Small and functional rammed earth home, Ngunguru, Northland

Small, simple, sustainable and functional – Rachel and Greg’s brief was for a home with enough room for themselves and visiting guests, with minimal ongoing running costs. Modern Earth Homes produced a design that offered them a cost-effective way to build and incorporated features that reduced reliance on power for heating.

Central to the design is an open plan kitchen-living space, with sealed concrete floors to catch the sun through large, double glazed windows and ranch sliders on the north-facing side. Additional heat in winter and a cosy ambience is provided by the fireplace, behind which the rammed earth wall acts as a heat sink to store warmth.

Two en-suite bedrooms provide comfortable accommodation, and a wetroom/laundry with rustic shelving provides additional space. Outdoors, an extensive macrocarpa decking area links the house to a large, double bay, rammed earth garage. Japanese cedar weatherboards and trims complement the rammed earth walls beautifully, giving the home a cosy, natural feel.


“Love our earth home – we wouldn’t live in anything else”

“After we happened to see just one rammed earth house, we wanted to build our own. It provides a great atmosphere and feels lovely to be inside. We looked into how we would go about it, and our draughtsman recommended Sam, so we went and saw his house. Again, his house was great to touch and felt fresh inside.

Sam was great to deal with, offering suggestions and seamlessly adding any of our changes during the building process. The quality was top notch. We now live in our own earth home and we love it! You can feel the walls breathing and the temperature is warm in winter and cool in summer. We now wouldn’t live in anything else.” – Rachel and Greg

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About the

Modern Earth Homes was established in 2017 by Sam and Sandra McGregor. Sam has extensive experience with rammed earth and sustainable building methods. Over the years, he has come to love creating homes for people that are unique and represent the individuality of his clients, using natural building materials and techniques. Sam developed a passion for the solid, warm, dry nature of rammed earth and chose this method to build a beautiful home for his family.

When Sam and Sandra decided to build their own rammed earth home, they didn’t just want a home that was healthy and comfortable. They wanted to build it with minimal environmental impact, with an emphasis on natural building materials and techniques. It was through the process of building their own rammed earth home that the philosophy of Modern Earth Homes was born.