The Brittany Groundhouse: a Sophisticated Earthship
Here’s a rustic 21st century eco holiday home that offers a chance to recharge in a magical setting. Imagine driving in at night to this welcoming solar and stone cottage set in the forests of Brittany.
The Brittany Groundhouse is available for rentals from owner-builders Daren Howarth and Adi Nortje at certain times of the year. Simultaneously ancient and modern, the house takes from the past and suggests a more sustainable future.
Step outside to see the sun drum up the power to run the electrical needs of the dwelling – including handcrafted LED light fixtures that use only a tiny fraction of the energy of CFLs. The surplus is sold to the grid.
Using traditional Earthship building technologies, and with the help of a team, the pair hand-built their earth-sheltered eco home from stones and earth they found on a site that has been lived in continuously for thousands of years.
In the 1700’s there was a castle in the area surrounded by smaller stone cottages. With a team, the pair spent two years on the new incarnation of the areas buildings, gathering stones that were strewn about the property, that had been used centuries ago in the previous dwellings.
For their eco home, they recycled bottles into the walls, reused shipwrecked wood for tabletops, and incorporated car tires into gigantic thick walls on three sides for insulation. Tires have an R-value far higher than most commercially used insulation. The entire front is all glass for maximum solar gain.