Underground homes, or earthen homes, have extreme benefits over above ground housing across the entire board. Some of these beneficial qualities include their ability to save space above ground, their extreme insulative properties which make them highly energy efficient, and their extremely durable structures.
All over Earth there are sites of old civilizations that had decided that living underground was better than living above ground. We’ve dug up some research and found out there is definitely much more to this than a really amazing fairy tale after all! There are still people who build underground homes today using natural earth building techniques and we’re passing their knowledge on to you!
Underground homes have several advantages over homes built above the ground
There is no need to lay a foundation, which saves a huge amount of labour and material
The walls are earth, so that saves a lot more building material
The thermal mass effect of the earth stabilizes the temperature. Earth cools and heats more slowly than the surrounding air. If you dig 2m (6 foot 6 inches) into the ground, the temperature is always – day and night, summer and winter – steady at that climate’s average. A well-designed underground home should need no energy for heating or cooling
– They are easy to build.
– They are unaffected by wind, hail and hurricanes
– Pipes are not exposed to atmospheric temperature and don’t freeze
– They require little maintenance
– They are soundproof
– They are relatively fireproof
– It can be complemented with a greenhouse that takes advantage of the heat already there (e.g. greenhouse-facing kitchen)
Here are a few educational links and full design plans to help you build underground homes.
Because greenhouses must be kept warm, underground greenhouses make a lot of sense.
– Open Source Ecology
Earth-Sheltered / Underground House Plans
Natural Building Blog
How to build your underground home
Book on Scribd
Evolving to a better idea, how to pre-emptively build to deal with rainfall
The $50 and Up Underground Housing Book
AN EXCELLENT PDF