Earth houses have become popular with people who are trying to live environmentally-responsible lives. They come in two different designs
1) the earth bermed home which is typically built above ground, only partially sheltered by soil and cheaper to build, and
2) the earth sheltered home which is typically built into a hillside.
Earth Houses – Energy Efficient & Environmentally Friendly.
You may still image earth homes as dark and dreary place, but actuality, that´s not the case anymore. With the use of windows on at least one side of the home, skylights, and artificial lights you can create a more natural atmosphere. Thanks to optical fibers natural light can wind its way through entire stories of a structure, pushing through soil, walls and ceilings to the innermost windowless spaces of an earth house.
Typical earth houses are designed to where concrete surfaces are often added within different hills and bodies where such houses may be designed.
Concrete walls are designed to where they will be facilitated within the land mass. Concrete may be sprayed within the body of the land mass to help keep digging processes from being as extreme as they could be.
In many cases these are supported with the use of arches. Arches are often designed to help create a thicker body.
A polyurethane foam insulation material may also be used. This will add a layer of weatherproof sealants, prevents from hot and cold temperatures and also adds a small bit of stability to the body of the sheltered home. The thickness and stability of such foam can really work wonders and the ease of application makes it a very suitable material.
A sheltered home is energy efficient and environmentally conscious.
Earth housing is ideal for people to consider as they will provide people with strong energy savings up to 80% while also offering protection from winds, earthquakes and many other risks. Earth-berm houses have almost the same energy efficiency as dwellings that are built totally underground.
The ability to preserve land in a spot is also a positive as it makes it so the soil in a spot will still be intact. The soil and land masses will still be protected no matter what is going to happen.
In fact, these houses may be designed to where it can be rather easy for plants to go on top of the roof. This can help to protect the house in general from excess water while also ensuring that flooding risks are alleviated. This can create a secure and fine style that fits in well in any spot.
Photo credit: David Sledge / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Earth houses come in many shapes and sizes; from very basic to spacious elegant designs, the only limitation is your budget.