Like the adobe huts that pocked the plains of Mexico hundreds of years ago, Casa Candelaria is built with a rammed-earth technique that uses materials (i.e. soil) excavated directly from the build site. Located outside San Miguel de Allende in Mexico's highlands, the house was designed and built by Cherem Arquitectos, a local firm.
The decision to use local soil in building Casa Candelaria was based on factors beyond just the sustainability of sourcing materials that were directly underfoot. The rammed-earth material is also perfect for insulating the desert highland domicile: during the day, the 50 centimeter thick walls absorb heat, keeping it out of the house, but by the evening, the walls have gathered enough heat that they buffer the inhabitants from the cold desert night.
Casa Candelaria shows how resorting to historical techniques can improve modern attempts at sustainability.