Eco-Industry ˇ Farm Management ˇ Community Groups ˇ Courses ˇ Consultancy ˇ Chat Room ˇ Contact Us
ˇ Q & A Forum ˇ Country Kitchen ˇ Healthy House ˇ Healthy Lifestyle ˇ Kid's Pages

 


Please visit our great sponsors who keep this website open for you

     
 

Build a home in accord with nature -- underground. Let one of the foremost leaders of the underground house movement -- and director of the acclaimed Earthwood Building School -- help you choose a piece of property and show you how to build, landscape, and enjoy your underground home. You'll find natural light streaming in from above and the beauty of Mother Earth all around you.

Complete Book of Underground Houses: How to Build a Low-Cost Home Complete Book of Underground Houses:
How to Build a Low-Cost Home

by Robert Roy
Paperback (1994)

According to Roy, underground or "earth-sheltered" houses are unexpectedly livable. Judging by his book's attractive pictures, that's easy to believe. The house he bases his point-by-point guide on is indeed a showplace. Its homey touches are just that, though, and Roy's main concern is creating such a house, from drawing up the plans to surveying the site to the actual building. Roy's instruction is insightful and comprehensive; for example, he writes that he has poured the four-inch cement floor over the waste plumbing in all the houses he has built and has had no trouble yet, but he also suggests another strategy for those leery of not being able to get at the pipes in an emergency. Throughout, he covers construction and installation details that are extremely important for nonprofessionals brave enough to undertake building their own homes. Mike Tribby CopyrightŠ 1995, American Library Association. All rights reserved

Earth Shelter Technology
by Lester Boyer, Walter Grondzik
Paperback (1987)

Textbook pulling the underground neccesities together.  Boyer & Grondzik have pulled together all of the disparate sources of information required to properly design an underground facility.
Although the book was written in 1987, there are no other books which have pulled together all of the design issues and formulas required to properly design a structure, including heating & ventilation, waterproofing techniques and studies of existing structures.
While people have been building and using underground housing for thousands of years, most of the published material consists of "how we did it" or analysis of ancient buildings. This is the first book I've found which brings the material required to properly engineer a design into one place.
The focus of the book is on the engineering aspects, so don't expect much in the line of architectural design. Site selection, including soil types and proper detailing for passive solar heating, load balancing for heating & cooling systems, drainage system design and proper daylighting design are all covered very well.
Overall, if you are interested in designing an underground home which will provide a safe, secure and low maintenance facility, this is a good reference. Oh, you might find you can easily design a "no-power" dwelling, at least as far as heating/cooling costs. Unless you like paying utility bills....
This is a technical book, some engineering knowledge is desirable when reading it, but it is not beyond the level of a high school student with some physics.
A reader from USA, 1997

The Earth-Sheltered House: An Architect's Sketchbook The Earth-Sheltered House:
An Architect's Sketchbook

(Real Goods Solar Living Book)
Paperback (1998)

The striking common sense of the author's perspective on design and the building process is based on millennia of use of earth-sheltered homes by animals and humans, using the earth to warm in winter and cool in summer. A cartoon on the book jacket summarizes Wells's perspective. One panel is called "20th Century," and has four steps of traditional building: love nature, kill it, build building, plant grass. The second panel, called "21st Century," says: love nature, leave it alone, find ruined land, build underground, restore natural habitat.

The Fifty Dollar and Up Underground House Book
by Mike Oehler
Paperback (1982)

Incredible techniques for the advanced and novice.  Mike Oehler has created a visionary style of underground architecture that is unparalled to any before him in this timeless book. Recently I met Mike and we discussed the advantages to living underground and also the problems. Mike has now lived underground in his self made house for over twenty years. He is a brilliant man that lives a simple life in a very much confused world. He is currently writing a book on the approaching millennium problem and how to survive it. I am looking forward to the publishing of that book and hope to see more from Mike. This book is definitely worth every penny even if you never plan on building underground, I don't but love the book.  A reader from Georgia , 1999

Earth Ship: How to Build Your Own
by Michael Reynolds
Paperback (1990)

Amazing Building Method Using Car Tires and Aluminum Cans.  These books are way ahead of their time. The author first describes the idea of a self-contained "earthship" -- a home that provides for it's own power, sewage, food and water needs. He then talks about the structure, the ideas behind it, and why it works. The rest of the book is all about how to actually build one. Don't pass this up, once you get the idea in your head, you'll want to build one of your own! A reader from Seattle, 1998