4-Square
Quadruplex units constructed of rammed-earth walls and other indigenous materials provide a secure domicile for individuals to sleep and cook.

Solution

Rammed-earth construction utilizes local materials and labor to construct housing units for individuals and families. Rammed-earth construction uses soil mixed with concrete for the walls and will easily last 50 years, per programmatic requirements. Floors will be of compressed earth. Forms are re-useable and the cost is spread over multiple units. Roofs are constructed of locally available materials such as metal, tile, thatch, or wood. Foundation will be of rammed earth surrounded by a moisture barrier, or crushed rock or brick, depending on what is available locally.

A central core supplies power and water to each unit. Shared walls reduce the cost per unit of construction.

Personalization of the walls can be done via finish materials and insertion of small objects in the formwork to create relief in the surface, a la the Watts Towers. 

Thick walls provide thermal mass for regulating interior air temperature. A thermal break separates the interior walls from the exterior walls and the interior slab from the exterior wall foundations. 

A high window/vent allows for ventilation. In hot climates, the roofs will be extended to shade more of the structure. In cold climates, the roof overhangs are limited to allow for direct radiation from the sun. 

Units can be joined for families. 

(Note: 24 May 2011: Previous modifications have been submitted as a new idea (4 Community) focusing on community organization.)


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