We're always delighted when Fritz Hubig of Green Realty DC sends us one if his innovative projects. Tonight he leads us into the fascinating home of the Regans, a Bethesda family who teamed up with the Sustainable Design Group to renovate their home using dirt found in their own backyard!
After searching high and low for a contractor experienced in green construction and understanding of their particular needs, the Regans happened across the Sustainable Design Group, headed by John Spears.
Mr. Spears has spent the better part of the last 30+ years developing green building techniques, such as passive solar homes, that are relatively easy and affordable to implement all over the world. One technique which he incorporated into the Regan's home was the use of compressed earth bricks (picture 5) made from soil taken from their own yard. These bricks were insulated from the outside with other natural and local materials. According to Mr. Spears earthen bricks have wonderful thermal-regulation properties which allow them to absorb heat during the day and slowly release it at night, often making heating and cooling systems unnecessary.
In addition to using earthen brick, Spears incorporated many other green building features such as passive solar heat, a dual flush toilet, a rain water collection system, and a radiant floor heating system.
Furthermore, the home does not exude the space-age vibe that many associate with green building. Clean, modern lines, and natural wood tones mix for a home that exudes simple comfort.
To learn more about the property, you may contact Fritz at fritz@greenDCrealty.com or (202) 552-0553.
For more information on the Sustainable Design Group, visit their website.