mechanical and electrical systems and extra wide doors. At Ron’s request, the house is designed to accommodate anyone with any type of special needs that may inhabit the house in the future, greatly exceeding ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements. These elements and objectives embody the community-oriented foundation of the Ramboland project. As they put it themselves, “it’s not just about the building.”
When it comes to the technical aspects of the building, however, there is just as much attention to sustainability and health as with the rest of the project. Nearly no new materials are being used in the construction, as almost all of the project's wood and steel elements will be sourced from reclaimed materials destined for landfills. Perhaps unexpectedly, the materials themselves will also contribute to building health; studies have shown that reclaimed materials often produce better indoor air quality, as any chemicals contained within them have been fully released over time. Obviously, this results in a far better environment for Ron’s health and comfort. By maximizing natural light and providing greenery indoors and views to the outdoors, the architecture also increases the physical, as well as the mental and emotional health of any inhabitants.
Clearly, Team Rambo is fulfilling their philosophy of extending the length and enhancing the quality of life, while reducing costs and improving sustainability. It’s no wonder that the project is so well received by the community; the architecture it looking to influence society far beyond the property line, improving the natural and social environment of the area.
You can find out more about the Ramboland project on the project website, here.