“Thinking about buying or building an underground home?"

Building an underground home properly, could be the wisest and most gratifying decision you make for the largest investment in your life.

Interior of high tech green home.

There are many names for an earth home: Green home, earth integrated home, earth contact home, earth-sheltered home, hobbit house and many more. I am sure like me, your interest in earth homes have generated many questions;

· What defines an earth home?

· Are they comfortable?

· Will they save money on heating, cooling and maintenance?

· Why are underground homes, considered Green Homes?

· What do they cost compared to conventional construction?

· Are they safe from extreme weather?

· What about financing?

· What about insurance?

· What about resale value?

Over the years I have researched these questions. If you stick with me over the next few minutes, I will share the results of that research.

I have gathered a lot of information please bookmark this site so you can find me later.

Now, we’re ready to “dig into” the facts about the earth home!

What defines an earth home?

Many types of structures are called underground or earth homes. Usually if the house is constructed with one or more walls below the grounds surface it is called an earth home.

The earliest of all true underground homes were naturally occurring caves or shelters made by digging into a hill side and placing timbers or stones to form a door, across the opening. Some very elaborate homes are still constructed using natural caves.

Today people adapt a wide variety of abandoned missile silos, mine shafts, tunnels, concrete culverts and boxes into underground living spaces. Concrete culverts and boxes are usually buried using a process called, “cut and cover” where a bulldozer or track-hoe digs a trench that is covered after the culverts or boxes are lowered into it by a crane.

Concrete reinforced with steel is widely used in earth berm homes. These are usually designed much like conventional homes then covered with earth.

Steel and shotcrete in large quantities is being used by some companies for dome homes that get covered with earth.

The latest Leading edge technology for underground green homes is a modular construction system, manufactured with composites, designed to be covered with earth. These homes are 100% water proof, easy and fast to assemble, highly tornado and earthquake resistant all with an interior that features a smooth clean futuristic appearance.

SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF EARTH HOME ENVIRONMENTAL PROPERTIES

Click the “Green Home” button on the left to learn more about these State of the Art homes.

Are they comfortable?

Underground homes are not subject to rapid temperature change. Even in winter, unheated they will not drop below 50 degrees. By their very nature, being covered with earth, they are easy to heat and easy to cool.

They are very quiet from outside noise and safe from tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes. Your home should be a safe comfortable shelter. A place you go to, not run from in case of an emergency.

Will they save money on heating, cooling and maintenance?

Properly constructed underground homes will save 85-90% on heating and cooling costs compared to conventional construction.

This is big! Do the math for your situation and see how big. Whether you heat with oil, propane, natural gas or electricity your cost per unit has continued to increase and will continue to increase. Most of these energy sources have increased over 100% in the last ten years.

I see recommendations to lower your thermostat by a few degrees in the winter and raise it by a few degrees in the summer to reduce your energy costs. The people I talk with do not want to bundle up in the winter to stay warm in their own home. One lady told me she, “reduces her thermostat, bundles up and is still uncomfortable, while spending ¼ of her monthly income on fuel”, in her conventional home.

Click the “Green Home” button on the left if this sounds like your situation or will be when energy prices double again.

Why are underground homes, considered Green Homes?

There are many factors that are considered when building a green home but lets’ just look at the two with the largest impact, heating and cooling. Aside from the financial costs of buying the fuel or electricity to heat and cool your home there are staggering ecological costs.

According to researchers at National Geographic's The Green Guide, you will probably consume more energy heating your home than cooling it.

In colder states, heating can account for up to two-thirds of your annual energy bills, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). And, on average, heating an American home with natural gas produces about 6,400 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2, a major warming gas). Use electricity, and CO2 emissions average about 4,700 pounds. In a cold state like Minnesota, the numbers jump to 8,000 pounds of CO2 for natural gas and 9,900 pounds for electric heat.

In hot parts of the country, the calculation changes: Air conditioners become the bigger energy users. A typical centrally air conditioned home in Florida, for instance, produces about 6,600 pounds of CO2.

There are a lot of little things we can do to make our homes more Green but none have more positive impact than building a green home.

Click the “Green Home” button on the left to start planning your Green Home.

What do they cost compared to conventional construction?

Homes vary widely in total costs according to how home owners have them finished out. That means the type of roofing, siding, windows, doors, flooring, cabinetry, counter tops, trim, wall coverings, lightening and plumbing fixtures, etc. When going Green some people are choosing to go “Off Grid” and retain rain water for household and garden usage.

The cost of underground construction can vary greatly according to construction technique. Concrete structures are labor intensive and involve costly heavy equipment not readily available in rural areas.

Click the “Green Home” button on the left to see how our Green Home solutions are suitable even for the Do it Yourselfer.

Are they safe from extreme weather?

Yes! Underground homes are places people run to not from in extreme weather. Click the "Safe Room" button for more information.

What about financing?

Unlike many owner designed earth homes built from a variety of re-purposed and recycled materials our homes are professional engineered and constructed of high quality materials.

Loan officers I have contracted are happy to loan money for construction of our homes, if the borrower meets the standard financial requirements expected of home loan requester. As a bonus savings from reduced energy costs from heating and cooling make a limited budget easier to manage!

What about insurance?

Insurance companies are quickly adjusting to a new mind set when they see the benefits of not having roofs to incur hail damage or entire structures blown away by tornadoes and hurricanes. I predict in the near future underground homes will enjoy a special discounted rate because of their resistance to extreme weather.

What about resale value?

Huge energy savings, increased ecological awareness, safety from more frequent extreme weather and comfort will soon make underground homes in high demand. Do you want to rest well at night, safe from extreme weather, reducing your carbon footprint and saving dollars on heating and cooling costs?

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