La Maison de la Terre / Associates of Art and Architecture
Text description provided by the architects. Being the need of the day, near net zero minimalist living, this is an effort to inspire people to re-adjust to sustainable living practices influenced by the past….. Essence – The Earth House demonstrates the opportunities of the built environment to address the global climate crisis. We made a conscious decision to weave in nature through her efforts to build a net positive house made of rammed earth as well as other natural materials quarried from the site.
Location – Located in the middle of vast agricultural land, the house of the Earth aims to blend harmoniously between its habitat and its natural environment. The 3000 square foot construction has a building skin, thick with earthen walls that reduce solar heat gain and maintain a temperate temperature 7-10 degrees cooler than outside in Gujarat’s tropical climate.
Arrangement – The layout is simple with three bedrooms and a separate living area on either side with the leisure area of a swimming pool and gazebo. The size of the building is optimal and leaves a minimal footprint on the site area. The sustainable country house also has a sloped roof aimed at capturing maximum solar energy to replenish and generate electricity for the space.
Energy – In addition to being an active sustainable design, the Earth House also adopts passive sustainable strategies such as directing the sun and facing the house north for optimal daylight and natural ventilation which reduces the long-term home energy needs.
Countryside – Landscaping choices were native to the region, carefully selecting local plants, which inevitably reduces irrigation needs, adding to the passive energy strategy. This net-zero home also surrounds itself with Miyawaki forest, an organic farm, and a mango orchard with impressive foliage that shades the roof, reducing solar heat gain inside the building. Home Earth produces its own food, electricity, and water harvested from the abundant rains.
Materiality – To increase sustainability, we have made sure to source all materials for furniture and finishes from companies that use environmentally friendly manufacturing techniques and recycled materials. The rocks in the gabion walls are readily available local rocks which are used to secure the house providing it with sufficient privacy as well as a sculpture in itself.
Sustainability – As climate change takes effect, it becomes increasingly vital to concert our efforts to minimize our carbon footprint and promote the greening of our cities. A conscious effort not only to balance form with function, but above all to be eco-friendly and sustainable was at the heart of this design.