40% savings: Tierra Eco Rammed Earth Office Building, LEED Gold Certification, Project Coordinator, As-Built Drawings, Katy, TX

Designed for LEED Gold certification, this unique building is setting the standards for “green” commercial construction using rammed earth. Contemporary rammed earth, built of unprocessed mineral soil, and capable of storing passive solar energy, presents an ideal building alternative for the upcoming energy challenges we must face. The structural rammed earth walls are made by compressing four key ingredients: subsoil or mineral soils, cement, gravel, and sand. Structurally sound and built with recycled reinforcing steel.

Unlike most commercial buildings, Tierra Eco Solutions incorporates a pervious walkway, triple pane glazing for windows and exterior doors, thin ¼” thick low voltage LED lighting, native plantings with a drip irrigation system, and a rainwater collection system. The roof is made from recycled aluminum shingles with galvanized gutters & downspouts, and includes a tight wall-to-wall radiant barrier.

As the owner’s representative, Architect for Life has been working closely with the owner, Tierra Eco Solutions and the General Contractor, Terracotta Builders to create an extraordinarily environmentally friendly structure.

The building also has rapidly renewable interior bamboo cabinetry, eco-stain concrete floors, water-saving plumbing fixtures, Energy Star equipment and appliances, extraordinary day lighting and designated close parking for low-fuel emitting and carpool vehicles. And, don’t forget the solar panels mounted the roof on the southwest side to power the outdoor LED wall-washing down lights.


• Saves 40% in electricity usage & costs
• Designed to resist 186 mph wind speeds
• Will not burn, catch fire, or collapse
• Termite resistant
• No allergens, mold spores, or VOCs
• Advanced thermal properties
• Low maintenance

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