Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cristian's Earth Sheltered Passive Solar Home in Romania

Cristian is an engineer in Romania, and has designed, built, and lived in this passive solar, earth sheltered house for two years. 

The house is very carefully laid out to make maximum use of space and and the solar heating and lighting opportunities.

 The house features:
  1. Earth sheltering on three sides with a carefully designed PAHS style insulation umbrella that uses the surrounding earth for thermal storage.
  2. Passive solar gain through the south triple glazed windows.
  3. Active solar through several Trombe walls integrated into the south wall.
  4. An extensive earth tube system that pre-heats incoming fresh air and recovers heat from outgoing stale air.
  5. A carefully designed back up wood heating system.
  6. Solar water heating
  7. Provisions for solar electricity.

The house has a very light and open feeling.
The house is located at 45 degrees north latitude and has a serious winter -- the total heating bill for the past two winters has been $70 worth of wood -- about 0.6 cords.

Cristian says it took about 50 versions to get to this final design, and I can believe it -- it shows a lot of careful design work.

This shows the PAHS type insulation umbrella being installed.  This
basically allows earth around the house to act as thermal storage for the house.
Diagram of the layout for the insulation umbrella, drainage tubes, and earth tubes.

 All the details on the design and construction of Cristian's home...

Thanks very much to Cristian for sending in this detailed description of the house!

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