Earth-Sheltered Active Home

Ferid Abbasher, Architect









Ground floor: 1030 s.f.
First floor: 578 s.f.
Second floor: 487 s.f.
Total size: 2095 s.f.

Ground Floor

Spaces include kitchen, dining, living, greenhouse, 1/2 bath, laundry, utility and storage.

First Floor

Spaces include: master bedroom, master bath, second bedroom, bath, 1/2 bath, mezzanine/hall, fitness room, balcony.

Second Floor

Rooms include: third bedroom, forth bedroom , master mezzanine room, and open lofted space that could be converted to an additional room.

Earth-sheltered buildings best protect against extreme temperature variations, storms, earthquakes, noise and even military strikes. The passive design principles of internal heat zoning and compact planning are employed in this EcoHouse. It shouls be a wonderful place in which to live; warm and quiet, with light flooding in from the south, the ventilation system providing clean and fresh air, while being sheltered by beautiful landscape.

Being underground, sheltered by the earth, means that the house has a far more stable environment than above-ground buildings. Below ground, the temperature remains pretty constant, there are no wind chill factors to worry about, no lashing rain, no baking sun. It also means that the house is very quiet. Combining the shelter of the earth with high levels of insulation means that in temperate climates the house would need almost no extra heating whatsoever – all of the heat it needs is available from the sun alone. Being underground also means that the house disappears into the landscape, making it unobtrusive visually as well as ecologically.

The north side of this eco-house could be ideally embedded into the sloping ground of a mountainous region, but can also be built on level ground since excavated earth could easily be bermed to cover the building on three sides. The fully glazed south face is inclined at 60 degrees and encloses the greenhouse supplied with an internal fountain/pond, which rises over the ground floor and the first floor to meet the glazed north light reinforced concrete shells that have been designed for their excellent sun/wind-catching properties, while also roofing the house.

The greenhouse makes use of the "greenhouse effect" principle to trap sunrays and build up hot air, that is further transferred to the living room and - using a system of open mezzanine spaces - further into bedrooms. The greenhouse also serves the purpose of a socialising space, and can be used for growing vegetables.

Photovoltaic cells along the ridge convert sunlight into electricity. To ensure an efficient use of solar energy, materials with a high thermal storage capacity were selected. The utility room in the northern part of the house accommodates all HVAC and other equipment. A ventilation system creates a state of low pressure, drawing heated air from the greenhouse into the living areas. A supplementary heating system can also be provided, but with a time switch to turn it off so that the use of outside energy does not become the rule. In summer, the south face can be opened to two thirds of its area. Sunscreening is envisaged as an option, provided that your local latitude and climatic conditions so require. The ventilation system can also be reversed to circulate cooler air from the north side through the house.

Almost the entire roof area can be used for planting vegetables or making a roof garden, thereby providing an independent food source to the occupants. Walls and foundations are made of recycled concrete blocks with recycled paper fillings. Recycled glass is used for floor insulation, as well. An insulating entry air lock has been provided, together with sliding doors with tempered, insulated glass. Water-saving toilets and other water-saving sanitary equipment has been used throughout the project. All installations between the lower and upper floors run through a vertical service duct, which is also fully accessible for inspection and maintenance.

Surface water can easily be utilized in this EcoHouse design to reduce the domestic water consumption expenses. Being earth-sheltered, the water tank is protected from extremely low or high temperatures. The earth falls around the tank are profiled in such a way as to funnel the rainwater into the

The collected water is then thoroughly treated for domestic consumption using the state-of-the-art StormTreat System™ produced by StormTreat Systems, Inc. Rainwater is treated by 100% biological means and is 100% safe for domestic use.

An insulated vertical wind shaft, ending in a skylight, provides natural cross-ventilation and lighting of the living room and the bedroom above. 1) Sunlight reflected into the building in the morning/afternoon or the winter season 2) Protection against excessive sunlight

The windcatches provided for natural cross-ventilation are provided with skylights to serve as additional natural lighting sources. The skylights should be directed to face your prevailing winds and/or natural light sources. They are designed with an inner reflecting surface attached to to an insulating board. The former reflects sunlight into the home, the latter prevents heat losses from inside to the outside.

Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality and heat recovery from within the EcoHouse has been achieved using the brilliant Lifebreath Clean Air Furnace®, manufactured by Nutech Brands Inc. that uses a domestic water heater as its heat source; the Heat Recovery Ventilator removes stale, contaminated air from inside the EcoHouse to the outdoors and at the same time, draws fresh, oxygen-laden air from outside and distributes it throughout your home; the hot, stale air from the greenhouse and the EcoHouse's interior is converted to fresh air, which is then distributed as fresh air and heating through the registers throughout the home.

A photovoltaic (PV) device is designed to produce electricity as well as to enhance building architecture. A PV module is a power generating device that produces electricity when it is exposed to light. PV facades occupy the majority of the surface area of the structural shell of the building. PV laminates provide the same architectural appearance as tinted glass. PV modules used as a facade can be tailor-made for size and shape, and they can be configured as a simple facade plate or as a multifunctional element for cold or warm facades. PV laminates provide long-lasting weather protection. Their expected life span is in excess of 30 years. Warranties are currently available for a 20-year period.


When building a new home, you will need working drawings which provide hundreds of additional details. You can save time and money by purchasing these eco-home building plans, professionally designed and produced in English language to meet ISO and BS recognized building standards. Best of all, you will only pay a fraction of the original design cost because the design cost is shared by so many people all over the globe.

Working Drawings include:

* Site Plan:
Shows the proposed site layout of your eco-house and the corresponding design elements.
* Foundation Plan:
Show foundations with all load-bearing points and footings applicable to your eco-home.
* Floor Plan(s):
Show the placement and dimensions of all interior walls in your eco-house floor plans, materials, levels, specifications, etc.
* Roof Plan:
Show roofs with all constructional elements, specifics and dimensions applicable to your eco-home.
* Section(s):
Cross-sectional views of your entire eco-house, with materials, marked details, sectional labeling, dimensions, levels, roof pitches, etc.
* Exterior Elevation(s):
Show exterior materials, details, and all necessary measurements from all sides of your Eco-home.
* Vertical Circulation Details:
Shows additional details and dimensions of elaborate staircases, ramps, elevators, and other vertical circulation means within your eco-home building plans.
* Joinery details:
Shows additional details and dimensions of elaborate ecological window and door designs within your eco-home building plans.
*Structural calculations
*Specifications of materials and products

*Specifications of HVAC and IAQ (Indoor Air Quality)
*Roofing details
*Wall details
*Shading devices details

*Internal finishes details
*Electrical layouts and calculations

When placing orders for plans you can choose between downloading your purchased plans from the Internet, and/or ordering plans printed in black and white on ISO A3 recycled, acid-free paper, containing a minimum of 50% recycled de-inked fiber paper, register airmailed to your postal address. By expressing preference for the printed version of the purchased design, and including an extra-charge to cover the plotting and shipment expenses, you could not only have the CAD Working Drawings that you could modify to meet your requirements of your energy-efficient dreamhouse, but the printed version of the original, as well! The facility of black and white print on A3 format means that you can literally photocopy your EcoHouse plans to as many copies as required by your local building rules and regulations. Likewise, the structural calculations, the materials lists and the specifications, are all printed on Letter and A4 paper formats respectively, which further facilitates reproduction for your needs. Included with the printed plans is a business-card CD comprising the house plans in CAD and PDF format.

For ordering the CAD files only, once you have placed your order and your payment has been processed and approved, an email with your Internet download address is sent automatically to your registered email address. Each download address can be used once, and once only. Should you encounter any difficulties or inconvenience with the download, please contact us immediately.

CAD DXF files
Ferid Abbasher and Associates usually create designs on computers by using CAD (Computer Aided Design) software. The most common type of CAD files are the DXF files, which can be opened by various brands of CAD software. The DXF files downloadable for our designs give you all the features you would get from the blueprints for the same eco-house, and still have all the important details you need to build an eco-home. There are also software utilities available that let you convert a CAD file from one format to another. If you need a different file format we can sometimes provide other file formats. If you have a question about what version the CAD file will be, then please ask about this before ordering.
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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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