Here’s a very cool “earth covered” (also “earth sheltered”) home in Western Maryland built by homeowners who wanted to reduce their carbon footprint. By cutting out a wedge from a hillside, homeowners Phil and Lisa ensured that their home was largely protected by the elements–even with minus 10 degrees F temperatures outdoors, the home’s earth-protected walls are only exposed to a steady 50 degrees F, greatly reducing heat loss and heating costs.
The home was also situated in such a way that the southern-facing exposed (and windowed) side saw little direct heat gain from the summer sun, while in the winter the windows take more direct sunlight due to a more southerly rising sun. Homeowner Phil even designed a CAD program to illustrate the differences in sun exposure between the two seasons.
What’s more, Phil and Lisa share oodles of information about the current energy efficiency and consumption of their home, thanks to an intricate Web Energy Logger (which any homeowner with similar energy-saving goals can purchase). You can watch the real time monitoring of the home’s HVAC system on their website.
I’m impressed. This couple had a goal to live in a more energy-efficient home, and they did it. Now they’re sharing their adventure with the world. Kudos to Lisa and Phil. Let’s hope more folks out there seek to live in a similar fashion.