Giving 'Green' a Design

Giving ‘Green’ a Design

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I’ve been an advocate for ‘green’ design since my inception into Architecture, however I have often been quite skeptical about the usefulness and its ability to adjust to our perception of homes. Every designer and client wants something different; this is typified and reliant on the building products that we use and the way they can be formed. Until recently I have thought, as better put by Curtis, “… that rammed earth defined the style of architecture. I now understand (at least with SIREWALL) that it allows us the flexibility to incorporate a variety of styles.” It’s rare that you can come across a product that is easily manipulated while also providing a clean, beautiful finish; this product is SIREWALL.


SIREWALL was developed from one of the oldest building techniques used by man – rammed earth. It is an insulated; rebar reinforced upgrade to a 9 000 year old technique. Instead of using wood frame, it uses a careful balance of clay, sand, aggregate and a touch of concrete to produce a healthy, eco-friendly and earthequake resistant construction while also providing an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

The ease at which SIREWALL can achieve environmental comfort is surprising – its high thermal mass means that temperature fluctuations are rare. The products used are non-organic so they are naturally resistant to rot, mould and pests.


It has recently been used in the VanDusen Botanical Garden as the predominant structure to the visitor centre. It’s an amazing structure that uses natural lighting, stacked ventilation and a beautifully organic design to really ear-mark Vancouver’s entry into the new ‘Green’ Era.

With environmental concerns spreading and resources dwindling – is it worth sacrificing our future for an immediate comfort? What was the Native American saying?… we don’t inherit from our parents but borrow from our children! Maybe it’s worth spending that little, for well, that little more.


Come and talk to us, and SIREWALL and Synthesis may well be able to design you the first SIREWALL dwelling on the North Shore or even in Vancouver – ‘Green’ design is not the future, it’s here now!