Reader Project: A Really, Really Green House

Sherman Vomacka has quite the unique place. He lives in Gregory, South Dakota, where the winter months can be brutally cold. So, Sherman wanted his place to be energy efficient, green and sturdy enough to withstand the harsh weather conditions. His solution, build an earth home on his farmland.

Sandi Chocholousek

Sherman Vomacka has quite the unique place. He lives in Gregory, South Dakota, where the winter months can be brutally cold.  So, Sherman wanted his place to be energy efficient, green, and sturdy enough to withstand the harsh weather conditions. His solution, build an earth home on his farmland.

energy efficient earth homeSandi Chocholousek

Interestingly, construction of Sherman’s home began on September 11, 2001, a memorable date in our country’s history. The home structure has four modules: a garage and three living spaces. So the home has a total living space of 3,000 square feet. Each module was made with a monolithic concrete pour. The floor, walls and ceiling are also all concrete. Four feet of dirt covers the roof and back of the home. The insulation on the outside of the house keeps Sherman’s heating and cooling costs economical. He likes to say that his roof shingles change colors with the seasons. The grass covering the roof turns from green to brown and then white with snow.

The home faces southwest, and has big windows for a view of his farmland.  There is an expansive view from Sherman’s place. In fact, his friends gather at his place to watch the 4th of July fireworks.

energy efficient green houseSandi Chocholousek

Sherman enjoys nature and wildlife. He is fortunate to have pheasants, geese, skunks, possums and deer venturing right up to his house. You can also find a fishing pond on his land, where he enjoys catching and releasing fish. His black and white cat is his sidekick, following him around the house at all times. When Sherman’s brother comes for a visit, he brings along his pet peacock and dog.  Sherman has been involved in farming his whole life. He enjoys being outdoors and planting crops of alfalfa, wheat, corn, and soybeans.

For more eco-friendly home ideas, check out these 33 Eco-Chic Houses Made From Recycled Materials

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Originally Published on The Family Handyman