Buildings can either support us, our families and relationships, and even our spiritual lives, or not support those things.
Sculptural adobe tree (with natural branches – in the center) on an adobe wall, plus more around the room and in the next room, adds 1.5 tons of essential thermal mass to this passive solar home.
Shelves are integrated into the adobe, with natural, home-made, earth-pigment wall paint on the side walls. (All the finishes are durable and non-dusting.) Natural earthen materials are not only beautiful, nature, and non-toxic, but they feel good. Clay actually draws toxins from the environment, supporting all sorts of healing!
My design work has been informed by decades of interest in low-tech passive solar design, my Permaculture design certification, the modern revival and refinements of natural plaster, and years of working with hundreds of clients as a real estate agent, learning about the functional, emotional, social, and spiritual energies that a home can either hinder or facilitate.
Below are more photos of plaster applications and home-made, natural, non-toxic clay paint. And below are photos of passive solar design.
Another sculptural tree on a wall of refined adobe plaster in two colors, with natural clay paint on the far right. The “full moon” behind the tree branch is the office light.
This unfinished banco (bench) soaks up heat from the fireplace, contributing temperature-modulating thermal mass to the house.
Another love of mine, since 1974, is passive solar design (passive = no/low technology, i.e., no expensive panels, just simple design with common materials).
This technology is ancient and can be built using the same materials as a modern, conventional home – only the materials are placed with greater intelligence – but it’s not rocket science and can be taught in a short workshop!
In the first photo below, you can see the sun shines fully in the windows of the sun room of this retrofitted home on the Winter Solstice – providing the house with free heat, approximately $50 worth each winter month.
In the next photo, you can see the windows are fully shaded on the Summer Solstice, protecting the house from unnecessary warming in summer.
If you’d like to make your home function better, let’s talk!
Homes are often the most important investment of a person’s decade, if not their life – an investment that can affect nearly every aspect of one’s life, or family’s life.
“Home is where the heart is.”