Benefits Of Living In An Underground Home
Categories: Homes / Dwellings
Underground dwellings are an alternative to traditionally built above-ground dwellings for some home seekers, especially those who are looking to minimize their negative impact on the environment. Some of the advantages of underground houses include resistance to severe weather, quiet living space, an unobtrusive presence in the surrounding landscape, and a nearly constant interior temperature due to the natural insulating properties of the surrounding earth. The greatest appeal for most is the energy efficiency and environmental friendliness of underground dwellings. When combined with renewable energy sources, energy cost can be greatly reduced.
Benefits of Living in an Underground Home
You don't have to be a hobbit to live in an underground home. In fact, the environmentally-conscious living trend is as hot as it is cool! Using the natural insulating properties of soil, people who build their homes underground can save a substantial amount in heating and cooling.
Underground homes (also known as earth sheltered homes) may be built into a hillside, or constructed near a hill and then covered with earth on the sides and over the top. The primary idea is energy efficiency. Earth's natural insulation helps reduce cooling costs in summer and heating costs during the winter from 60-85%!
Lest you think that underground homes are dark, cold and dank... think again! Many of these structures are built into the sides of hills or berms, opening out to allow substantial amounts of light in at the front. Air quality is often better than "traditional" buildings. And as for temperature, think about the basement in your home - its often the most comfortable no matter the season.
In addition to the insulation and cost-saving features, some people that live in earth-sheltered homes feel safer... less vulnerable to vandalism and theft. In addition, natural disasters such as tornadoes and fire seem less threatening when you live in an underground home. Insect invasion is also reduced and there is a lowered risk of pipes freezing in the winter.
What more could you ask for?
Underground Home Example
Cozy up to the Earth with an Underground Home
Green Features of Underground Homes
There are a number of green features associated with underground homes. Instead of using wood for construction, earth-sheltered homes generally rely on concrete. Perhaps more importantly, the insulation of the ground allows for significantly reduced heating and cooling costs.
Lest you worry about feeling like a mole - the experience is nothing of the sort. Many earth-sheltered homes are constructed with large, south-facing windows to let in natural light. If that is not enough, you can implement skylights and solar tubes.
And, believe it or not, but living in an underground home is comfortable, warm and dry. Added insulation prevents dampness and water intrusion.
Beyond some of the more obvious green aspects of living underground, consider these benefits:
- Less need for exterior paint jobs
- Fewer windows
- Minimal (or no) roofing maintenance
- Gutters? How about less or no cleaning them out?
- Preservation of art and artifacts