News Feed

Earth Sheltered House, Milton Keynes

The Earth Sheltered House in Milton Keynes is an interesting and unique private family home.  The house near Bletchley essentially consists of a reinforced concrete shell that is insulated and completely covered with earth.  This procedure increases the energy efficiency of the house as the earth acts as a thermal mass and provides a comfortable living temperature throughout the year.

The house itself, built into the side of a hill, resembles a standard basement project. The ground floor slab is a basic raft slab design consisting of a 150mm deep RC slab, with 600mm deep ground beams throughout. A 250mm thick waterproof retaining wall on 3 sides of the structure retains the earth and moisture while glazing along the South and West aspects allows large amounts of light and passive solar heat into the building. A central courtyard allows natural light to enter the inner rooms.

The most challenging part of the build was forming the pitched roof. The roof extends from the external retaining walls and meets the central courtyard walls at an angle of 30 degrees. Our temporary works designers helped plan the falsework design for this element with great precision, ultimately deciding that a solution utilising Peri traditional timber beams, multi props, and MRK Frames was the most effective.

Channel 4 filmed our operatives during the construction process, and Kevin McCloud visited the site for a site visit.  Find the episode here Season 21, Episode 4

Photo Credit: Andrew Smith

Project Type:


Main Contractor:

Andrew Smith


Milton Keynes

Project Value:


To top