Earth Court

Angus Macdonald, Architect

View from Southeast

View from Southwest

The plan forms a columned arcade around a private solar courtyard, and has a roof garden, with an optional greenhouse & solar collector penthouse.

  • passive solar design
  • passive geothermal tempering
  • rainwater catchment
  • solar power / hot water generation
  • high thermal inertia construction

Earth sheltering is one of the most reliable ways of conserving energy.  By reducing exposed roof and wall area, heat loss/gain is reduced.  By earth tempering I mean using this principle along with super insulation and specific materials for the building envelope to reduce heat gain/loss, conduct constant subgrade temperatures into the interior for cooling and supplement heating with passive solar orientation and design. We have designed homes using these principles that require no fossil fuel consumption for interior comfort year round.

Enclosed area is 1,850 sq.ft., 3 Bedrooms, & 2 1/2 Baths, oriented around a sunken courtyard on a gentle south-facing slope.

Floor Plan

Cutaway View

We recommend Ferrocement construction with the Ferrocement mixture applied to galvanized steel studs and rafters.  Retaining wall studs are embedded in the concrete foundation.  This method provides the strength required for earth sheltering as well as the thermal inertia important for interior temperature control.  Angus Macdonald has developed a prefabricated version of this construction type under the am-cor trademark.

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Digital PDF Set
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5 Sets of 18"x24" Prints*


These plans include all four elevations, scaled floorplans, cross section details, other significant construction details.

*In some cases the prints may be on 24"x36" sheets.


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I specifically disclaim any warranty, either expressed or implied, concerning the information on these pages. Neither I nor any of the designer/architects associated with this site will have liability for loss, damage, or injury, resulting from the use of any information found on this, or any other page at this site. Kelly Hart, Hartworks, Inc.

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