House of the Week: Earth Sheltered Design



When I 1st saw a photograph of the very long facet of this setting up, I did not notice at initial that it was a home. The rectangular building has a sloped higher roof with a row of clerestory windows higher than the greenhouse’s single sloped roof underneath. When I observed the earth berm versus the rear higher concrete wall, I recognized this was a special residence that was carefully sited to include earth sheltered style concepts. I have been fascinated in earth sheltered style and design due to the fact my write-up-graduation tour with college buddies. One particular of our most unforgettable stops was Mesa Verde Park in Colorado in which we saw the popular cliff dwellers housing tucked under the substantial overhanging rocks. The historic Anasazi persons who constructed their dwellings comprehended the primary theory of earth sheltered design of employing the earth for thermal command. A framework built into the earth with its steady 55-65 degree calendar year spherical temperature wants significantly less cooling in the heat months and less heating in the cold months for important strength financial savings. 

In addition to the concrete retaining wall versus the sloped grassed berm at the north side of the household, other strength preserving features contain active photo voltaic panels on the sloped south side just one story roof. The solar panels are owned and add additional to the neighborhood energy grid than is eaten by this house with reimbursements and credits higher than the $13 regular monthly distribution charge. The south-dealing with continuous windows at the just one-story greenhouse and the higher continuous clerestory home windows provide passive solar energy. Radiant floor heating, the on-desire hot water heater and the greenhouse’s wise-opening skylights are other strength conserving capabilities.

The double entry doors open into the corridor concerning the studio of the Owner, who is a quilt artisan, and the two-automobile garage. I lingered in the studio since the two of the bedrooms in my residence have quilts from terrific-grandmothers on both sides of my relatives. I was fascinated by the lovely quilts in numerous levels of progress and how this roomy room is stuffed with mild from the tall home windows and transoms and the clerestory windows substantial over that bounce sunlight off the partitions down below. 

As I continued my tour, I seen that the “service” places of kitchen area, pantry, laundry, utility place and a hall bathroom are logically positioned from the rear berm wall. The kitchen has a present-day search with light wood cabinets, smooth components, granite counter tops, stainless metal Bosch appliances and an induction stovetop. The kitchen’s sloped ceiling rises to meet the clerestory wall  throughout the hall and is open up to the dwelling-dining place that is flooded with sunlight from the clerestory windows and the pair of French doorways with transoms amongst pairs of lengthy windows overlooking the greenhouse. The facet wall of the dwelling spot has a fireplace with its drywall chimney following to constructed-in millwork that matches the color of the wooden kitchen cabinets. The sloped ceiling adds the fantastic sum of quantity to the space. 

Walking together the corridor, I was extremely envious of both of those the huge pantry and laundry area, each of which ended up bigger than my visitor place! The a few bedrooms are located alongside the hall and are stuffed with sunlight from their exterior walls that are the rear wall of the south-experiencing greenhouse. A person visitor bedroom at the moment  capabilities as an business office with a wall of closets and pair of French doorways to the greenhouse. The two Owners’ en-suites are larger sized and equally have a pair of French doors and a double unit very long window with transoms to the greenhouse. The enclosure of the white walls and sloped ceiling to replicate the light-weight creates serene retreats for connecting to mother nature. Because the loos for each Operator suite are positioned at the interior corridor, I would be tempted to add a high window in one of the rest room partitions dealing with the bedrooms for indirect daylight. 

My most loved space in the households I attribute is typically the sunroom with wrap-all around home windows. This house’s greenhouse is virtually a sunroom filled with mild from its ceiling of good opening skylights and casement home windows that wrap all over a few sides of the space for panoramic views of the countryside. The greenhouse’s concrete ground and a spigot for watering tends to make getting treatment of plants an straightforward chore that also is helpful for pet treatment!

This exclusive Eco-friendly property was constructed in 2016 with many strength characteristics for calendar year round consolation and vitality price personal savings. The interior layout is zoned effectively with the open prepare dwelling-eating-kitchen area balanced by the non-public bedroom suites. The ‘bonus” space is the spacious 432 sf studio/workplace/loved ones place that could also be converted to a studio condominium since the space has its have exterior entrance and has been plumbed for a whole bathtub. Really intriguing property!


For more info about this house, contact Murphy O’Neill with Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Serious Estate Corporation at 410-778-0330 (o), 443-480-4275 or [email protected]. For additional shots and pricing, stop by,   “Equal Housing Chance.”

Photography by TruPlace, (301) 972-3201,

Spy Household of the Week is an ongoing sequence that selects a distinct house every single week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella tends to make these selections primarily based exclusively on her working experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her twin occupations in architecture and genuine estate given that she moved to the Jap Shore in 2004. Her award profitable get the job done has ranged from revitalization initiatives to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s company retreat in her house point out of Tennessee.


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