Mark wanted a home that would allow him and his partner to sustain themselves from the land. To fulfill their vision, we created a modern homestead whose centerpiece is a 2,600 square foot house tucked into a south-facing slope, with earthen walls and a roof that collects rainwater. Other buildings include a three-car garage above a 50,000-gallon rainwater cistern, an earth-covered studio, a 10-kilowatt solar electric system, and a geothermal heat pump for domestic hot water and radiant space heat. On the land itself we used Permaculture principles to establish areas for growing food, raising animals, and restoring communities of native plants and wildlife. The house is built with shot-earth wall construction, similar in thickness and performance to a rammed earth wall construction but applied with a gunnite (shotcrete) machine. We integrated passive heating and cooling strategies to keep the house cool during the hot summer days and warm on sunny winter days without using fossil fuels for back-up heat or air-conditioning.
Read more about Mark's home in this article of Natural Home.