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Whole Garden Home Design Attributes

Residential building construction is soon destined to undergo dramatic changes. The Whole Garden Home design concept attempts to anticipate these forthcoming changes. This listing of design components, features, and attributes outlines the primary objective of the New Earth Home and Garden Company’s mission, and the eco-restorative design objectives Tim Watson architect has established for this house design:

To build affordable houses that help people nurture both themselves and our Earth’s natural environment.

Enhancement of Earth’s ecosystem, human well being, and construction of affordable houses inspired the “Whole Garden Home” design. Application of prefabricated and panelized construction technologies, use of less land area, and modest sized plan areas all contribute towards these ends. Additionally, better long-term affordability is augmented by means of substantial reductions in energy consumption via use of both active and passive energy flows.

Key design components contributing to reduced energy consumption:

  • “Earth sheltering” used throughout exterior of foundation crawl space perimeter
  • Insulated, open plenum, sealed crawl space
  • Use of rainwater as a thermal heat sink (energy storage and distribution)
  • Structurally Integrated Panel construction (use of SIP technology)
  • “Trombe” chimney combined with high efficiency multi-fuel heat source
  • Cooling season maximum protection of windows, skylights and doors from heat gain
  • Thermo siphoning used at chimney to evacuate hot air during cooling season
  • Atrium sky light array utilizing automatic shading and insulation feature

Distinctive plan design layout features:

  • Expandable indoor garden atrium accommodating tropical edible plantings
  • Indoor/outdoor constructed wetland for small-scaled “grey water” flows
  • Rainwater collection system with minimum design storage capacity 7000 gallons
  • “Indoor/Outdoor” multi-use screened porch
  • Open terrace areas utilizing cost saving recycled concrete pieces where feasible
  • American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant design for limited mobility occupants
  • “Aging in Place” design features to compliment ADA design standards
  • Economical dual purpose carport roof in lieu of traditional enclosed garage
  • Use of shading trellis at locations needing seasonal passive solar protection

Other design attributes and options:

  • Use of panelized and modular house components shortens construction time
  • Various exterior house design styles and floor plan layouts to choose from
  • Fully panelized foundation system requiring only 1 to 2 days construction time
  • Foundation designed for modular building components and rainwater storage
  • Optional dehumidification throughout master suite, or entire conditioned space
  • Optional walk-in “safety tub” whirlpool bath and infrared sauna
  • Metal roof and roof wash accumulator to improve harvested rainwater quality
  • Drip irrigation system for outdoor landscaping and garden rainwater distribution
  • Rain garden retention pond(s) for rainwater overflow and enhancing biodiversity
  • Use of xeriscaping landscaping design which maximizes appropriate shading wind protection by using existing and/or newly planted trees, creates biodiversity (variety of life forms), edible plantings, and water use conservation


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