This house is a contemporary version of an Earthship, an ecologically benign house type popularized in the 1970s by Mike Reynolds, founder of Earthship Biotecture. This version is similarly set into the earth, cut into a hillside facing Pike’s Peak. Because of its rural location, it relies on PVs and solar thermal energy for electricity and heat. It also has a shallow plan, south facing windows, and a finished concrete floor to maximize passive solar gains during winter months.
The curvilinear geometry of the plan and building materials are substantially different from the typical Earthship. From an energy standpoint, the project hybridizes the passive solar approach of the 70s with a modern day philosophy of maximizing insulation and ventilation. This house is under construction in the mountains west of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The original Earthships, the inspiration for this project, were bermed into the ground to take advantage of the soil’s thermal mass, had relatively thin plans with extensive glazing on the south facing facade, walls made of old tires filled with dirt, PVs, and food gardens just inside the windows. They were intended to be self-sustaining living units, free of cities and their heavy infrastructure.