Design For House


Completely Underground House, no roof sticking half of the house sticking out...completely my opinion its the future of housing...the advantages are get an average temperature year-round in the house, around 60 degrees, you don't have to clean out gutters, don't have to worry about natural disasters except earthquakes, no tornadoes, no snow storms, no high winds breaking glass, no roof changing..completely underground..and it also saves so much space above ground for either work or recreational use..make businesses on top or thing people might ask is, "oh what about ventilation" you can make vents that tube up to the top and get fresh air, or vent out smoke for cooking or whatever. and also for a little more, you could put solar panels in the ground and get your own personal electricity...and also when it rains, you could create a water storage area and boom you have water to filter and use...that right there cuts bills down for housing tremendously. I want all opinions

Aug 3, 13 12:39 pm

Most people really value windows in their homes.  The Vitamin D is good for your physical and mental well-being.  Homes in the northern tier of the country are designed with a lot of glass, while concurrently doing energy calcs, to ward off S.A.D, depression, and the like.  The glazing has become more substantial, yet its energy conserving properties have gotten better.

Good luck finding an architect who will partake in this unconventional construction.  You will need to find one who specializes in such houses.  I'm sure they exist.  I think I've seen such designs in the Rocky Mountain and Desert Southwest regions.  The one thing that immediately comes to mind is the surcharge of the adjacent earth on the walls of the submerged house.  And, if you are in a seismic zone, the stresses on the structure will be harder to withstand than if it were above grade.  That's why houses in seismic zones are often designed without basements and you'll rarely see an all, or mostly, brick home, which I personally like very much.

Also, I've talked to people who are very insistent on a particular type of house which is atypical for the area.  Their response:  "Well, we're going to be living in it for a long time."  With the curves life can throw at you, you don't know that.  Think about resale as well.

Aug 3, 13 12:52 pm
chatter of clouds

Yes, perhaps one day we will live like them and look like them. 

Aug 3, 13 1:21 pm

Why not just live in a passive solar heated home above ground with 0 net energy?

Seems like your quality of life would be   a lot better then  living in a bunker.

The international residential building code  also  requires  windows of a minimal size for  fire egress.  It is actually  more for the fireman to get into your house with their gear on.

Aug 3, 13 1:28 pm


I've seen some structures where the windows of the partially submerged houses appear as if they were almost clerestories.  That then raises the question of sill height, too, because the code wants people to easily get out in case of a hazard.  But the question of window area to floor area is definitely a concern.

Aug 3, 13 2:04 pm

Flooding? Light? Views? Mold? Excavation? Imagine is suburbia was underground?

Aug 3, 13 2:41 pm

its called a nuclear fallout shelter, or nike missile bunker.

Aug 3, 13 3:03 pm

You can have one side of the house earth sheltered and keep the north or south face open (depending on climate).  I think one of flw hemicycle houses does this.  

Aug 3, 13 3:27 pm

If the goal is temp control, you can achieve this with a number of different methods.  Mass and surface area are the main factors. you don't have to live underground to transfer heat underground.  I saw a really interesting ancient project (wish I could remember the name) where an shaft was dug between a cave and a house.  As the hot air vented out, the negative pressure drew the cool cave air in....It is like 1000 years old but still works well.  I'm sure there were issues with moisture but that could probably be solved with some sort of filtration system.   

Aug 3, 13 3:44 pm

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