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Earth Shelters

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Earth Shelters. The Benefits. Safety from fire, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes. Low maintenance costs. Wide open spacious atmosphere. Environmentally sound. Savings of as much as 90% on energy costs. Benefits continued…. Provides substantial privacy.

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Presentation Transcript
the benefits
The Benefits
  • Safety from fire, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes.
  • Low maintenance costs.
  • Wide open spacious atmosphere.
  • Environmentally sound.
  • Savings of as much as 90% on energy costs.
benefits continued
Benefits continued…
  • Provides substantial privacy.
  • Efficient use of land in urban settings.
  • Shelters have low maintenance requirements.
  • Earth sheltering commonly takes advantage of passive solar building design.
  • The reduction of air infiltration within an earth shelter can be highly profitable.
  • Insulation, energy and CO2 savings
  • Fire protection
other advatages
Other Advatages:
  • About six feet under the earth the temperature varies by only a few degrees year round. While this temperature might be too cool for general living comfort, you can use the stability of the earth's temperature to moderate the thermal fluctuations of the house.
advantages continued
Advantages continued…
  • Building an EcoHouse would provide you with increased green areas on both building axes. The entire roof area can be used for planting vegetables or making a roof garden, thereby providing an independent food source for the occupants.
  • Surface water can easily be utilized in an EcoHouse designto reduce the domestic water consumption expenses. Beingearth-sheltered, the water tank is protected from extremelylow or high temperatures. The earth falls around the tankare profiled in such a way as to funnel the rainwater into thetank.
  • The specific architecture of earth houses usually leads to non-righted, round-shaped walls, which can cause problems concerning the interior decoration, especially regarding furniture and large paintings.
  • However, these problems can be anticipated during the conceptual design of an earth house.
  • The initial cost of construction, which may be up to 20% higher.
  • Increased level of care is required to avoid moisture problems, during both the construction and the life of the house.

A more modern twist on using earth for building is with earthbags. Earthbags can be stacked vertically to make either straight or curved walls, or they can be stacked into dome shapes that require no additional framing to make a roof. This house is made with bags filled with crushed volcanic rock, which is quite insulating. Other people have built with adobe-filled bags, shell-filled bags, or sand-filled bags. It is possible to add a stabilizer, such as Portland cement, to some loose soils that would otherwise not be stabile enough.

  • A geoexchange heating and cooling system uses the consistent temperature of the earth to provide heating, cooling, and hot water for both residential and commercial buildings.  Water is circulated through polyethelene pipes in closed loops that are installed at a minimum of 5 feet below the earth's surface.  These loops can be buried vertically or horizontally in the ground, or submersed in a pond.  The loops are connected to an extended-range water source heat pump installed in your home or commercial property.
  • When heating the home or hot water, heat is extracted from the earth into the water circulating in the loop. 
  • Cold air or chilled water is provided as a result of transferring heat from the conditioned space and rejecting it into the earth.