Down To Earth Building



Down to Earth Building is one of New Zealand’s leading rammed earth building companies, having built over 65 houses, wineries and lodges throughout the South Island.

After becoming trade qualified 27 years ago, Jimmy built conventional homes which he continues to build today. Incorporating rammed earth into the build came about when, over 20 years ago, he met the late Brent McDonald, builder/craftsman. Brent taught Jimmy the technique of building with earth.

“It is the most physical job building a rammed earth house but the product is amazing. The benefits of living in an earth house are huge”.

Seeing the project through from start to finish is more ideal and Jimmy’s understanding and experience of incorporating conventional materials with rammed earth make the build run smoothly.

Sometimes time and location put constraints on completing the whole build and Jimmy and his team are happy to come in and complete the earth component only.

It is exciting to see rammed earth being used in the contemporary home. Having a rammed earth house feature as a finalist in the 2015 Home of the year, winning the NZIA Southern Architecture Award for Housing 2015 and being a finalist in the Terra Award, First International Prize for EarthernArchitecture, is a huge step forward for rammed earth. People are not so afraid of it because aesthetically it is beautiful and people are realising the huge benefits of living in a rammed earth house.

Down to Earth Building not only build rammed earth houses but conventional houses too. Their team of qualified builders all with a high level of attention to detail, ensure their clients get a home of the highest quality.

Jimmy is passionate about building quality houses. He is happy to sit down with clients and Architects from the start to ensure their vision is achieved.

Down to Earth Building is owned and operated by Jimmy and Rebecca Cotter.

The rammed earth show home is available to view. Please call to arrange a time.

Meet the team

Jimmy Cotter
Jimmy Cotter