The Brittany Groundhouse: a Sophisticated Earthship | Home Design Find

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The Brittany Groundhouse: a Sophisticated Earthship

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The result is an ancient and charming eco home off a quiet country road on 6 acres of land rich in wildlife, with deer, woodpeckers, buzzards, otters, salamanders, owls, and even horses.

Source: Groundhouse

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4 Comments so far to “The Brittany Groundhouse: a Sophisticated Earthship”
  1. Leah Says:

    I have been all over the internet looking for earthships that don't look like some sort of Star Wars/Tatooine retreat. Thanks for posting this! Please – more earthships and homes that are off the grid.

  2. Susan Kraemer Says:

    I try! But I agree, there is no reason that sustainable and energy efficient homes have to look like hobbits inhabit them. (It almost seems designed to discourage everyone else). All kinds of humans should be able to find some way to make zero energy dwellings that work in different styles!

  3. john miller Says:

    Like the design and the abundance of light. I'm thinking of using a shipping container for the structural portion. Backfilling to the container and opening up the other side to the sun.

  4. Susan Kraemer Says:

    Oh that sounds interesting. But have you read about the new toxicity discoveries with shipping containers which are coated with something, I forget, but you might want to google <em>toxic shipping container</em> before you take the plunge!

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