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History of Sod Houses
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Poured Earth
Quiggly Holes
Rammed Earth
Rice-Hull Bagwall
Sandbag
Souterrains
Stone
Straw Bale
Superadobes

Underground

Underground Domes
Underground Home Plans and Designs
Wattle and Daub

 

Earth Homes Now

Earth homes have been around since humans began on the planet. At that time most dwellings 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. Back to the earth, we say!

Earth Homes
Missouri Cave Home

We say this for good reason, because earthen homes are making a comeback now that "green" is hip and in and people are wanting to live a more environmentally-friendly lifestyles.

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 houses fall under this category. Many consider cobb houses, which consist of mud and straw to be earth dwellings, too.

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 order to build houses.


Earth and Rock Home

So, on these pages we will be talking about these types of earth habitats (and more):

 
  • Underground
  • Earth berm
  • Earth rammed
  • Earth sheltered
  • Adobe
  • Compressed earth
  • Caves
  • Earthbag

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 another 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 building or buying 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 pocketbook.

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 plus 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 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 mankind!

 

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.

The human head weighs 8 pounds. - Ray from the movie, Jerry Maguire

 

External Link

Wikipedia Entry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_house

 

Updated July 14, 2014

 


 
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