Earthship Brighton uses the sun to provide heating by using a dynamic combination of solar gain, thermal mass and super insulation.
The walls are made from rammed car tyres and earth which act as a storage heater. Behind the tyres and earth is the thermal wrap or insulation blanket that separates the mass from the earth that is sheltering the building. As the top picture demonstrates the earthship is orientated towards the south, which maximizes the opportunity for solar gain. The angle of the front glass allows for maximum solar gain during the winter months when it is most needed, but reflects it during the summer months when the sun is higher in the sky.
The heat from the sun is stored in the thick walls and is slowly released during the night and colder days and seasons. This effect is exactly the same as the heat you can feel emanating from a stone wall in summer after a sunny day. The size of the thermal store enables heat to be stored inter-seasonally over a long time.
The thermal performance of Earthship Brighton has been independently studied by the University of Brighton. Click here to visit Brighton Earthship: evaluating the thermal performance case study.