A cool cave for the caveless
Having just come through the NE floods of 2011, gabions came to mind for a winery, not origional, big famous one on the west coast.
However, it's using Stainless Steel mesh, ekkkkk, expensive, and it's alot drier out there.
I see problems using gabions in buildings, as well potential:
Low skilled labor
Little supervision needed
Longevity, to say the least
High mass for thermal dampening
As close to a cave as you're going to get
Mesh rusts, structure fails
Animals, insects, reptiles, and mold colonizing rock matrix
You don't just dump rock into a gabion basket with big old payloader
First you sort out the flat faced rock, then you manually place it against the faces
Then you carefully load rock in making sure the outer facing remains intact as rock is dumped in
Overall, gabions are cheaper than reinforced concrete walls, but are not cheap
Finally, a HUGE foundation below frost line to hold it all up
4 inch foam inside gabion baskets and held off exterior surface = insulates and allows machine dumping of rock, gravel, and if the budget allows, pumping concrete into the gabion baskets.
1 inch mesh performing the same task for the inner gabion basket surface
Rebare wired to gabion baskets creating a huge above grade beam
Frost proof shallow foundation (FPSF) cuts footing to a thick slab
Shotcrete for inside and outside faces protect wire
They are a start up, money is tight, the future unknown.
A building that is as cheap as a pre-fab metal barn, which eliminates most standard construction.
Architecural / Program issues for the client to consider:
Image, Image, Image
It's a world of imagery,
A steel barn wont't impress customers
A steel barn dosen't set them apart from competition
Work enviornment - a steel barn dosen't cut it, a start up is tough enough, don't need to burden it with a dull enviornment.
Thermals should emulate the ideal for a winery, a cave, not a metal garage that no matter how insulated, is going to inheritently be fighting thermal swing all the time.