Underground homes or earth-sheltered dwellings, as some call
them, reside mostly beneath the Earth's surface. These houses
are inexpensive to heat and cool since the surrounding soil acts
as natural insulation. Those who design underground houses have
come up with several methods for regulating the temperature.
Underground Home with wind turbine
Underground buildings (at least some) depend upon the insulation
provided by the soil surrounding walls and floors. Others, however,
have tubes channeled through them to bring in fresh air. Still
others use a heat pump to regulate temperatures.
Most underground dwellings are made of concrete. In some parts
of the country (or world), one can expect to pay 10-percent more
for construction of these earth-sheltered structures than a typical
home. Enthusiasts say, though, that at least 10-percent or more
is saved from lower maintenance and energy costs. Subsurface homes
are not suitable, though for northern, permafrost regions or for
most areas on flood plains.
Underground Home in Las Vegas
Listen to the DOE ...
The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) agrees with the energy savings
of underground or earth-sheltered homes saying, "If you are
looking for a home with many energy-efficient features that will
provide a comfortable, tranquil, weather-resistant atmosphere,
an earth-sheltered house could be right for you."
Modern Underground House
The DOE differentiates between underground houses, which are
almost completely below the surface of the topsoil and earth-berm
homes which may have one or two sides exposed, such as elevational
and penetrational houses.
Some other advantages of building underground are lower insurance
premiums, natural sound insulation, less susceptibility to fire,
high winds, hailstorms and tornadoes to name a few. Privacy is
another issue stated by underground dwelling enthusiasts and homeowners,
which has lured them to build below the surface.
A Community of Underground Homes
If you're a fan of underground or earth-berm homes, we have something
for you at our "above the fray" Internet habitat. If
you keep checking back we may even surprise you with a few things
you hadn't anticipated as well. Hint, hint, keep checking
And, we promise not to compromise and will not to keep this
information undercover. Did I mention that we're heavy into humor
I know some of you who will dig that. Oh, the humanity!
Fun Facts about Underground Homes
At present there are over 6,000 underground homes in the United
Underground America Day is celebrated May 14 every year.
Coober Pedy is a community in Southern Australia that lives underground
because of the 100-plus temperatures in the summer.
Updated July 14, 2014