Lincolnshire architect, Jerry Harrall, is conducting an experiment to prove earth sheltered buildings can provide a viable and sustainable alternative to existing building construction without the need for additional heating or cooling.
With the help of academia and industry, he has completed an earth sheltered home for his family plus a new office for his own practice, Sustainable Ecological Architecture Ltd. Materials were specifically selected to reduce the impact on the local and global environment. The materials included a low embodied concrete containing 10 per cent ground brick dust, blockwork from Tarmac with 70 per cent recycled furnace ash and Hanson bricks containing 40 per cent recycled pulverised fuel ash and woodchip. The external joinery, manufactured by Jeld Wen, was pioneered on the building and is now part of their Combi range.
Solar energy warms the building with the help of south facing windows and creates the right conditions for the passive ventilation of the building. Natural lighting is maximised by high level windows on the north side of the building which also assist cross ventilation and background ventilation.
The success of this project has led to Harrall’s next challenge - the first residential earth-sheltered school for special needs in the UK. To be built on the site of a former petrol station, all existing materials on the site will be incorporated into the construction of the new building.