This is the first in a series of videos on passive solar home construction, we begin with passive solar design basics, orienting the future house on the site to take full advantage of the free heat available from the sun while keeping it cool with natural shading in the summer.
If you saw our articles on how to build a greenhouse in cold climate you may know our thoughts already on why you shouldn't attach a greenhouse to a home in a cold climate, which is not a great idea for energy efficiency and durability since they can add a significant amount of moisture to a home.
We much prefer to see a greenhouse separated from a house, and to instead take advantage of the southern exposure for passive indoor heating. And to be honest, there is pretty much nothing about the Earthship that makes sense for building in cold climates, certainly not the greenhouse portion. You can read an in-depth analysis of the Earthship and learn why they don’t work well here –
I would suggest you focus your attention on passive heating, adding the right amount of insulation in the right places, and healthy indoor air quality. We have a free video series in our building guide that covers the construction of a super efficient demonstration house from start to finish, here is the first video in the series that talks about the basic design and home orientation for solar heat gain. I hope that helps with your design project!