Our client requested that we focus our efforts on fulfilling a lifelong dream of designing a self sufficient earth sheltered house using primarily passive heat/cool systems.

Located on a lakeside site the house nestles into the ground with earth mounded to rise up over and onto the roof.  The West face only has exposure to the elements.  Being lakeside and with a mountain backdrop the natural air flow of air to and from the lake provides an opportunity via earth tubes to ventilate the home.  As well, the site contains a creek outflow including a waterfall which will be used to provide power generation via a water driven turbine.  The sheltered house in plan comprises of public and private zones as wings emanating from a tower core.  The tower functions as a stairwell and light shaft harnessing South sunlight as well as providing a heat source by way of a trombe style wall.


The structure is of concrete walls on three faces with glulam beams and columns supporting a metal deck roof over which the roofing membrane, insulation and earth cover are laid.  The West wall is of frame construction with windows protected from the low West sunlight by stained wood sunshades.

All walls are detailed as insulated rainscreen systems.

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