- Author: Taynara Ferro
- Construction: Taynara Ferro
- Landscape Design : Filipe Hecht
- Quantity Surveyor: Jorge Henrique Machado
- Construction Work: Manoel
- Engineering: Fx Patologia Engenharia - Fabricio Gonzales de Rezende
- Structural Engineer: Eng. Neidival
- Installations: Jesus Filho
- City: Brasília
- Country: Brazil
Text description provided by the architects. Earth House (Casa Terra) is located at the foot of a hill in a closed condominium, Solar da Serra rural condominium, 20 km from the National Congress, in Plano Piloto, Brasília - Federal District. It was designed to be the home of the architect who designed it, with her husband, the landscaper, and two children. The construction stages, from project conception to execution, can be understood as an exercise in the techniques proposed by the architect in her own projects: more ecological and sustainable, aiming to reduce impacts on the environment.
In the search for a natural result, using earth resources, it was decided to build the walls of the house using rammed earth. This ancient technique is becoming more and more widespread at the present time. Thanks to the richness of soils and colors available in the soils of the region, 50% of the walls of the house were built with rammed earth. On the grounds of the house, it was possible to find yellow earth; in the neighborhood, red and purple earth. In addition to visual and colorful comfort, forming a kind of gradient effect, rammed earth provides thermal and acoustic benefits. Consequently, it reduces carbon emissions, which results in less polluting construction.
The place where the house was settled allowed a wide and spectacular view of the surrounding mountains, especially at the highest point, despite the challenge of building on such a sloping relief. In this way, the architect presented solutions to make the implantation viable, thus opting for a suspended structure, which allowed less movement of the earth in the place and the flow of rainwater to its natural course. Rainwater is also captured through the runoff from the slightly inclined slab and is stored for reuse in the garden and outdoor areas. Gray water (washing machine and shower water) is also reused. Blackwater (toilets) is treated through an evapotranspiration basin.
Other natural resources are used at the Earth house, such as the sun and the wind. The first keeps the house well-lit during the day, through skylights distributed throughout the roof and generous openings for windows and doors, which eliminates the need for artificial lighting until twilight. The sun is also responsible for heating the water in the bathrooms and kitchen and for keeping the water in the pool warm. The wind thanks to the cross ventilation of the house, keeps it cool and at a very pleasant temperature. Among these, other sustainable techniques were also used in this construction, such as earth paint, use of wood with reforestation certification, and reuse of demolition. All this contributes to a result that is an architecture with low environmental impact, but that does not give up the functionality, practicality, aesthetics, and comfort provided to the residents.