Other Considerations: Earth-Sheltered Houses

Part 7 of Earth Sheltered Houses. Waterproofing Waterproofing can be a challenge in earth-sheltered construction. Keep in mind these three ways to reduce the risk of water damage in your house: choose the site carefully, plan the drainage both at and below the surface of the house, and waterproof your house. There are several waterproofing […]

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Alternative Construction Materials: Earth-Sheltered Houses

Part 6 of Earth Sheltered Houses. A form of earth-sheltered house that has been receiving much attention is referred to as an “Earthship.” These houses are built to be self-contained and independent; their design allows occupants to grow food inside and to maintain their own water and solar electrical systems. Some builders believe they have […]

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Construction Materials: Earth-Sheltered Houses

Part 5 of Earth Sheltered Houses. The construction materials for each type of structure will vary, depending on characteristics of the site, climate, soils, and design. However, general guidelines show that houses more deeply buried require stronger, more durable construction materials. Materials must provide a good surface for waterproofing and insulation to withstand the pressure […]

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Construction Considerations: Earth-Sheltered Houses

Part 4 of Earth Sheltered Houses. The climate in your geographical area will determine whether an earth-sheltered house can be a practical housing solution. Studies show that earth-sheltered houses are more cost-effective in climates that have significant temperature extremes and low humidity, such as the Rocky Mountains and northern Great Plains. Earth temperatures vary much […]

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Design: Earth-Sheltered Houses

Part 3 of Earth Sheltered Houses. There are two basic types of earth-sheltered housing—underground and “bermed” (or banked with earth). Certain characteristics such as the location and soils of your site, the regional climate, and design preferences are central to which type will work best for you. Underground housing means an entire structure built below […]

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Beginning Your Project: Earth-Sheltered Houses

Part 2 of Earth Sheltered Houses. You may want to start your project by contacting the organizations that can help you locate architects, builders, and contractors with earth-sheltered building experience (a few are listed in the Source List). The experienced builders in your location can also ensure that construction plans meet area building code requirements, […]

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Earth-Sheltered Houses

Part 1 of Earth Sheltered Houses. Earth-sheltered houses moderate the impact of extreme outdoor temperatures so that the interior remains at a relatively constant temperature. Let’s assume you’re in the market for a new home. Let’s further assume that, like many other people, you’re concerned about the limited supplies of domestic oil and gas, the […]

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