Subterranean Home

Subterranean Home

This is a discussion on Subterranean Home within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; This may be a long shot but in the interest of energy effiency, protection, low maintence etc, I am looking at building a sub-terranean home, ...

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Thread: Subterranean Home

  1. #1
    Member Array JCook5003's Avatar
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    Subterranean Home

    This may be a long shot but in the interest of energy effiency, protection, low maintence etc, I am looking at building a sub-terranean home, not a cve but a home built into the side of a hill with a solid wall of glass facing south for passive solar heating........

    I am looking at using the Performance Building Systems kit, which it a thin walled monolithic structure....what do you guys think?

    I will do the excavation for free by me, and then erect the form myself and have someone shotcrete it, then install the front windows and waterproofing and backfill then finish the inside as time and cash flow allows..........

    I know there is atleast one ICF expert on here, maybe ICF's with a poured concret roof would be better? I have no idea.....

    At this point I am simply gathering info and ideas so am open to all sorts of interesting conversation.

    Thanks,
    Josh


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Rob P.'s Avatar
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    They are called "earth sheltered homes" and people have been building them for a couple of decades. There are also 2 types of solar gain you can get. Passive and Active.

    Which you should use depends on your home's design, location and the climate zone there. I would seek the advice of a knowlegible architect before spending any funds.

  3. #3
    Member Array deadhawg's Avatar
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    I've been interested on underground homes and ICF's for a long time, for a variety of reasons. I hope to be able to build either an earth bermed ICF or underground home similar to what you have described in a few years as a retirement home. This is the first time I have seen the PBS system, but it looks like a very good design. I'll have to look into them some more myself. One thing I have read that you need to keep in mind is to be sure you have good drainage all around your structure. Water can build up and will find even the smallest flaw in the walls and cause problems. I would be very interested in hearing how your project turns out.

    Ron

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    Member Array deadhawg's Avatar
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    BTW, here's a link to an ICF supplier, they do roofs too.
    PolySteel ICF: Insulated Concrete Forms, Tornado, Fire, Hurricane Resistant

    Ron

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Cthulhu's Avatar
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    I've always thought underground homes (particularly those crafted from old missile silos) were very interesting.

    Unfortunately, any underground home in Florida is technically a well.

    -JT

  6. #6
    Member Array JCook5003's Avatar
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    I've seen Ploystell ICF's before they are #1 in the clubhouse if I go ICF, other things I have looked into are rammed earth construction and "Earthships" a tire/rammed earth hybrid self contained unit......all are pretty appealing to me, I suppose I have a hippie side, but less reliance on "the man" (power companies, fossil fuels etc.) the better as far as I see it.

  7. #7
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    For sure I am no expert and this is just my personal opinion.
    I think it's a great idea IF you are all settled down and are planning on staying/living there for a long time.

    Maybe not so much these days 'cause the times they are a changing but, you always limit your potential number of buyers should you ever need to sell an unconventional "non traditional" home.

    But on the other hand it - the type of home that you are planning to build (being so highly energy efficient) could be a breeze to resell if you ever had to.
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  8. #8
    Member Array JCook5003's Avatar
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    I whole heartedly am going to try my damndest to stay where I am until I retire, then I plan to buy a large sailboat and cruise the world.........different story for a different day.......

    They arent making many 150 acre farms in southwest virginia 10 minutes from virginia tech but outside of city limits anymore........not to mention I'll inherit it mortgage free someday hopefully a long way down the road.....

  9. #9
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    If you can...I say, "Go for it!"

    I have always been interested in 'in-ground' home living...too bad my wife of 37 years wasn't on the same page.

    (I know that eventually I'll have a small in-ground home of my own...)
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    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    Exclamation One Huge Caveat!!!

    Two words RADON GAS vent the place.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array 4my sons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    (I know that eventually I'll have a small in-ground home of my own...)
    I understand they have plenty of room for what "moving around" you'll do.

    As far as underground, I need some windows, My idea for energy efficient is 2x6 walls, with Brick exterior, and a wood cook stove in the basement and a fireplace on every floor. I live in the middle of too many trees for me to use them all up in my life time or my son's either.
    "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [Warren v. District of Columbia,(D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981)]
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    Member Array 22RSSIX's Avatar
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    I think it is a cool concept. I have seen two houses here in Indiana built in hills.

    I would be concerned with radon gas and the water table if it not built high enough in a hill. Also with your exits, I would want something that had more than just a front door. What if a fire happens in the living room will there be a back/side exit, esacpe hatch? A lot of "what if's".

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array SatCong's Avatar
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    Question

    Not bad, some thing to think about.
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    Senior Member Array MR D's Avatar
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    too bad it is so humid here - I would consider straw bale construction - my parents live in Southern CO - just north of Taos NM and they were intent upon building their own earth-ship - but CO law does not allow them to collect the rain water off of their own roof into their cistern...

    so much for self sufficiency, they do make their own electricity, solar and wind powered...

  15. #15
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    No wood, the termites you know.

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