Superinsulated Earth-Box Passive Solar Plymouth, Wisconsin
This superinsulated new home has a spacious interior despite its compact design. It combines passive solar design with an active solar system coupled with a low-tech heat storage system called an 'earth box'. The gambrel roof shape echoes nearby Wisconsin barns, but it also proved the ideal shape to adapt for the slope needed for the solar collectors. The home has a modest 1,600 square feet of living space plus an attached garage and is located in the energy-efficient High Wind community.
Other features include timber framing; a fully wheelchair accessible first floor; a buffed, richly cordovan-colored concrete floor; and low-toxin building materials.