Ecoheal Center (EC)

The EC is a dodecadonic earthen building completed in the spring of 2017. Being the first commercial code-approved earthen building in the United States, the Ecoheal Center is an educational hub for those seeking an economic, practical, and efficient way to build naturally.

goals accomplished

Improved Earthen Wall construction

  • A patented forming system for earthen walls that reduces time and labor by 30 fold.
  • A procedure manual that supports structural engineers and fulfills the demands of our local code officials.
  • A quality control process that assures replicability and consistency during construction and beyond.

Natural Underground cooling system

  • Total of 450 linear feet of 4” piping buried 4-5 feet deep and connected to a dehumidifier flowing at a capacity of no more than 150 CFM was sufficient to control humidity below 50% and temperatures no higher than 75 degrees for the entire North Carolina summer season for a 1500 sq ft structure.

Composting Heating system

  • Ecoheal Center is heated with a modified Jean Pain compost heating system that permits more aerobic combustion where we will be testing the thermo-siphoning effect and calculating the BTU gain as a result.

Living Roof

  • We applied a simple water filtration system and easy access for cultivating crops. Vertical descendant landscaping is one of several methods used to facilitate agrarian practices. The multiple benefits of the living roof are: re-utilization of the topsoil after land grading; increase in thermal insulation; decrease in the frequency of roof replacement; vertical landscaping and produce; keeping produce out of the reach of wild animals, such as deer; protecting the roof from falling branches; decreasing water run-off, among other benefits.

Indoor Air Quality

  • The main elements that constitute the indoor space are earth, sand, lime, wood, straw, rice husk, and linseed oil. Besides that fact that the indoor space is virtually free from off-gassing and chemicals, the clay provides a detoxifying effect, coupled with the mold-resistant capacity of lime.
  • The large amount of earth provides an immense geothermal mass that delivers remarkable thermal and humidity regulation. These characteristics provide a stable indoor temperature despite drastic oscillation of outdoor temperatures, hence the statement that spans cultures that earthen building is warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
  • The earthen walls contribute further to the protection of the indoor microbiome and its required biodiversity.
  • Our preliminary testing indicated an EMF blockage up to 10-fold compared to the corresponding outer space.
  • Considering the monolithic wall structure and the 20’ thick walls, the relative envelop tightness (RET) is 1.77, exceeding the most recent building code recommendation of 3.0.