Now i would like to say that i am not an expert on Earth homes and know generally very little about their construction and maintenance but it’s a topic and idea that really interests me. So what is an earth home you might ask. Generally speaking it means a building that is not for living underground but for people to live with the ground. Most are constructed into a bank or covered with a thick layer of earth with one long south facing wall with plenty of windows. They have many benefits both environmentally and financially with little problems claimed. As green issues become more important on the political agenda, these homes seem a promising solution to the ecological problems associated with preexisting conventional homes.
-Insulation: The mounds of earth covering them act as a blanket and their constuction means they are like air tight boxes so no drafts. It’s architectural shape means it’s cool in the summer and warm in the winter
-energy and money saving- The insulation reduces heating bills. They are particularly suitable for using renewable energies.
-Protect the environment- they blend into the countryside, use up less green space then a above ground home, the mud roofs can all be planted on adding to insulation and provide you with a food source.
-Wind, Earthquake and fire protection- Their sloping construction and semi underground style means they are better protected from wind and earthquakes( though not a worry for everyone it doesn’t hurt to know) As most are built from concrete they have amazing fired protection.
-As they are sealed boxes essentially, humidity and therefore mould and mildew can be a problem. An air filter/dehumidifier could help with this
-Though very light at the front, rooms at the back and bathrooms tend to be dark. solution: Dome skylights or artificial lighting.
Considering these are the only problems significantly outlined by people it seems a minimal thing considering the two problems are both faced by many people in their current houses. We have a quite major problem with damp on some of our walls because of an external wall and our living room’s light tends to be dull except for in bright sunlight at midday. Therefore Earth Homes aren’t perfect but their pros far out weight the cons. If your considering building your own home and are worried about your eco footprint then this could be the option for you.