Allan Shope has sent us images of his incredible carbon neutral, solar-powered earth-bermed house in upstate New York. First featured on Bob Vila's TV show, the house is cradled by the earth to ensure comfortable indoor temperatures come rain or snow, and it boasts an exciting selection of all-recycled building materials. But that's not all. Pushing the limits of his own former practice, Shope installed a rooftop photovoltaic array that emits nary a heat-trapping gas into our fragile atmosphere.
Shope explains that earth-bermed houses are the most energetically efficient since they maintain the ambient temperature of the earth regardless of air temperature, so that it requires less energy to heat and cool them. They don’t receive a lot of light or ventilation, however, but Shope has compensated for these constraints with tall glazed windows and a air exchanger on the roof.
Here’s what is so exciting about this house: everything is recycled. The roof is made from melted down copper plumbing, the facade is made from recycled metal sheets from a nearby factory and the timber framing and interior slabs are comprised of black cherry trees harvested, treated, and sawn onsite. This means that virtually no carbon miles are associated with this attractive construction. Naturally not everybody can afford to build a home quite like this, but at the very list, Shope demonstrates that there are many ways to build a great green house!
All images via Durston Saylor