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Thread: underground homes part-2-

  1. #1

    Default underground homes part-2-

    what if you put the underground home on top of the land a bult up base with a french drain around the base of the cabin foundation ..with the french drain acting as the greywater drain system out to the land area ..

    then covered the dome with dirt that was moved for another area with a small outbuilding to act as entance and car port for parking the truck and mud room areas with entance into the house ..

    the outbuilding is preattched to the domehome when the cabin is bought onto the site by the moveing company ..after they set down on the foundation of the bult up a local crane company...

    buy useing a the earth has a cover you cut down on heating and cooling cost of the house system

    the house does cost a little more than a normal house to do set up and build ...
    but in the long run you save on the heating cost in a cold weather areas

    there has been studies done on underground homes and the ave,temp stays at normal range of temp range 70.dergees range ..

    with basic heating cost dureing one season is less than 400.dollars total for the year of heating and cooling cycle '

  2. #2


    Here's how they used to build 'em... thanks to a link off City Data... Old Native Homes

  3. #3
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Ground temps up here range from permafrost (frozen all the time) to somewhere in the 50F range. Frost can drive down to over 10' in some areas in the winter time. Factor in that you will have to heat in the summer months because the surrounding temps won't exceed 50F and heat in the winter because it's even colder. Dirt is an incredibly poor insulator and the moisture issue in most of Alaska can be monumental. In the long run I don't think you will see any savings. I do not heat my house from May 15 to Sept 1st on average... no fuel used at all. I heat all winter, but some days it's barely at all.

    It's bad enough that we don't get much light in winter. Why would you want to live in a cave?
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  4. #4


    I've actually been involved in both monolithic dome projects and earth sheltered projects although to be fair my experience in it is for material handling (cement, sand, stone, etc.).

    Monolithic domes are pretty sweet. If people could get over the look of them they'd be sold. They're indestructible and save a ton of money on heating and cooling. If you build an over-sized pad with a slight saucer shape it will protect it from the "liquification" of the ground that occurs during earthquakes.

    Building underground is tricky. The area you build in is of extreme importance. The soils ability to drain being critical. Around the lower 48, going down a few feet will keep you around 60 most of the year... I'm not sure how that would work in AK. For drainage you can't beat some coarse stone. Again, I highly recommend a land survey and some in depth reading or consultation on suitable land. Also, it depends on your location but if you're going to take advantage of passive solar heating your house needs to face south and about 15 degress east... or so I'm told. The only domes I've worked on have been 80 foot tall cement storage containers. They hold about 60 barges worth of cement.

    For my money... again at my work; we use former reefer containers for chemical storage. The ones we use are 53' former semi trailers with the undercarriage cut off and placed on a concrete pad. When it's -10 here a single space heater keeps the inside temps around 60. I've always though some insulated shipping containers could make an interesting cheap home.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    I've done the dirt work on a couple of underground homes.
    One was all concrete, roof too. Covered the roof with 3' of earth. This is a daylight basement
    type. 10' out from the below grade walls we put 6" of foam sheets. The idea is to create a
    huge heat sink with the 10' of earth. The foam is used to insulate the heat sink from the native soil (that's the 50* earth). Now it took 2 years to heat up that earth. But now it
    takes very little wood to heat the house in the winter.
    There is also a passive set of cooling and heating pipes (4") that run through out the heat sink. These serve to capture the heat into the heat sink in the summer and release it in the winter.
    It's real simple, I've just done a poor job explaining it.
    Cool in the summer, warm in the winter.


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