International Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD)

ICSD Gaithersburg:
22923 Wildcat Road Gaithersburg, Maryland 20882 U.S.A.

Phone: 1.301.428.1040 Fax: 1.301.916.8786

ICSD Baltimore:
111 S. Calvert Street,
Suite 2310
Baltimore, Maryland 21202 U.S.A.
Phone: 1.443.514.7122 | Fax: 1.443.451.8386


Earth Home Grenada, Self-Sufficient, Survivable Affordable Housing

Earth HomeThe project called Earth Home, is designed to demonstrate that  cost competitive, self sufficient housing, and light commercial buildings can be built that do not rely on a central infrastructure for basic life support and is therefore survivable in times of natural disaster.

The Earth Home system is a fully integrated building system, using local materials to meet all the needs of the occupants for electricity, water, sanitary waste, hot water, cooking and comfort, without the need for central power, water or sewer. Earth Home uses the sun to generate electricity, heat water, and cook food. Clean rain water is collected and stored for drinking and bathing. Kitchen and toilet waste is composted to rich fertilizer for the family garden. Waste water from sinks and showers is used to irrigate the garden. The Earth Home is a very flexible building system that uses local soil to manufacture low cost compressed earth bricks which are used to build homes, schools, clinics and other low rise buildings. In addition, the Earth Home system is very easy to build with unskilled labor and perfect for owner builders or volunteer housing projects. As a result, the Earth Home system produces buildings that are: Durable, hurricane proof, earthquake proof, termite proof, fire proof , energy efficient, self sufficient, environmentally sustainable, comfortable, healthy, and affordable.

Economics. The Earth Home costs less to own than typical homes.

  • The average home in Grenada spends $112 US dollars per month on electricity ($0.29 per kWh), $25 for water and sewer and $13 for propane for cooking. Total monthly utilities cost about $150.

  • The Earth Home package of PV, Solar hot water, rain water collection, grey water reuse, composting toilet, and solar oven will cost about $12,000.

  • When financed with the house mortgage at 8% for 30 years, this will add $88 per month to the mortgage.

  • If the system eliminates the water and sewer bill, cuts the propane in half and cuts their electric bill by 80%, the savings will be about $121.

  • The typical $40,000 home cost $444 per month (mortgage $294 per month plus $150 for utilities)

  • The $52,000 Earth Home cost $405 per month (mortgage $382 per month plus $23 for utilities)

  • The Earth Home cost $39 less per month to own and operate than conventional homes.

This is a project of The Global Sustainable Energy Islands Initiative (GSEII), a consortium of international NGOs and multi-lateral institutions including:

  • Organization of American States Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment,
  • Climate Institute,
  • Energy and Security Group,
  • International Network for Sustainable Energy, 
  • Counterpart International
  • Winrock International.

GSEII has been organized to support the interest of all small island states and potential donors by bringing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, models, and concepts together in a sustainable plan for small island nations.