Earth Homes Now
Earth homes have been around since humans began on the planet.
At that time most dwelling were caves, huts or holes, all natural,
with compliments of Mother Earth. Since that time traditional
houses have developed, expanded, been "mansion-ized",
supersized and highrised to the point of being anything but natural.
Missouri Cave Home
Well, not to fear because earthen homes are making a comeback
now that "green" is in and people are wanting to live
a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
The term "earth home" is somewhat generic and can be
applied to many different kinds of environmentally sound housing.
For instance, underground homes, earth berm, sheltered or rammed
homes fall under this category. Many consider cobb houses, which
consist of mud and straw to be earth dwellings.
Let's not forget straw bale houses (similar to hay bales for
horses) or adobe dwellings either as earth-type homes. And of
course another category is compressed earth homes. You see Mother
Earth is very versatile in what she gives us in which to build
So, on these pages we will be talking about these types of earth
habitats as previously stated:
- Earth berm
- Earth rammed
- Earth sheltered
- Compressed earth
One of the wonderful features of all of these different kinds
of earth houses is that they offer excellent insulation from heat
and cold. Any structure covered with thick dirt, mud, rock or
straw will not only shelter one from the elements, but also from
the sun and biting cold as well.
Lower energy bills are one of the advantages of earth built houses.
And with lower energy bills means fewer fossil fuels from the
power plants are being puffed into the atmosphere. If a person
wants to cut down on their carbon footprint then an earth dwelling
is an excellent start.
Add some solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal or hydro energy
and you can even have a negative carbon footprint as well. And,
let's not even mention that lower energy bills are good for one's
Earth-made houses can also be much cheaper to build than traditional
homes with wooden, brick or cinder block structures. One disadvantage
of building an earth home can be that it may be harder to sell,
when you want to move (many people just don't like change or things
that are different).
Another reason is because real estate agents don't know how to
price customized homes and lenders are reluctant to give home
loans when property values of neighboring houses don't reflect
the value of one's earthen house.
On the flip side to this argument is also that enthusiasts of
earth-built homes may pay over the asking price if it is something
for which they are looking. Anyway, I cover this in additional
pages on this website in a lot more detail.
But, my assignment to you is to get some dirt, mud and plants
today and start building. Or at least, grab a pencil and start
sketching your dream earth home. Tomorrow the world will be a
much greener place if we just take one small carbonless step towards
this goal today. And remember this will be one giant leap for
Facts for Fans ...
Below the frostline, the basic temperature of the earth in North
America is between 55 and 57 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mesa Verde National Park is the United States' largest archaeological
preserves and the home of many cliff dwellings.
The Bill Gates' house is a 66,000 square foot mansion in Medina,
Washington that is also an earth-sheltered home.