Sustainable Design Group
Pioneers in high performance homes since 1973
western md earth home

Brookville, MD Earth Home

The Brookville Earth Home is a 2750 square foot home with a full basement, 3 ½ baths and a 650 square foot apartment above the garage. This is a passive solar heated and naturally cooled home. The living room, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom and one child’s bedroom are all on the south side of the home. Large windows and skylights allow the sun to heat the building in the winter. A trellis shades the windows in the summer and the skylights open to provide natural ventilation.

The walls are made from compressed earth bricks made on site from the soil from the excavation. See the video (Link to the video page) The walls are insulated on the outside with 4” of foam and covered with stucco. The earth walls absorb the solar heat on winter days and provide heat to the building at night. In the summer, the earth walls stay cool like a basement, reducing the need for AC.

Rainwater is collected from the roof and stored in a large underground tank for use in the home. A geothermal heat pump provides heating through a radiant floor and cooling. An energy recovery ventilation system provides continuous fresh air which is tempered by the exhaust air to reduce the energy loss. Energy efficient lighting and appliances keep the electricity use low and all non toxic materials keep the indoor environment healthy. A solar PV system will provide the electricity for the home.