Passive Solar Dome House A Smart Design

It harvests solar energy in the winter, when you need it, and shrugs it off  in the summer, when you don’t. It stands strong and steady during earthquakes. And it floods its inhabitants with sunlight, allowing them to “blossom.” Can you tell we’ve got a little thing for David Fanchon’s eco-friendly Pearl dome house?

This home (which comes to us via Gizmag) features a unique half-glassed dome design built around large bay windows. Due to its passive solar orientation, these windows trap the long rays of the winter sun (which circles closer to the horizon), bringing heat into the house. In the summer, the rays of the sun directly overhead are partially blocked by the white steel roof, minimizing solar gain.

Pearl Passive solar house

image via Solaleya

The curvature of wood and steel supports helps to protect the home in the event of earthquake–the roofing shell can be insulated with a layer of air and cork beads, and external walls are made of 12″ thick compressed straw. The home features solar panels that adjust automatically to take best advantage of the sun and can incorporate geothermal and wood pellet fed heating systems.

Pearl passive solar house 2

image via Solaeyla

As for the interior of the home, it has an open layout style that the designer notes “allows light to fill the entire house without any obstruction giving its inhabitants a full 180º panoramic view. Every room gets its due share of sunlight; making this a pleasant environment for all individuals to grow and blossom.” Sure sounds nice.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.


  • Reply August 2, 2012

    Cassandra Van Hout

    Oh, really cool. does work like this too 🙂

  • Reply August 9, 2012


    This is beautiful!  Here is a similar dome structure if you have a smaller budget:
     Dome Homes
    Pacific Domes illuminate with natural light creating an atmosphere of being close to nature in a comfortable and energy efficient environment in your dome home. From Michigan winters to Arizona summers, people live comfortably in our Domes. Safe in high winds, heavy snows and earth quakes, our architecturally engineered domes resonate with the power of nature.

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