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I I _1_1 I. ,ANDI


HIO .. , ... E, ,S ..• · -: z= .•.••. ' UNIDEJtGROUNIJi $PACE CENTER


.•• I ~RTH~~S,





Prn>tpal, ElI~ ~I'llii'llli ~ MlITl8'''Ipo1is, Mln~


ltie Underground Space Center dBdd'ed to pracpartiJ !hIs second boOk on eanh sheltered homes. I'Dr a number 0' rt!8SOr'!st SllllC8iho pubmcaliQru In 1919 01 f"a:nll She!fs/ed Housfng ~sigfT 'Nhichraatur.ed ,!m.I'Ih shelterool houiSe$, Duilt prior 10 1917. roth Ihe pubUc and (he building industry haw e.-essooa strong deske to examine a grealJer varlety of earth sheller,ed' designs, ,Earth She/mred Homell provides tile owvrtonUy to do jua~ Ihal

In ~91,6, when ~a:J'IClll Il:lr Eai'Th Stl'6tlered Housing Oesign began, earth sheUen~d bUJldJng ~dlnO'loID' was unfamiliar ill all hut a handrul 0'1 a.rcilit~!i! am:! blJllders. Today----ll"lanb 'l0, eJ comMnation 0'1 drilll"l~'tfc (J rnwlh In 'lhe eaM sheltered I;t)Ostl'tliClioo industry and, 'extensi'lfB media OO\l'smge or this fl1l'Klvative IY1lB of design----earth sheltering [:s. i not yet a household, Ii conG~t familiar to a greal: many people. Earth 5ineltered resldern;es, have been buill in v~rWa:I~ every regioTi! of the Un ited Stales, disp'layl!ilg B "",(de ra,og-e of styles. S1£es, and construction t'ochrrlques.

The [pUblicity thai( M)i;caHy ha,s JoilowEid the compleLionof STJch hornes, however. has pr'(J'!Iento be 1'1 dourbl~oogoo SW(Yrdi: whfl:e !if tJ~$ piquild, the curiosity 01 'lhe general p~bljc rega.l1Iflng underground nomes. it has also created an rncreasing reluctimoe' OIl Ula pert 01 home owners ,100P'S11 their doors con:linlially to ,eVe! greater numbers Of l'f1ltere-s~ed ~ag,se,rsby. Thisctearth or opporfl.Ir"lluesto vIsit alTe' Of rnnra wafl-deslgned eantl sne-I,t,ered hume!; is unfortunaJe, since suGh firsthand lnspedion!; offen serve as a major tuming polnL in

peo,ple's percepllon-S and assessments 0'1 earth shel1@Jed hOLfSWtg_

While pfcttJrss, p!ans.aod words r::annotar course. dl.lpncat<elhe experience of vis)ttrt91 an earth shsllered dwelli,ng, thr~ book aims to give, the public an armchalir lour Of a. varilety 01 eal\h shelJ.e'r'Bd homes b-olTl dill'eren,' parts of 'Ule United Stales, and Eu rope, Fer The pracUorng or ·pot!3iOIJa! dl!!slgner, Ihs 'ilisUaJ images, togelfler willi the p~s and COr1s~rucIiOfl in.formation included In Ihet':i'i)' pages., should provide a\, feferem:e 01 design ideas and sol1Jlions

,RAv STERUI'lG OlreclOr, Tba Ullderground SpaC€i Gen~er

IDuring the ,course Of Wmll1Q and des Qnfng, Ihls book. me authors rec;e'wd gen~rO'U$ 'Support rom a number of II'Idiv1duals.

EadfJ Sh.ffld Homes: ClOiJ Id MI: hal;,i'€I been compfe:!oo witl'mul eldensiYB ~ trom ths ,1lIchi:t~l'S who d_gned Ihe l.Y!ianly·ll"1r'OO, earth Sihen~rOO housesfea1ured ill the b[lOk. W,e gralJef!.llly ack!n:ow!edge the: time. effort. ,and! ITIimIe:!l th.&y spen1. In prO\\'idln.g uswilh the drawings. pholographs, and wlI'tten informatkln we r~Els:!ed.

IFlick laMuilO was a most valuabte de:sJgliI assfstao d&\loting 1009 hoUrs fa preparlnQ detaJ1ed dmwll1'Ql1> andl layouts. His paliEioce ami good nalurB Iftroughoot 'the design process !,I.I'er'EI much ~rooiated.

Several other Underground Space Ce~r sta:lf members. who ,conrrfblllll!d slgnlficarrtly to' preparation 01 lIhe beck al1Ei' Arlene BernrJstl (lyp4n9--'trnd retyping!), Naru::y Larsen (inITIal, i:nformat~ongaltleflf!lgJ; and Sutan I'le Swaij; (lteyliningJ"

Special thanks go to J'o1'1n CaJ'1'l)()d;y for hiS SlUggesti:O'ns re;g:arding the concep'iuBili~aUon and execution of the projecl,and to leslie Roberts Tor C'li11Ec.arly re,adlng Lihe· CWfJf'III'rew s.~don or~h'l'l' mamjscfipt

We also wish fo (hank the· following IndivtduaL3 arid of!ianizal;ions fOIf glllnliiiQ pennissfon to use Iheir IlhOlographs: and drawings in the DVeMiil'w.: M:a~iOOim Well~sketches on pages B. 14. 811d17 ((TOm Unswgrmmd Designs and UndefQrcxJml Prans

Book I), Ezra. ESTG-pag;es 13 ,and - .

14. Breier house (Philip Johnson. architect,,; and Ac· kn···o· wile· ... dig. m··· e· - n· . Is··'

Ihe Minnesota Hi:itoric<lii Sot:ie~, H. D. Ayer, .. . .• _ , .• _ '.. .. -.. _' .,1 . I • ·.·'1·- _'.

pho[ographer-page 1& (MidWestern: sodll'lousel"

IPart 1

,Overvl ew of lEa nih, Slrte Iteredl

H'Dus,.ng 8,

P'alrt: 2

Minnesota Housing Finance Ag.em::, DemonstraUa,n Housesi

I nb'ud tJI ctto 1'1, 21

Camden StaJe P,am 'Hause 22.

Willmar HOU51i!!Ii,

Waseca House 301

BurnsvHls' House 3,4,\

Seward Town Houses 38

Wild River Stale Park HO'US'9 ,42

Whitewat,er State Park House ,46

Pari 3

Sixteen Ho uses f""m the U.S. and EUJ',ope Introduction


IRemin.glon House Clark House

Hadley Hause

FeuiUe House

StioKs :& Sto nes House Earthtech 5 and 6

Su n'Earth House IBoo~h.e House

Wells House/Ofif'ice Archi erra Houses Terra-Dome HOUB€1 Demuyt IHouss' Wheeler Hause Mo.reland HousEl'

Top:[c IHouse



53, 54 58 6,2

'66 '70

1'4 '18 14 18 92 96

102 106 '111'1111 1UI 11,1,

123 11'5,

,~drew :~:tbfir 'IiJnd¥ed ~8 'aoo SpaWll€lG tll.e uriifet9~~~pa@C~t~r, ,a OOa&~ fM'ld t6f~~U~ p!§an~iflion base,d at If;l;e ttIJW~~ <Gf MlfJfl~

~ ,1000 iWo APtlf ,torrfe;mt:lOOs on ~ si:ielteii~ e1in Minrte~taand :ffilIo1h4:r in 'OklahOrtl~!f;i,mhef lIegisWed I~~ ~ one 'lhouswW ptlmdpams. 'afflj an 'eBI'iill ~H'effidr hoos1ri~ e~brioo m produtl$ ,~Se'Nices at Ih~ ~im:mwla wnfere~e ,a~led a GIlowd or I'te'ar/y' $WQ mDuSand.

IE.YiOOrIOO' 01 the fa~~nsing PQ1P1Jtarity-af tl1Js ;wchtteclu:reJ style. which fncorpe-rQ'ltwe.anh ]roo lhehOuse ~es:ign, 1$ the Incr,e;utflgl ~f af ~'~:g wtfh HIe s,ybj-ecl. After lhe UndergroUnd Spare cenl!el' published fw ES1ll1 stm1tsmd HausJng De~ig!1. averal m~l'l&$ Ihal dwl SOlely wiIh fVijH!e!S of undEll'gtl)lPJd ~!'11 and p:annIng', .sooh asEadh


ientpt}li rf~ .

F!Vtth~~i ii'llit:e ' h, _ ~~c:i,:f!l1\Orfit is,

ro:a In 'fhlll, ~ntnQe "" ' S~~}O W'lScOqsjn_a(i\il Wa~hll1l~l'T. a:IiId laTga-~. hOUSing deve'I~Ptl\ems,;ar.e, I.!lldeI:Way in AI~ma" CjjJifomla, ,afflj ~1W~a.

;flwen al'l &milllflsh'ed - flcl ,ioorea'Sfng, deJ:'tUllnd 'for eartWsnel·tereEI housffiQi. an >1oolJ!ifl1 has SPnlflg LIp ,t~ :Ii~thaJ neoo. 11'1 ltie last foor veals.·,a: rl1Jmbett·of oof,'i'!raJ;;,ttJr~aild. deVf;lJQPe'r~ have beg,un iSp.eCializtng:·m e-e$l she~ra1 toOltles; aoou1 ha'l~ ,O! oozen-d lhasa report being, IJ1vclved tn ilia pl'aru!lli'lg aAdtOT WI'lStructkm (If 008 nundred 101 two hund~elil homes ea,ch. These buit!;fel',S ~n-Ia'niliy Df[er patl<aged aesiQrls, tml:!er I';mil oontrol, and '1lP ability ,,:lmprove Uu~ir tocflniqUe5 hom project to prqect.

~ any eiKjperl Irl 'the field 01 earth, Sheltered construction about the reascns fo~ this upsurge of il'ilelt!ST in l.iI1dergmuml [Mny. and you will probably get a TWo-word wswer.ellergy costs. The l'Iis,ing costs of fossil ruefs nave wilhaul doubt given Impanas to the recent growth 0'1 the :earth shatter'oo ho,usjng illd~ry. AlthougJh rellabte energy performance data ar8 lImited, 9Xper1S estlma'!€d !.hat earttJ ~"ha!tared hotJss<s use ,25 to 80 percen! of ~he energy requklKl, by pre-e:nergy-crisis houses, whfch constitute [he majomy 01 our present stock. Some earth sheltered heme owners have repcrt8'd, 'lMJnler energy costs as tow as $;1 ,20 ('(he oost of cutting 2V.<. cords 01 woad); !1.Qwever, most r!orthem·c;limata SlYillt,erranearJ homes require sorne form of e'ectrlcal backup h~atit19,

"Jb'll'iolUs~y. tlal1h s.helterirtgis n.o~ !he only means of saving energy in h.ousil'1gc--homes tnfilt ,9 ppro:priate1y lJS€ SUfH~ rinsu:latiol"!:. active, solar, and/of passive> solar can achieve energy 'performmmes aim ilar to those of earth sheltered residences., Earth sheltered homes do have a<tditionEll advantag,8cs, however. For ex;amp!e. 1h5Y are generaUy m uon q u~eter 'lhan colilvel'llional, aoovegroun.d 'houses because Ihe ear:'lh surrounding them "dampens" rtois-e from the oUlSide_ The masonry/concrme structure (cooCtete is shll the most oommonly use-d structiJr,al materi al ~ is rct- andvermi n-}lroof and ustlally more 'Iire-l'IeSfstanl thain materials used ~n aoo¥>S'ij.rar:le houses. Moreover, bscauee these slnJC1ures are bl'flow grade level, natural disasters such as tornadoes and severe storms nave, less effect on !hElm

Earth 'sfteltartng makes good environmental sense teo, 8y !byildlng into a tllIIside or below Ihe ear1h's sunace. an attractive landscape Or view carl be p~served willie a"owil1g eoeass '10 nalmal Ughl. Furthermore, sites U181 !may be undesi rable ror conventional homes-lor example, dUB to nof.'Oe or Irafflc pa'tl:&rns-rll'ay be succ-essruJly !!:d.a;ptec:l far I"esfdentlaI use 'tlnrOlJgh ear111 smitEl'l'ing, The Seward IOwn hQuses (stlil pages 3B~41) provide' an exoollen:1 llluSlral.:lon boltn of sur1ac:e pre:sewatJon and ,enectlve 'use' cta site cDnsioored "und-eslra'tlle" :by WTWe.l'ltlOn.a1 bUilding stam:lards.

A:J'noth,e r envkcllmen'!aJ plus ,il! !:i~oolat~ wil.h

eart'h sheUerl ng is lha concept 01 werking ..... iIh i'1131me as part 001 ths' desJgn p!BJ1. In r3C1, working wilh the site Ihmugh design and landscaping so !he house will blend Into the sltmound'ing en'llimlimanl [s pan and pan:et 01 Ihe overall concept or earth :sh~l!ering. Thus, Ihe ri!'19$ and forms of 'E!'i1irlh shafleroo houses lend 1:0 complement and duplicate terma 100M in nature.

Earth S,heltering-...How and Why It Works

P~ople uniamLlIar with, the baslc cOlilcepls of earth sh.eltering often lhlnk tha& the extel'lenl thermal pertarmanca assooial:ed with undefground houses results frem insulating qualiUes of the earth around Ihem. In lacl, althOli,tgl'1, ,the Irug'S amounts of earth thall.l9uaJIy cover thr,e-e or more sides and the roois o,f most earth stnellenm house'S 00 have an insulating elred, many fee' Oil ear1h wouW IJe 'required to equal the insu!atlng properttecs of justa few Inctles o~ rigid insulation, Rather. the

,energy,.saving potential 01 eMh sheltered HumsvilleMuse. Minnaapol'ls, MTrmesofa.

homes is 00$00 on several of their phY'sic:al chiMacta rlslics.

First, earth shell!:wed bouseslcse less heal IJhmugh ltie' wails artd, roo~ or (he build1 Fig th an do conv9nllonal ,aboveground slructures ComrenlllOm.i1 houses lase heat 10 !!he oo'ider Ol.lIside air In mn,ter I!:'Ind gain Ilea:l I:rom Ina hOI ootsj:de air rn summer. In eennast, Ihe earth surrounding an LrndergrolUnd s1ruC'h.lre works as 8 temperature moderator, reductng summer heal fllaln il:II'1'd Vll'inter heal foss The re~a]ivel)l sta..ble It'!Il'I'lper.ature at the soil surrounding an earth sheltered house r'lUianS lnat m summa, the house iooos heal !O l.he cool sarlth rather Ihan gairl!ng fleal from !he wrroundJng air, and In

wf.n ter the rella!lvel'y warm sc II ortersa much beltef 'Iem,p-e a!ure envlronmenl ttr.m the

subzero air l.emperatlJffiS Wifdl River Stale Park haLJtStI. Mfnfleoo.ta.

~emlura ~"F~
15 20 2!i ao 35 :to 4,5 '50
10' I I
I' ... I'
I .. ;;"
II ..
I B I' ,. .. ,
- .. I ., tl
.. e,
til S : E
.6 ~
i .. .,,' ! .. I
-s , I .. ·U
j "I • .. ~
.4 i. ~ e.
E' - I' ,
.2 ~ :1 I'
!2 ,
! ~ .l
a __ jiiiiii_;!f'J
! -:2
i -A,
.. 10



o e Fi'gu:r:e 1,



-1 Temperature

flu.ctuatlons -2 (Mpls-MNJ

Figure,2, ANNUAl. Temperature FluctuatIons (f1lPt5.MN_l

This com:;epl is fllua:tral:oo by Agur8s 1

and 2. indicating the dally and yearty80iI ~empera.!ura lJuctualions al various depths. Figum1 shows that dally fi ucwa~ons are vir1ualty ellminatoo even ala depth of 8 Inches (:20 em) of soU At Q'realer depths, soil temperalures respond ol'lly to saasol1al change·s. and !he IBmperali..w& change occurs aHe r ctJl'lslderabJe deray.

FiglJre 2 Indicat,es !tie sea.oonal tempera lure nuc:!ualions at diff·erenl depths ror the Minneapolls-5oI.Paul arsa, Here, where' ouhlrda alr temperalure swings as rnueh as 130"F mrCHrom ·30" to ~ OO°F (·34 g to 38"C}-annl.laJly, the lempe.ra1ure of the soli '7 to' 26 l'eat (S to B m, belowlhe ! is VIrtually constant Ten fee1 (3 m) 0010l1li the surface, Ihe soli ternpera'lI.rr!1l varies from only WI' to BO'F W to , 6~Cl; and even

~mmooiately below the *u rJace , !he snnual soU t'empera!ulr€i range is only 4o~F (22"'C),

The slowness with wh~h soil temperatures ,c:;htange erestss altlf;1rfi'i<afffywheel effect lihaJ: contributes significantly to the energy efficiency of earth $h~lt-ered dwellings. In MJnnesota, soil

, 0 feel {$ rn] belOW the gfO.und m'Bciles Its coldest temperature net in th.e dead of winLer but in ea'rlyspring. just as air temptl ratures oegin to warm up, By the sante principle. this soil is, warmest around November, when m.lIside iernperatores begin to drop_ Heno8', lhe period.s when energy derived from 10000il fue[s is likely

10 be necessary alreshol1er !han is tile eass

for most ronv,Mtional houses.

Another en e.rgy·savi n;g. 'fealiJ're' oo.arac!Enistic of earth shelierad structures, as dislingufshed from aboveground structures, is 'Ihl.'.l rower Mat loss due to ilillillratioFl A ronYlimlional above-grade house tfl5es Ill: certain amourlt of its heat

through crscks around windows aJoo deorsanc generally throughou! !he structure-a precess thal is acoolerated wh i'lFl the wfnd blows. WilJi proper siting, Ihe €IMh can proleci an earth shellered hous-e from the wlnd, ~hu!l reducing general Infiltration-ami heating bins--considera.bly _

Ari n ilIl rmportan I characteristi'C oj earth stieltered houses is the high mass oJ 1he slruCluJe and the surMundlng earth, whlch conrrlhutes to the heat storag:e capadty or a b1Jrldjng The thermal mass of a strueture Is a fum::tion ot the densl1:l11 and qua.ntily of the building ~!enals in aornbinarlion will"! the abinty

o1lhose materiSls to store i1aaL A house< with a Jarger i:herma.1 mass, es?eC'lan~ one with 11 OOl'lcrete shell, can aDS'Orb heiilt from !he air or from dimel soler raruartion. This heat can then btl released back rn'lo fhe space during the night. when there t5 a, rrel heal loss. 11'1 an earth stlelleled hOIJ~, whl!:h has iii high

thEl.rmru mass, th~ process ean ~e slow ~nough [0 ~carry" ~he house for several hours wl~hQ1Jt l'teallrom an additional source. A conventional home, on Iha oltisr hand, can s:loral very ritUe E!)(cess llea:t gSijn <IInci rose!! whatever heat it has relalively rBirf dly whell a heat source IS

inte rru pted,

Tamperalure data oal1ected oller a rOI.JI"-da:V period from an earth sMelter-edl house In Rolla. MisS(J un, illustrate Ihis effEi'C1. Figure 3 shows thatlhe Insrde temperature remained relalively SU;lbl'e'IIii Ihe absence of any Internal heating whlle UilS OUIside I~mperaru re d ropped to·1 DOF (-2:rq. MonitOring dara tor the Topic !louse (pages 118-121) bear oul th€ findings. from the Rolla house.

MOliher ap;eclfic achlanlage orreslJltifliQ 'from th!! high Ihennal mass characlelistics of underground houses is their ability to maintain a slBady or slowly dropping l.emperalure in times 01 power oUlages Of shortages, Ihereby pre''>'16 n ting darna_ge to plu rnbi ng ~nfr9taz[ng weather as wall as reinforcing e. serJ>se 01 sewrillJ and ind!ependBncEi. Arcl'looC:! John Barm.n'd reports Iha! an owne r at ansa rth shsllerad house h!il dil:~signedl in Casper. Wyoming, went away 1'01' a week ill February and tu rrred of! ~ha fu mace. AI though outside Ilemperaturesle11 WB'II below zei'O for several strelChes ofUme. the Muse tempera1ure never dropped be!ow &O"f (10'C).

The thelmal mass of earth shelliered slructures also pemulS good ImSblrBlion with alher en ~rg;y systems su ttl as passive oolaf wliectlOn and wood-burning fIreplaces tha1 proVIde heat 01"1 a fl'uclti,ati n.g; basis.

Passivle and Actlive Solar Faa.uRls

i! i5 no accident '[hal nearly every ,aa~ 5halt~roo house feallJred 111 this book is designed with an eye toward laking iil!d\laruage 01 pas~¥e' solar gain. The large thermal mass Qf earth. in combination wllh the laJge q:uantities 01 masonry gen!3'rall71 used to r::onstruCI such houses. make lnoorpora'tion o·r paSSive sOlar ieatures a klgicaJ-and energy· s;aviJig-cholce lor buikiHrs or earth sha Ite-recl ncmes,

PassNe sofar technology csn qutte oaslly be Incorpornlted mlo stan.dard types· Ofaa.rlh ~'hell.ered houses, partlC'[Jlarly th-ose thai have

iii pnmanly southern orientaiion. When

con .... erted to heat, the radiant energy from thesunlight admrttoo to the house IhroLlgtl !he long banks oJ south-oriented Windows helps heat Ihe· entll'~ bUilding. The waifs and floors or the: s!fi!dI.lr9, Wihich are usuaUy constructed of large qUEIlltities or reinforced oon.crel;!l'. acl as a large !!hennal mass, He~t slmoo ~n ~l1js mass during th e day IS slowly reii1lased at nrgh'l. thus lessooing !he needtor rumace heating,

Many designers btdld on the basic coooepi of paSSive gain to further enhance thermal performance by using such features on; thermal ~'hLJt!ers. speciBil d ra pes, or dartot.ooklredl barrels frlled wilh waler to hold heat longer.

It j;s impor1snt ,to nola that, whlle abOV~rOLJrui neuses can also be equippedl to benelil from passlve sola!!'. rne IaJge structJf'al mass requirl?dFor heat storage must be deliberalely desigm~d andsp-sdal1y buill. Inte Ihes6stl1Jctu F'FtS. In e,arth sheltered homes. Ihe large!' mass Is, of necessilY, part o~ II11e

st.n.Jcl.u r·a:l design or the IhOtJ:'te Few a.ddilJional cools (ij.e., for items such as sunshadeslneed 00 Incurred IT; maximlzlng passive solar gain 1[1 aJ"I earth snette,ed home.

A nurnber 0'1 earth stteltlared home designers have chosen 10 boost enitFgy MVlngs even

fu rlher by using aCl.~~e solar systems. Because ~arth s!lelfered struc{Ui'GS generall)jl have lewer h~atlng requirem-e-nts: than do wn"'lintlDnal hDmlas. they requ:llle a Pfop.ofllon a.tely !ow,~r investment In solar heating coRectJ.oI"I equipmenl.

100 storage space need~ for an aClive selar ·system is also reduced in pro~40n 1.0, the healing mqulremenL.and Ihe Ia.rge !henna]

~1 '[)ay2 .~·a Day4

Figufe a :. R.OIta House"

15 10

.0 .$, ~

o ; ~5 ~ -10 I


-\5 l!



lEar1h OO'ie;red walls ,amd rOltlr partiall~ IlIt,es~

, .. IEarth cavenKI walls and roor 1i1!lIly recessed

rr. '. <f:

f e-,


Above and below grade spaoe, combined

Figure 4: YarJous lr.elalionsmps ,to HIe mrrfa,ca


mass reduces fhe slorag~ space needs even lurlh&r, Hence, less, '!Ioor <l.rea. js required ~or Ihe 5l.o-tag~ 111'19(Hum ~e,g., Une m~k ~Icu'lge' birl'S usOO in !he Seward ~OWI'I l' and Whl18water Slate ParI! house 1i00 he sand Silomge bad 1111 ihe Feu Ille ,hQuse). BecaIJ1iB III {h-e relaUve ly high oo.sts 01 ~~I1Je so.lar s)!,sta ms and the inherently low energy use of '8ruth sholtered struchJlf~5, however, ,8, payoff in temtS or energy savings derived fmm incorporating aC;li\l9 solar leatufes is uiSually dj~licull to ecnie¥6--e'llen when only B. small solaJr colrecim (Jar space heaUng purposes] Is uSGd.

IDefinitions of Earth Sheltered' House

BecahJse Ihe U51i! of earth in iiousing design is a rather ger'l,era;t eortoept, no ul1ivelSaJly accepted defjnition of eanh' sheltered house yel exists" Some regal definitions h'!l.i,I<eJ specified that anywhere from 5010 80 pe<i,cenl ot the

roof area. mUSI be CDver,oo with. earth. But. a broader d~l1ni'1ion requiring that 50 percent of the exterior enlltl'lop.e of tilii! burlding be 9IBrth covered allows mom latiliUde in For example, ! he' relations,hlp of the house to lJhe grow nd su rf1l:ce c-an vary oonsiderably. as

shown in !he adjacenl diagram [Figure 4)- In 'a.~, a I'l earth she~1ered house may net ba 1~low 'Ihe na~ural ground l'lilveJ at all, and lt1e roof mayor may not 00 earth Govered.

Thaamaunl of eanh c(l' and!ype of str1ijcrum used lei hoid back the earth are also subject to COl1sldilH'8ibJe vruiation. Earth sheltering may in.,_,.",Iv.e berming 0.1:111' ,a-gail1lst !he walls, while US[iiQ .. a oo:rTventiollaf well-insuJaled roof; in a 'fully earlh sheltered design. on the other liand, onlV the wlndoVl' and door surta.coo are nQI co-",ered wlth earth Earth coverfngs range irom an 8& to IO-irldh-thtek (20 to 25 em) sod roor to iii reel (2.7 m) Qr earth 00 I:h-e root

Th&se radtcaJ:ty djfferent earth CO'll€! r a.lteme,livEls obviously require very d iflerent structlJral systems. To dala. I he Widely vaned S'!'i3ll systems usee in aanli s'heJl,e~ed neuses have included pouredl ooncrele" concmt~

block, pt~1 ror'lcwle, posHen.s-roneci concrete. preSSUM--treated wood. sleel highway c:uJ\!-eriST and thin :stl1illl oon:c:mtElJ de<slg f1:S. Aega,-cUI'H.S 0'1 !he slfiiclural 51stem c'hO'oon. :WUCtl!raJ

ool"l(lems will alWays be Q!realer for an eaffh sheltered hiOuse I han for ~ conventional, aboyegrade house. Becaulli>1iI the waIls and roc:iJ:s or eaM shellers must be able 1.0 SIJ,PpOrI.

a:drll,H'I1E1ly tJoo.vy loads, stru~tu ral caJou lations ~or such homes should ElI'lN:SVlii be made ~ eli certified s!lruclural engil"l:Hr who 19 familiar w,ith earth snellterm desifiO.

Basic Designs

AlttJough earlh sheltered hous~s are not IImtted to anv flxM design solutlons, thfl' two oasic hmJsa oos!gn concepts i Il1Istra:wd by homes in Ih~s book are he elevaUor'lai and atrium plans,

Elevational House' Plans

Eh~vallol1!al 'desig ns, 'I'Ilhich are par11CU Iil:!riy ,eppropl'ialCl lor colde r cl rnates. group all windows and openings on one exposed elev9Jliion (prefe,ab1y facing SOUJIh), leaving the th ree remalnil1g s[rle.s earth covered_ llia alrea.dy low anergy requirements of an el;ev,a~i(ma.l structure can oft.en b:.e- rOOiJ08d even Jurth;er by lisif1g south-facJng wJndows to ma.l(imlZE! !he benefits 01 pa$Siv9 so'ar hooting,

I n a Ofl~-Story house, the major riving and slgepillg spaces Sire nearty always pla:ce.d along Ihe exposed elevation; seco'ndary spaces 1'\01 r,aquiring windows (e ,£1_., balhs, U1i1itY and storage rooms) are located beliindl!hem,

agai nsl 1tJe ea:rth-<covere(i walls. Living wilh one w;nd'oW' walt is notan experient:e un ique to inha!bitEmts 01 earth-shatteroo houses and; with !he probablte IIIlCteafil of passive solar healll'lg ln CCIfl'ilel"ltronal ho~.n9, wiU likely beoome: even morn common,

For those wIlD 'have n ftVer visiled an ,eJevatI0i181·type 'i1!'1Irth sheUe ned house, I ntenior oonoll'IOM and righUr19 can Ilesl be oompaned with 'those in iii modem aparlmen' or CQnoomlfilla.rti1 where [he living iiilrea is backad b¥ th'il ~!i corridor for all the !Units. Hence, air the Windows are on one wall of the. IliOOOSed space (LJ nless Ih.e un~, oocupi'e'S :a comer posiUon). in most ~ws. windDw area. III !he eMil :sliJeHered house will probably ,e~ceed

!hal of a typical apartment, since larger windom tilflen INti I be used to admit mmum1..lm ~Iar gain in winter (shading or overhangs ar~ LlS'OO 10 keep oul th~ sl..ImmEJIr sunflght)

Skyllg Ms, or Ill;ltJt mQrltlors may alsl) be added Loward !he rear or elevatior\al plans 10 admit more If,g;htand l:'!UOW natural ventliallcn.

The major ,diudv1l!rI'tage or e, one-stery fllevatlonal pJan is ihar H"le I'llemaJ c:irculmiQIl CIDl become ~ather fe-ng1hy-especla1Iy 10r ~argEl' hDud$--SlnCtiil 111'9' main living spaces a_re essenliaJly lined !.If) like rooms in a mOlel. Doe of se'J,l,eml wa:ys designers may alle,viale Uns telldefll~Y is ItJro:ug/h US-E! or Eli more oompa.a1, twa-level desigrn.

A,tv~um House Designs

A rounyard or atrium desrgtn Is parlr.ciJlarly appropriate for OJ flat site, In thts type of

design. !he habi:table rooms clus1er around a oentral OOU rtyard, wh Ich pTovldlG!S abu nd.ant access to natiUfailight lin its simplestll:lrm, !he amum is a squa:Iie Court with Uving spaces on J(lUfsides, allhoughsome plans jJ,lace Itle 1~\I'~ng spaces on just ttm~.e sides, leaving one Side op-en tor light. view, and access. Other '18rger pl!3!M may use l'Wo OJ more courtyards, In wanner cl1mattes, !he allium area may be user! 10 provide air cilO.Jlation bertw,eel"l rooms; in colder areas, it may be c<JV\entd with g,la8:o5-

Advantag,e;s a.ssQdattKf with 'this Iype' of plan inci ucla' l!tJe sens'S' 01 pr~vat:'ll' provided by grouping the li'll'il1g space around 00 intarr~r W1.Irt and the flexlbllUy with regard Lo site orientation it provides. sinoe-in conlrasl 1o most elevati,ol'HII p;lans-a ,southerly ,e.xposure ls not ll'SMrongly preferroo as a d~ign oompommt.

House Plan Variations

'variations OIl tnooe two basjc Ih01.lSJEl aes-igns includ'e homes that have wlndows In more than OO"e waJl ~SlJCh as l:hf!' 5al'ltlte.cl1 5 and 6 !lomas} or oombina'lion5 01 the atrium and elevaUonal'types. Houses may have ons Of two I&V&'S; 11'11 serna ca-ses !hey may bEl pBmalty abt:wli and par1lal~ below Ql'aUe. NalUralty, Ihesa plan varlatio!"JiS also use different amounts O'J eanM cover, v;hictl ln 'tum inl1uences energy performance. Most earth slleltered designs. however, ~SiI less, energy ~han conventional houses whll'll! c:rell:hrlg In'lerior spa£e3 nUll feel Quite similar 10 completely above-grade houses.

Atrium design ... s:cnematlc plan

CIatK house, Po1'1land. Oregon.

Gel:er heuse, Clrn::jrrnati, Ohio.

Wi nslen house ~ west sidB-)_

HadLey 'h(Wfi', Minneaporis, Minl'le~()~<1lI_



Whaleve typo of house design IS chosen, Ilmdscaping should be a major consi'deretlon

frOm Ine earfiBSL planning ,000ges.. It is 'through appropP'iale [andscaptng' !hal one of the primaI)' concepts of earth sheHHr:ingr--i_li_. inlegratioo or the slrucLure with lis natural :sulT01JndingHs accomplished. Sever,al of 1he houses in Ihis

txmk (e-g" the RaminglOf'l and 8tlmsv~lIe

nouses) ssrveas especiall~ good IlIl1s~rat'l)n:s 01 how care-lui at1!enUon 10 lam!scap.lng can aid in inte.gralinglhe nouse wtlh the srte Because landscap~l1g Is e, ~rilical componenl af tha

overall design rather Ihan a separate,

decora,ti¥e fealure, il must be'led in ooof(l,nalion with ell alher elem~nts of the l1otJ~ -particularly lhei SllfucluraJ and WalJ!1l.rproofing ,systems.

Allhough earth ~helwr ta.ndscapi nf3' approaches to da~e have most oft'!tn been limftGd 10 !he use' of sods, s num OOf o~ olher ap,proaches-----many of which are less oost~y and require less mallltel'11'lIlCe ·Ihansods-a:m !possIble. These Incrude approaches using

com mercial or sptfGial seed mixes, .speer'al ~fld and wHcmower mixtures, per,ennial flowers, ,drought-tdlerant ground COV!ll!i:S or vines, commercial shrubs, and n1a.tlve planls. In Clod r,egions, rook g.a.rdens may be used' to ,g re<a~ advantage in sucoossJuj!'lI' bhmr1rng the $11e with lJhe building_


..___:q", ~i:C.Jj


------_.......... ~-

......... -- __ ._ . ...._

- -,

Now Jhal many or tn,e i'nitial questlons ng to earth $heltered building syst&ms have beatl answElredsaJ]sla~tority, des Igners are incr,easing.!y fuming to tha as yel untapped polen-dial {l'1 dlff,erenl larU':ls-caplng tlIppma.ches in order to enhanoo the <lIttl'8ctivilirwss of" their oorth sheltered homes. 11401 m'11lf do Ia:ndseapr,ng tech.rtlqlles oomprete tha arohf!ectlJra.1 design; the:,o also assist ln Ihe suecsss of walerprOO!\lng andI insulation syslems of Wldergrourtd slruclures,.

Hislo'rical Background

le'ave' DweUers tOI 1960

Althoug'h most peoil~e ooMider earth sllel1ering a novel Idea, living underground is hardly a twenlielh -.cenl:ury phenomenon From pr~h(s,toric 1rntes Wthe present. paepla all over !he world have bum and I rvee be low the earth's suriiiWe'-

Prel'lfstoric cave' dweJlers, seeking warmth and protedion 'from wild craatures and the elements, OhOS13 an existing nill' ural ,saJlh IlJ rm-'[he ca'OI'e-that prmnded those ql,lalitiefi, In tact, the ourfent e,;jste'l"l'Ce rn inharbi'!ed cave' dwemngs 111

!!he Loire and Cher Valleys of France prOVides evide'oce thai, ogilJlt::n thu proper geoh}QIy an.d tlydro4ogy, caves can be converted info very oomrortabte-arld exlJrema~y prlvate-·-Ilvi I'Ig

spaces, .:

llhrou1l,hoot hlslory, humaJt1 beings halve o'l1:en l:u mad 1:0 the earth lor protection .again5! cllmal1c extremes and dmger_ Around AoOeOO, the people of Cappadbcia. Turkey, carved oul underground cham'bel'S in spines 0'1 solt rock-partially in response to Ihe scarrcity of good ti nnber and ma!ertals for mortar l::l'u1 mainty tOo prot&et the intlabitanlslmm inva,ders.

For centuries, residents 01 Ma~mata. Tun'lsia, ha~ i:al'\lled Into the ,SQf! rock to creale atrium

oo.uoos !Il whinhs!!v$ral excavated rooms with Allium houses ln Matmata:, TW[iisra

1 S4oiJ'I-11jgh (4.5 m) vaulted ceilingS o~n out

cnlo a si'f"lgle sunken CQU rlyard, Thsse heuses

are built below 'ground 10 pro-tecl the j,nhabilants frornlhe (I:rttreme da.'l"I:lmial heat and 11'I1:g'htlime cold [ypical of this d~SM ~egion,

In Chin'3, !he cm.:lrty-ard-tyP'l houses that dot Ihe landscape were dug into th~ laesSi son to oombat the hot summers and b~liI!erly 'col-d. wfnters. Farming is carried out on tl1eOOrlhcoverod FOOl's of Illese ihCi uses, I n the Am Elrica.n IMidwest. sod houses and dugouts in he moos were also ow III in reS'lXIfise to SOVlElfl.!l heal and coM, as well as to '" Jack or building maltulaJs al"ld fua! 10 born Sod bouses rue .still m 'use today in ScandinaVIan wiJ 1'1 lries.

Given Ihe suc.cessiu I appfjnalion or undergrou no building technology over U,e centunes and the e!fectiv·e,H1I3 corrlrol and pmlectitll'l ti'Nl:1 resuUed lrom 1ts use, wtljl

did ahe DJncepl riot becomE! more ufllwrsaJly ~ _

ap,pliedl? ColJl1yard housoo In China.


Urn:lergw:und houses in Cappadooa, Turkey_


Typical waterproofing dalail 'for earttN;over~d roar (bulyl rubber membrane).


The answar is relal:ed to Ihe 1!<It.'k oj modf.ilrn ccnstructlen melhods and mstarials aveJJabfe when most 0'1 Ihe al'otemenlloned eaFlh sheltered dwellIngs were built Hel'loo Ll'ie oonefihi 01' th\ilh houses wore OIc{;ompan-Jed bV l!r,awooo'ks 1I.ssocjaliKI w1tM 'the ground dampness in.secl:S a.nd vermin. diffiCull)! keeping them cleaI'l, lack 01 view, and so to-rUt When conditions changed SO that other bul1d,og

male rials were readtly available a:rtd 'hJe' was relallvely cheap and easy to obtain, people leil tflair In-ground dwelling.s for the oonvarUBnce and Sla1us of above-grade homes.

Basements and Basemen.t Houses

In the years sInce mirl!weSleIf'lers aoandooed their sod homes, 1here has been little need ion Ihe Unfted States to ronsider be-low-grolJnd nousi ng as an oplkm. eKOepl. as il' appli ss to basements,

Basem en ts, which have b€!erq routinely constructed as, additions, to hoi,.iS~s since the early 19"{Ws" are! parbcu1ariy desirable In iho'US'€i:$ in northern clima1es, where: frool footings have to e.>::rend we" Ibalow ground tevel. They oUer !he a.dditional advantage of providing cheap addmon~r sp-ace thai 60siS r,elativety ritlle mom to heat Of cool tllan a C(lnventional hOUSE: wiltllOld a basement

Y~I, allho:ugh moSI people readily "l;cknow~ed.g'€i the u:seltilness of tla:&amems, ltIey also associate basements with Ilmd!eskable

eh>a ~act:ensitics---4JslJ!any bas,eeI en (,heir OWfl living' flx.perienoos_ Bseausa basements traditiooaily prO'lJicled chsep, addmonal space, minimumc.oflS;lnI~tcm practices W,e1"e e~er'o~sed rn buird'ing them; no i'llirdomi ng was, applied 'to limit cracking. no waterproofing (al best. some [diamp:proolin:Qi~ \l\l'1iI sin slalled. and only mrr;j maf ipJ"avisror'ls were made for rrght and ven'lJlatron.

In !he paJsi twardy-Iwa yeOlJ'S, h"wever, pOO',p-le have i~reatsiogly lrieo to inCOJPO.rate basements ill~.o Iheir homes lIS real "lIving spa~" by finishing oIl Ihe basement as, a larnrly ree

room, Siludy. OF wOrkshDP Those who haloi'B done SO are probabry aware Ihat .a.dequa!-e IlghUng. V!l3nt!iaUon, w,alerp:rooflng, ,am insLllllItioo can ~e 'the difference b{litYt'een a "mlJstyold basemsm" anda.n .altradiive, cOfl1lortal:Jle pta¢~ to work OF IFela):_

To some exlent basernen.15 have' been assooa"ted with nega!J'IoI'e perceptions ;people ta-nd to ha\l<l. conQilming balow-Qrade hDLlarn1;l', Afler Wood War II, many lam!lies buHl so..c:Blled 'l:l.aseIl1Bf1t houses" 1'0 liv'il in wtufe they liVorkll'd Of! Dr saved i'or the rernalndeJ 01 the oosl oJ cons!nJG;ting III house Often. these J'amWes made Ihese 'basemen! houses" their ncmes ror vearn Some zonlFlg onjinanoos enacled In trw 19505 to prewflt me co:n6'lnJl[;'tron 01 such unsighily eyelIDfe.5 have hindered c()I"ISlruc:ti;on 01 earth SiheJmf\oo names twenty yeafs !at,er

Earlih Sheltering iII'l the' Sixtiies

Probably [he mOSI Ul'lus:uaJ elCam.ples of !tarth sh elteors 10 emefge in lihl3 ~96(1s were a, rew houses that were built as rather efaboralfil Fallow shellers in response 10 pre\la:lenl fears of an atomiG war fn 1962. a 11U11·s'ize'llPle ot such a home was built for ths Wmlld's Fair in Sealtle, Washington. where ~t was touri!d !by thousan.ds 01 p-e.opltl-

By the Ia:te shdl &5. the rears o'r a.rOrfilC war had given way tQan inGfeased1 ,awa.reness 01 ~he fragml';' of our envlronrrrsnt end ecolog[cal sjsterns, Envjronmefltalisls touted Ine concept 01 earth 5helf.6)ril1g, in oomtlTn8.tfon wlth generous, IhOlfghlfu:1 lam:lscap+ng, as a me811S of so:!'toe,ning Ihe visual and errltircmmental impacts of buildings, Architf~C1' Matcolm Wells was a pIoneer In this drille toward blu.ilding wFthOlJ1 cestroyin91the €lliI;rlh, III 1965 Phil,ip Johf)son de,signed one or th.e 'first no use-So 'to reHeocl this environ menial concern=anearjhCQveredl house on ~he edge of a small lake

near CrncinnaH-primarily for ltie aesthetic effecl of blerKIing jt inlll the surrm.mdlrlgland forms.

IEarth Shefte'nng-197Q t,ol~he

P'rese:nt -

Ef'J'lIlronme.Ii'!i.li1 am:! ecological cencems were sl.ifl the' primary reasorrs fm d~slQlrrinQ willh thE earth when John Eial"flard planned the Eoology l'1ou~e In MacssaonuseUs and Don M.elz oompfet&d his Winston Hous.e in New Hamps11lre ~Il 1972:. Wdth Ihe Hil73 011 embargo" how~ve'r. the eoergy advantages, of tll.lIk1ing UF'Id~'i'g round Quickly came 10 th~ro~e

In<sulfioienl public awarene$ and

u nd' of earlhshelterll"lg COi'lalpts, coupled wrth a. lack 01 COf1struction e~perbse

related to 'this Iype of bul1dinQ. kept !he rtl.Jmbers of sud'! housEI's quite low, howev8r~ by , 976. rewer than fifty lrvly earth sheUered hOl!.!iitiS had ooen buill III !he enlire Uml.OO StaJles. Over the pasl several years, !both 01 thesec obs!acle!!; halle been overoome 10 a great exlenl.......-lhe former, through artiCles and books aOOut etiflh s!)elitennQ. and 1na laHer as ·conlJractors and builders have, I:h:rough dir€¢t and somtlillmes painful expelimoo. developed' safe and il'lcrnasingty cost-elfeCitlve oon::;lr.uc!ion toohn.lq,ue&.

Through tle sixties and early S(lllfenties, a,

1ew larelghled, lnnov.~ti\l'e arcJhitecl$ oor;'d to design and build earfh sheltered hOIUSe!i wiIh IIWa lanlane iJ)"Id w,,"om amusing a great ,d!eal

ol irlle(esl by either Itle· media Of the gsneral !public. As. energy' COOlS continued lhetl'steady climb, I'lowemr. !hese houses became lh e object oT lnc'i"e,asi ng aUElotiort and curlosiity.

The elrteni 01 the public's desire for more speci,Uc Intorm<a#oC"] about ~arlh shij'l~ri1'ig became evid'e-nt early In 1~m3, wttenllhe UnclergrQU nd S~ooe . 09111~ei' published!he Hl'St basic glJ,ide 10 the concspts andilechno!oglY QI earth sh-alt,e;ri ng, Earth Sflefreted Hou,sing .fJesign: GuldmilJBS, E)I!amples, afld Refereflce.s.

With some I.repidatio.n,lhe authors order·eeI ,an rnj~<ll pri ntiF'lg of c.opi~s. Much to the+r surprise, requests lor the bOOk began arriving berore~hey had ririlishe:d wriUrig it, and the first pooling sold out in {h;ree monlhs. B.y 1 sa 1 ,

mo~e than 160,000 copirei:S of !he book had

been sotd, and sales are sliU going strong.

Earth Shflltered Housing D'e.sign was wriiltEin ij5 part ot a r·e;seareih !'l.tudy C(lmmiss~oned by !he Mirmooora legislatlJre. Since that project was ,completed; the U ndergroond Space Celmer aJ"Itl other raear,ch centers haye !ltu dJed ewth sheltered solullons Lo many existing enllimnmenlal and poDp!u la,uc:m problems.. Sa\I'oEfra1 of these urganizatkms offer acad~mic ood!or :snor!,cour-ses, conlerences. and seminars 011 va.rl1)YS aspects or earth sheUeril1Q lectrnologv.

Now !hat a numoor oflhe rnltial um;:el"lamties ilbrnJt s:lrudu n1ai1 destgl1, prope, Wiile(proo1'tnij led'lnique.s, and op!lmal iru;u alion [nslallalton have bem deal1 w~1h I!h rOL!:'9'h ei£pe!'r.Leoce (although questioM rn ·'ldea.l" sl:ftJc1ure and irw;u:latWn, "or Q)Camp'le, ,ar,a by no means Mly Wl'S'Wered). marlY r~rchers are lumi09l the'l r attenlion fa g<[llnenllg) :and analyLlng mllable daw. 011 Iha lheml'lill ~erlcITi'lance 01 El<lrth

sheltered sll'lJ,cluf,es. The Underground Space Centef, Oklahoma Slat'a Univelli~lY, anell the University 01 Misso.uri at Rolla haVE! all been Inl101ved in 'research projecls sl.udyjng energy USe' by underground hernss,

.At Texas Tech University, profesoors have sl\Jdiet:lthe rofe em1h shelLefilog p~~ys in mitigating the efi'ects 01 natural disasters and lS$ues reie:!ed to inwriOf deSign and consumer acceptance of ,earlli :meUoe r,e·dl names. Balh !!he Underground SP<liOO Center and the University of Te:!I:<1!s 'U Arlington have ,eva;lu ated !he im~ct of earth sheltering technclogy on community design; ttle Unde:rgroun.d Space Cel'ller's book, Eaf1h Sheltered Dommunity De·sign, puhjished In 19!:11. exami,nes such ·communlty developm&r;1s In dep:lh.

Legilslatioln and Earth She~tered Hiam'es

On. the federal gQ~emmenl Jev€i I, the most fmpnrlanl ~9gi51a;lion to date oollcecmlng earth sheltered hou.sing. is the Solar Energy and Energy Conservation Bank Bill. passed by the IUnrted Stales Congress in lf1e' summer of 19BO. 1hi$ hill provkJe5 10w.Jinterest loans for earth s.heU'ered' nemss, as well as lor houses that lncol1jJorate pa&51v8SQIa.r end other &l'Iergyconserving ·Iearures.

Energy aqeflcies in a! nu mber ot stafes-indudirlQl Michigan, California, WiswrlSil"l. Missouri, and 'Monlana-ha;~N~i shown inlemst in earth sheltered hoU's~ngl. In Mi:n.neoota eaJ1h &heUering is among Ute' energy features for WhlOO home .owners canr claim slats InC()me tax CJedils; Indiana ,p.r:ovfctes similar lax cn:I'd'Jts for ,(!al1h 5hellered homes Inc.orpara1ing pa;$shra solar deSllgn. In addition, seven of the'S'S d;eg:libe!:l in lihis beak were' built wilh runding prOVIded by th{l Mtn1l'1eoo1a. lE!,gi.s;I'e:lmel'or th~ Earth .shuttered, Demonslration Projecl,

SuI despite tegislatlnn and ,ncffl8sing geniTal awareness of lhe value of e~iih shelloong, e](perts i n thIs 'fIe-lell agwe 1h.a:I-IJk.e many innovative tech no1ogles--T1 Is nO! yet fully accepted by eitller P~O'lesSKlnal5 or thee genemJ p!JIbl~. TIltS Isdk 0'1 a:~~tara! liS not ,&n;lIrely due 10 ln~ IJniQue strnob.m:d reqUirements 01 earth .slleUered oolldlngs Ot to negativ,1iI'

psrChologi~1 reactlofllslrpm the public. A 1960 study Iby the l.Jn.dergrolJm:i Space CenlJ9f for !he Departrnem of Housmg ami Urban rl'evelopmen! (HUD) fouml '!hal major obstacles, to i.ncreasoo oonslrua::!tl(HI of s!Jch hou·SiliS· hays to do wllih existing tlnancial practices, zan og ordinances. anel o,uildi ng code' mqlliremenls_

As more ,eaflh shellerecf hornes !lave been bull! ami more ii"lf.(lrm]llkm a.DQUI them has become' <I'liailabre. lTluch Qf !he infliell skeplicism WIIh wlhich earth, were greeted by ean kers , other lending ins-mutton personnel. cnd~· oflicials,end' appralsl!1lrs----as well as quite a few members or Ihe general IPybfic-has gradually given IN,ay to an InGreasing 8cceplanoo. But not I.mlll ,enough successlul ,ex;amples of eatlh sheUe'red dWeJlrngs aria buill and enough energy data are gatlhemd and analyzed will the severesl critics be oon,lIil'\Ced that ,eal"lli sheUered houses are nol just a passi~ 'I~tj_

The twel1!y~thre;e homes in thIs book...-J'lomes. buTU for dUfability, cerntort, and en;er~gli' ,efficisnGy-snould ,help dispel thall"lotion. Although these h-ome owners will eX.fH'lril3l'lc-€ the> immediate, direct gaiins from earth shef1ering in fhe money they will save em rue! bHIs--as weJl es the reduoed m~rn1emmce. quiet. and protectlon provided by thalr home,s---il is I'he oomm unity al I~rge !hat wiJI benefit ave r the rung tf!rm from the ae.slheUc· and .em(i I'Ontnenrlal ben:elil.S; this uniq:ue type of archilecturB provides_



, ~

- "Minnesota' ..

~. ., , .: : .. " .. . . Ho~ing" .: '. ..

Finance Ag~ncv

M • ,Dem,on:stra'tio'n Y



The $even MHFA hous;es provirls ;an El'l(oollenil ;ntmductlon to the; variety 01 desfgrl options available 10 those in!erested in building an earth sheftered residence. The plans rnngo from lhe baste one-slc ry de.s!gi1 0" l!he Camdm SlaL-e Park house to the r.lilha:r unUSIJ~J "enclosed atrium" design employed in !he

Waseoa hau S9 -

The oouu.s also mustrals ways 11"1 which design d€l'!a:ilSr--SuCh as wood dEidk:lng on !he 'Whilew~ef and Wild River Slate Park houses, 'the mi'!c~e'te ~ipes used as 'relalningl walls in '!he camden Stiils Pam oou'Se. and !he IJUlilies SMH or Hu!' eLil~llIe h~ be used to imparl a sense of uniqueness 10 Ihe elevaliollilil pla_n typical o~ manv earth she!lered homes.

In ~ddltion, the 'rIarialy of til i1 s.lte 5e'u~ngs----Whic.t1 include i.JToe.n (Seward lawn housss), suburban fBums.vnle house), small

t'own (Wasecae:nd Will mar). a nd rufa! (1 ha threetl ~Ia~e pa:l'khousesHemol1SLTates I h~t earth shellerlng technolo9Y can be applied 11'1 widely diftfer(tnt [mal'es.

In comparing these houses, It is imj)DrlarJl to note thai, d:espita maior cl[ffoerenc!l's in aspects, of ,dB8ign,. d~etamng. and location, alilhe homes inoofjpQfa'le ,passive sol~u leatures. The dwlgnefS' 0mpl'HilsJS on Taking .adva,n'ts:ge a'f Ihe banefilS- to be' gained lrom ()gmbin~ng eaJlih sheltering: WIlthi P'3S-SiV9 sol ar lecl'1mdogies is a. ooJ)[;ep1 shared wiLh many anchllects and builders or earth sheftered structures The ImpOi'l8ilc@' or u~~ oo!i1 lechrm10gias 11'1 oolljJJilCtiOn in order to aoliil!ve maximum aOO'lheliic and energy-oonservaticiHil goa's cannal be overemphasized.

Constr'l.lctiofl costs (e.xcllJldlng Q:;ooS'trucrion fill"lanclil9, land costs, and leglll and

a(fmfni~trative fees) ~r€! sum mariized rOT eaGfil ear1h she~lered home built under !he M H FA demonstration project. II should be noted 1hilil,

in generaJ. lhe:se oo.5IS ar.S' somewhat higher (in amstlllftt dollars) than woo Id be !he case for romparable ~iMlli sheltered homes being bullt today, due in pari to sPflclal C()ntroetlJ'Ell rondttlons crl Ihe project tn addUton. these houses 'Werec hulll during Iii perirxl w'Men the ste:reo wasc ,e>q:t.eri€ ncrfiQ a C'OncraU:il shorte.a:e and a conSlirUclion boom. wntiibUling to hrgner

ccsts ror bolh materiaJs andl labor Finally.

some' of tile fab:@f cci&!S llndoublOOly rellecl. lihe fa.cLlt1al 11ew' bujlders had had €lJepernill'lce ill using Eochniqu13s associaled Min ean:hshellered construction 8.1 !he tlma [hess' homes welle



Camden State Park House

The Camden Sta:!e Pa.i'k house de:mor;slrates 110w unique and lnteresting detjjllis can be mcorporatec into a basic, straightforward design. yield ing i3i nouse 'thai looks d istim::!1ve but le, architecturally unprl11tentlOlJIS and uncompijca1ed, It-s simoli1::ily also helps Ihe house blend in well wrlh the 11'1 ~t1ural enVIronment of the park. L1l<r:1'l' Itrie Whii~w,a1er Stale Park house tpa-g9"so.'H3;·

49). !he Camden house acc-ornmooate several [amBy sizes and a variely 01 liFestyfes.

OlieJ1tecl SOLJlh to take atlvanlagljl af passive solar gall'lI, !he house lies nea.r It'ie par1ol: el'l'lranOIllJ on th:e ed~e of a reclaimed t 20-a.cre (4lHm.} gravel pri operation NalU a regrowth af the area, slarting, w-ilh ooltollWood trees. will be· alrowad to OCCIJr

Architect Peter PIiSle-r of IMe Architectural Alliance has replaced Itaditio:nal retaining walls, with large precast conCl,ti.ite pipes at Jt1e south 'comers 01 the' builcti ng. h'l addmon!o retaining ,earth for grade ·ctlanga.s. the pipes support Ihe treills above the south-facing WIndows and give a sc:uJpUJ red lool!: to ~hli! tact! of the house. On the eas:t Slid'et 0'1 !he slI"rudure a larg'er precast pipe covered with ,&arth serves as 1M enlrafloewey By using the' ooncre~e pipe, Pfisler has dltSlgned an atlIaClllo'e emranee w[t:houl haVing Ie completely break Ihe earth I:rerm 011 thai :s-ide of the house.

Th~ sou h-facing bodrnoms and Uvmg rooms receiwe low-,engle ..... i ruler 5'1.mshine and prO\l!de e-me~gert'i::y exil$. On the rior1hem inferior srd~

of the bulldillg are the kitd1en, eating, bath, and utility areas. 1\1 the back ,of !!he neuse.a wood-ffa.melm!;'er projec:.l.lng. 1 h r,ot.l.g.h the roof rollitains two large skyllgl'lt·s I:hat provkf.e light to the rear of the house, solar c.olleclOrs used for operalling an active domestic hoi water heating syslem, and a liUfDniE! velnhl.a:toJ ror crossvenlJlation 1 n su rome r.

!l is expected thai tha passive solar gam combined with e ne rgy conservatIon aspects -suf:h .8rS eaJ1h shellenng alld i3JUloma.lll!;, motoropera:red nighttime wrndow fnsulawn en the major glass areas, WIll signiflclIJltt:;- reduce Ihe heating demand of 'the: house

IIJ :2;1, 8




CON.OFlaE ptl'iE. RETAINING, WA~L '_'~~:::'_~7':::';:--"';:'~:""':f- SliEEl. muss SUN_SMAIJ~ SilfPPORT

~_'~~---;'~""';:""'.,.J.- METAl.. FlA-SHING, =.:..;;........;::;..~ EARTH OOVER



...,_" ........ - APEf!!GI.ASS INSU !.ATIION

. PiL '(WOOD SUPPOl1l'T fiN




, r'trolSlILIfiDROOf MEMBRANe:

~"';::'''!I:'''"~- ..;..'_ II1EAl SUPPLY DUCT



EARliH callEJR:



OE'G'FIEE I).I1'1'S,: i91EAlil fr,;!,Gi SYSTEM:



Site work COilcratalmaSClll'lf)' Wate.rprtKlfing Carp.a;ntl'!l' H~3tiHg:"j)lumtllln~ Electrical

Interior fI~haa G&iWral r:equiremarili;


CamderlStSl:e Pllli:, Lrndl. IMlnlil'l!lSol:a Arc:l:li1eCtlil',al Alliance IBiI\Buler Armltag.e liumt.e IlII'scH"I'!llm lind H:ess June 1910

1,640 loti;. ft. 1148 (d!I)

Rel n1oroed concrete block w.all&, precast ~Q ii!~te 1'1!K1,t, coft'Crefe' SliB_1HlIIIgrallle floor

&0% 011 mar at 11), In. <46 tm} 80% QIiI waUG,

Roo,t--4, ~". (1 D II:m~ i'1{lld Insuilatlonl

W~IIs--4 In. (1 II ,em} rIgid Insuhnlon

Butyl membrane'


PU!B®tlOf-esolar" w~, I!ledrlc Imtkllp

Natural cvefltll8~lol"l

s ~_aoo ~7.Jo1() 15,.300 23.761) lIUI81J

4.630 6,7Q(I 5,545


'"Th!lse oos1S- refleCl spacial MHFA OemanstrallOll PfD1BCl te~rt;. rnents and ID!:aJ 1XIrt:311yc!ill'f! II1dl!lBliy Ml'ldilloos,


(I :2 ill

._ ,



Wililmar House

Realtors in southwest Minnesota. where !his house Is located, say thai I!he mOSl frequenUy asked quesnons by polenUal horne buyers concern eFtflf9Y costs. Genesis A:n::niteotu Fe inoorpo;atecl,ea.rlhshellerltng and passive solar leal!Ures into this ihot.J:s;e with enef'IW

[;'orlooNalion In' m[nd. -

Located on s $OW Ih·slo,plng site, dle Willmar house is a g,O(lolj mUSlfe tlotl 0'1 a ~pical lwoslol"lp' ele\laliCinal ,&:ilFlh sl'1ellerml Mome! design On !he lI,J~r level, Ihe malm livmg spaces are grou:ped around ,~ulh"'acin:g windows; the. bedrooms are ,located on the cocrer lower levet A deck on th:e' eaS'1 end ollhe neuse provides adtJmonai !,!jew and ~()$S·vtH'ifllatIQn,

The designers halfe maximized !tie earth cover by using berms up 10 the window sills on the lower lever, A south overh<liog provides sha.ding for !he glass in summer and allows w:inler sun tn penetrale the entire depth 01 [he house [1'1 wlrner.

A rotC>ed.,ajr. ,al'ilIC1ric flJ mace tsitle primary healIng soiJrc:e for the ho.use. Direc:l pa.ssi~~ solar n, slO'fi1!d 111 lhe quarry-liIe-on-COOCfli'lEl Iloor, sup;p<!ement5 t~ furnace heat, along with a firepfa:ce with a heating clOll connected to lliie air r,.Hum. The &ouIh.:racing. double-glazed wfndaws nave Ifls'UlalOO panels on !he Ul$iCh~' to keep warmth ill 01'1 cloudy days and al ntghl

A c1ereoilorJ' prcviaes ve:n1.'auon and natural

Iig:htlo !.he rear scaoes 'Of the neuse. At the 10p of the cleres1my skylight space, a tan supplements the na:lural rate ()II air now in Ihe house: sst 'On a thermosl:al in ih.e' ~~chef"l. Il operales aulomO!liically. Two :siha:fU.. contajnmg plumbing vents and e,>::hau$t tan vents. pene1rata the rool It! rough the c~ure:sto ry .th U'S a.'!lOiding eil!!tra pr'Olfu$iOi"lS '!hrcuJlgh the! roof 01 the house.

In e.ddiliol1 10 The: 9'nerQY savings the house offers, the OWf'!e oltes QUistness and S>ecU"rTIy rrom sffvere wea.lher as advantages cd th is earth sheliered home.

Lowerr [floor Plan

024, !lUI ~-







(I 2." II

'~i!""";:__~- _









['.lEG FiI EE ,DAn,:

HEAl"HiG :S:YS:'aiiEM:



site 'HO!k C0rJQJ9l>8lrna8~ry iNat8lPQoofirl9 Metals





!nluMoo ~[i;'Sihe3.

WIJJm:a r; MTIIII'Iu'JHlU! Gel'le~ I's Are!I'IHec1l1f1!1' lWSM

Wlrrm:ar ~ V!)C8l:1ltma~1 ie'£l1Illlreal kll9mllh!l', ,~ftby Pl'l!iigrlllllil


2;204 l5~. n. f~99 CEll'

Rei m:mcedl ,ti:i'IIIIer'l!I~e <l:nd wOQd I!U:llilIwall!l, llla!lifI !ll1llled WON ba<lll'!!> wHhwoodi rGO' Oe(:ii(!!!t!), ,recBS'1 i~'!iUJ lc;olllc:relli!l GJa.tN:mgf!l!de fr.oo1l'8

114% >O:R roof Bit 1 e tn. {46cm} 159% £11'1 Wan;£!

R~o1'----4 ['111 •. (~IO elm) rr,gJd ~J1sUlal~on

Walls,--.-4 II:!!. (10, em ~ r~!!l r~ iI}slI'"UOI'il ,ooli!i,I'ock WilH!SE :6 In. (15cm~ Ube!l9lnaSS

bau IIlsulathm In stu:~w.;'lns Butyl I"!i~ber 'Olll! 'wooQl rOQf", berutOl'litB pa!lle:iis, .0111 ,cO<~C'i:ielie Ir09f ana IiVi8,US


Eleclll'!C furnacl!',. passive SO',",f. wooOl

N'a1!u,r,!l1 V>9"ilil~tloll

S9.300 1:1,275 7,1 ell) 2,626

:21AJD 1.9'45 4-"40 2,S6>!l 7.2QQ

""Thes8 co~f,s reFl€!cl ~c'a. t,ll-LFA ~rncm~1:telIllil Pmjed IiElq).lirerl'Ien1£i {Ina 10caJ Gtlf'I~ln.icr!lon ~~ coorfi~


TemperatlJ.lTe Data


Tt1e Des>ign Consortfum set aut !(l de-sIgn an ei1eTgi'~~fioiEint heme !hal would not requirelt:1e south·sloping orientation and linear room arr,!lif'!lQE!I'nellit typical of many ,e.eritl sheltered hous$S. The resull is an "em::fooed.,amum'·-type home fum: Is dlistf!lC!~Y different from the

ma]ori:ly 0 deslgliis assoc!aled willl earth shettered archfteduffi.

Uke mOS"t ,atrium designs ,the W!l$~ hOllse is internally oti~nt9d. W1~ rooms organized aJ'OU nd a cootrl:!il I~ht 'sou ree, rather

an mrel1OOkill9 an ~eriOr landscape_ The

1 .300-squafe-'foot (9( Illiing atrea [s, Ji'iiOM!",e:r, considerably smaller tnM that of most a.trium·type earth sheltered homes. ThIs house

id:emortSll'aTes Ihatan atrium p!anl need not tleGessltarle moN,~ spaca than other types of eall'llh sih;ej~ered 1l0!.JSB' designs.. In this case, tl'1'e: desfg ne!S chose to use the atrium space In a unique a.nd economical way-asa major IMng area,

The floor plan Is orglarliZled SO ~h8!l tI'Ie livtng.idrnlng room is the hU.b o'raclivity fOIl" the ooaJpanl'S. At rile rour comers of ~hi5 cej)ltili~ space are Ihe smaller, more pnvate Iivin.Q !rEli11S such as bedreoms and ramtly rooms, The~e are OOJ"ll11e<i1l:d to !.he frOnl and rear courtyards by slidlng glass doors, aJlowlng nalulal IlgJ:r1 and venrfi'lIlora 10 penel1a~e !he inl1a rio; oflhe holffie,Th~ mech9il'ifCal. stor.J:ge. and bathroom

spaces. whi.r.:h do 001 requirtil exterl.or views, are located away from the 'naturally'~ areas or thlE!' house,

Operable cfere.stoT)' winoows In the raised ruol atrlYm area pe;rl'i!l~ light to p&Jiettal"e to tha major ~Iling space in 000 er months and p rovidfl lj,IIerttfr.atrol"l 11'1 sum mer. iBy openiOij !he OCi'Urtyards at txl'tlh end'S. this areal benefi:blI from dUiill exterior expos-Ufe and tf'Iorough crossvenlilalion. Massed evergJ'iee n plantings sheftlllrillQl the rear courtyard Increase' t1he OoCCllpa__n!S' sense· of privacy while reJlecl.lfllg the natural S'IJ round1ngs.





CO:NS'11IU IC:rEI!):






Wsseca. MlnltllsotSi !leslgn 'Ci:insof'Uur.n, tnc. NelSQnlRmlile. Associates, Assotl~ lwn:"~ Marts 19'BO

1!i19!U!IIPIiiHllp MaoMlIIlIII JI1fiIH 1,3011 sq. fl. (111 CIIl 'Fle~ntDl"Cetii CGnc~tel:llocll wal1.s. pf\~c:ast concrete

pJl'anJ~!I 'w~th ,slope£!l, concrete' inFlplnfll roof, 'concrete sleb-on· Irade'r~

ao~ I:In 1'\001' ,at 24 Ilil. (6'1 em) 76,0/., on walls

Roor-.3 III'. (II em) 'rlgilll L'nitula,1lon

Wall .... 2 ]It, (5 em) rigid IUI.!'IIMIQn


HEAT~NG B,YS'TEM: G:ElJsrcJ'oClld-alr 'hm:isoe, tll!lC'tric bac!ku Iii'" heat·clrc;ula,Ul'Ig tlre,ptace - COOLING, S,VSTEM! INa~iUnil ven1Uatfcm


S~e: 1"{1ll'!<i OoncretE;,'m;lMfii'!j MQ,!als Walil1prooflng CaJpertlly l'l.eatln!1,'p6umI!liJ'lg electrical

ImIlflcr 1'100II


5i 7,636 S,7,1l2tl 1,2$'0 Mas 53,000 Bi,1'0{]1 12;,!,90 15,7llO


"Th~ ClO!S"~ I1!OH~t wed;;,l MIiFA [,)am!;)n~trelJon ~ro)e:cIl1!!q,uiremems and local rol'l::!l!'UOtron industry ~13jQna_

i~aDlO" II;;QURi-~-~-----~---... O.JITH COlji£A


fRONT ENTIJiI"I' --~-- ....

Ae:ria,1 Vi.ew' (,axonometfi.c)

CI 4 II 1.-

Burnsvilile H'DUSe

This 15u:omitlaJI MUlflaapol is; hom 91 Was d'esig;nedLoI me-&~lhre~ O:b1ecti.v~s: CO.flservatlon ar; ,en 8TW by L!sfn:g fJru"lh shellea1ng and Jl1sYI~Ii(ln fn ronJuru:1:lo!1 wJtIil pa,s,sive .so!a:r liIealllng. re~n iilb Ie r;DfillS~mctlol'1 costs, aoo inlegrntion of energy efliciency ind ro:stl' ~fle-olNeneS'$ with an aestheUcaUy pleasi ng: ~lgJ1l ! Mt u,seslh:e earth COWl"· as, a posil~ve dl£l'srgn rlE!.EltlUrD.

A. majorrac!m lniluenoJnglihl:l design or Lhi' .B!J msville house was lM challenge presenlled bV lhs s!leepty 5foplng I h-ei!lvlly wooded aj~e,. WOHo;;il'l91 wlth the slope. th:~ dgsigners plsaac !!he hOldse .intI!) an ea;st~w~5l ridge !hal SIQpe;s ,il!!wOli)!roihe, north arld south.

By opening the hoose to ootll 'the' iilorIh and s.oulh 51c:Ies, tile ,Bflcilllects havesep8ra~oo tIui more pub lie enlry' ,and driveway srea (OF! Ihe

no rth~ (rom the [lJFivale, VIew of file ou!doors, whi~ fa~ onfo lIiIe primary I M rig. spaces. The Ofiglrrta! s10pes 10 the ,sil~ hliVill' btl en maintaln&d so tli' Ina ll'I.ouse L<lr~ In Y,a-ry naluralfy w~!h

InesUnul.lilli!iIn.!J I,Elnd terms, Tna'ate-d limhe. ni!lainfrlij walls a.ndI plaI'lters I'ra:rmoniziIl) W'lth 'the rOllg:h ood:arsfding wed IOrJ the e.xterfOf, whlch ln tum has weather,ed to relied Ihe n~ruf,al eelers of !he 'woiXIs.

An olJtd@or' .deck-pl acMI at Iihe Eiii!S,t ,end of th€! house :;ro Ii1!S 11M ~o In1arilliffi' wJth lhu :sun![!)ht!o !he lowe, [tlva~rovlde$ al1l exit to graljr1l hom th-e' ~iVing areas, whJch, ,are looated on 'the: ~:pper level. In arJ'd'itfo.n to Fooucir.g the i1!,r,e,a !'equifelJfm Ule Ei'!CliI:Hior !Julkli ns env,aJcpe, 'Ills compacth¥o·stmy coor!.gyrlllitm aftlie nouse m iI1llmlzesthe pd&enliil! prC'lblem~d ,Ienglhy intern aI ciraJ I ali:Ol'L

Tha roof nf '~he hOIl.l&e ~s oomplej,e,ly (l@'I!'erM wiIrI eaMi. as aiB mOS'l .or lIte east wes!, Mid IlIliJrtJJi walls. The d esl9 Mrs mide signUkant ~$a ~r retaining wruJs t~ manip.ur{!l,re !he earlh tor

ih!\! 'etsllia:lic:maJ ctl-1iflQ~ thall We'Jie! .... uiroo ~ ach:IEW9I earth ~9tt9ring to lh Eli mor or ~tle Slrot'll,lfQ.

.AII lIle y;li'ltlQ-s ham been mnsolfdlaUW fn Ii

:s'haU lha1 ecctencls up IJhsl mrdid Ie ot the S(}lJt~ ladnij frol1toi IihG' IlQ~:S9. By means o! !his lmfq,lJe design re!3itLm~, r:oof p!3i1EltraUcm,thfOLJgh Hile wa:lerpl'O()flilQ and COfl!cret~ roof Ipj;;mk halle be e n avoidOO.

The' S:loped mar <md rath~:r narrow ~[an al~m'l' greater perle1ratto:n o'~ sunlight i n~ Ihe li'lliJlgl ~paoos. AddHi.ona1 So-Jl!!f hool gilln, as; well as S'ubSi!anga~ W1 atural llght. Is a~mit!ed U1m'L!gh 11'1 a large c~ Fe-story windows. Th~ Filling s"a~s, on Iha Upp.Jllf floar at:-I. as collectms for dilFEiCl p.assi~ solar galn, S~~ar' rllidlEliUCn Isaooorbe-d! bylhe dart brown. ungrazed ~amii::: ti~ or lila Intermedrale 1l0()f, Ij!,I'hf.chlhen release ~aa'! 11'11:0 lSp,acH Orl both lev,els 01lho hmJ$E!

In SUmmer • !lu:n;$rts.da:s C'\i'er !:he' Windows, In CQmbll1,atlorl with the tall dlecicuoos tteii1lS on the :lOO~ 11 slaB 01 the I"loo.s e. kMiIJ out cllrect 'Swl. The north mtl)l and ope,~abte demslo11l wlJHklws help provide l'11):h.ltal vel1tllal~on Ihmughou:1 lfie neuse ..

"iH.!!Ii!:-'"'+.----- EARTH ,COVER "Ii±'~~--~--lDIJ1;!EIFI~O SUN9<HlAI!:I!:SI

e 10 so -


. .;;;,.S..;;;,ecI,;;;,.· .. .;." i..;.o_n .. ~ .r"!I, ~ ... 4r: -.EI __ .~. Upper Floor Pllan

e <4 iii .~.-

Lower Floor Plan

o " II



An;Ctili1"lEC'i~ SmUC1JiUR.I!1l. &N6:tNEERi MECiI'lJ\INICAl ENGINElE:Ft.: eONr1lilRACTUR:; GONSTRUClIED; fll'iI:OCf05RAPIHY:





CON smurC1l1oN Costs':

Slto W0fk Canemill'iTI~mn~ WIiI~I'J!I~rlngl




IEJ~ I~~ cr.M!leI'lJ~~,


BlIlms'WU Ie. M I.lIU'IllSOta

Jolil.n, Carmmlll, 10m Enlson

T:ilrny 1111'l'r:!an

Ellison Dl!'sB.ll!PII &: COI\GliJ'udlQn

'19711' -

10m IElllson

1,950 .sq. H. (176 COl)

12. [fiil", (3D om;) Ir'llinf'IUod 'col'1creteill'fooir: and :2: x G WQ;CId ,!fWd wan$., preci!'81 concrem plank w,ool, precaS1 and oo:nCifeH~ s~:aib9:!n'gr<!lde ~loQr!il

lOG% on roo~

00":;' on walls 'R,~,f-4,~I'1'. (;!"5 OfiJil) wi!ird

.il1lsu'nati-orn -

Wall;s.......,4 TIiiI, (~Q ~) r!glid II'l'Gwlatioll1li tapering tG 1 In. fUi eml}

81:11;yl mbber .memiil:ran,e


E!lecblc 1!ur:lluli:l:le,tiJrcecHllr 1Ii,y:81.em[


It 7:0l0 11,430 f.3U)'lS

1,790 2'..7901 2.&)(1 7.~ 3,000


1i~Jli,9~! 1!5i9U

11le' ~12JWl!l-lrl$'ililfl ~ W"I-&r·~.~ !'looser !i<irlBdl"F rs,~~ OI'! BI S-U!imY. 72"'F

(22 ~) ,i!:j~_'"I1'Ie 'rMtjmDffl IhlJperal8m slm.llfireti~en !rom ~ lOO'l.'S(Ia! U'IB csmng ~ aDd a1 lille ~ llI'ol@j iII! If,e ~8iS S.75"F (3Z'C) dl!ll'lAIJ tlle ~ ~y.

'"1brlsaoo5b;.~ ~~ MHFI\ Oe~BIIan f'~ req;;rtr~ m [tIE I!l"I!!IlOC:rli ~$!J'IJ~ ~ ~IJDM


On.e oflhe mos,t in iilovalive Elnd ufllJiSuiilll ea.rlh sheltered OOu.sjng ,p.!'ojecls til dafa. the Seward t'own house d:£W,el'opmsIl'U I'esult,oo from a cooperal:lve etlar:! Involving the community aTIIdlhe rudliileclS. Tlhe alta. ~ocal{jd Immec:Fiat'efy ,Eldjacent to ~ \i'ery busy soolion 01 f~eeway and adf.oTning a majOf inl.emeclion, l'Iad beceme undesirabre: to moo, residential delletcwer5. II was slal'edlor ~se bya major resta.u 1'W'11 ,chatl"l w,h ~n SEfWili rd West Aede51igrl. a oon pl'"otirl n~ig nbof'hood corporation oorrcemeci aOOU1 lnOll'~lngl commQrciaMzatlO1"II of !he area. proposed an aile native: an earth sheltered residentia.I' romp

The town OOUSN Cle-monstrate' how a Ifloughltu l, w,el]-planned d~sJ:g n can tum oormatly W'ldes~rable stlia c'h aractwistics to advan1age through Ihe. appllcarlicm or e-arth

sheltenn9 afld p<ll5$iv,e sotar t~hniqueiS. For IDlample. !he r<l'd LMat Ihfi noisy h,~way f5 locatecl i.mmedi;a:tely noflh of the site dietaled 'tha'! lihe ccmp'lex face scuth-fhli'l ideal arientatlon for '~i\le solar gain. 11"1 addilJon, by IF-a.cff'lg tn.e units soutil and trooting a berm of ~.afth over the nol'1ih end and both sides of the comple~, Ihe arcllitecls sLlLlCessfully "dampened," Ihe rH;ieway n.oIse'.

The I.'wsNe·ynil ("ine lW(htJ.ed'room, thtee [hrillil'~hedfoom) d.wefopmehl is oompteteij! cove[~ by berms on the '!hffl(! sides; 1 8 roo{ is planted mtl'!1 Iiong natura] grasses. TI iii noM berm ,d~,srgned as a oonllnuallOfl orille grassy edge predominant along Ihelrooway, is, pundlUa.Ited b~' ootri!ll'lCes 1:0 each o~ Ute unUs. On th:e 8lOl.Jth are located the primruy enlra~ and 'the inc!MOLial unit oourty1lJds ",nere owners

may plant gardens OJ .shrubs.

To m~e 'tile lown hOUSEl' I.Inil.$ as iiii'1tHtly'sfficienli'lls, possible, the. architects in~rporaled both an aGtil,le' sclar syst,em and passive stilar 'fe-auBs in 1I'le d.esign.. The aclive S¢lar system wnsls:fs: Df il'lleroonnecred forced-air flat-plate oollec1ors .atoplhe roof (sf/ven 1l81leisloIF each two-:Qed'room un1t. nine paJ"I.eI.slo hti' thr,~ bedl'OOm units) ce;pable of ,Pf1Sh&a~ n-g the domestic water a.rru:l sl'Oring El;ItC8SS heaol in a rock swage boiX lin the mecilianical room.

The ~oouth onenlal.lcrn of !he "",i[)dOW'S. c::omrnned with ma:nu<lfly ,operaled tucte-nor

ills latlng rrnnng sined'e$, con'tribules to a sign1ffcaJ'\1 paSSive, solar gain. I n add l!'lon, 1he hoHow precast floor ads as 9: warm $l.r pl~lilum. as Ians dfstribute 'he.a~evenly by tlrcfrrg air

rough Ihe ceres of 'Ihe I1oor.

Upper' FI'ocn PlanE-'NI a 2 4


!Lower Floor Plan




'!i2 ;Ii 6 !iI ~N '3 II II' 12.

~!I'l 1ila1 U1ere~~B:r111lt inside Utiii, uwair· oqMi~ ki\l;ll ~ '"""lififl'llilfi fuan 5,4'F ~) 1m ~houI. or gIn!'i'i, 9'4"f (34.4"C1f C3iY MG~f. :~~ ta~ ~ ,tIiIeJ lJPI'lal' ,ru;:G Imwar ,~ ,til utlil I'1oosa '.ranee <lI ~ttI or en'I!t as"P fM4~J:lfuHng Ih~ ~ da'y.

cDNTINUMS 1'A!;AmD ------~-, 11MB I:iR 080UI!i' wm-I


TlE-BACK,c.,8I!.f:S --~~~--""" 2:~ SLOPf: ON IlEFIIM--

,SWJilE AT S;01TO'"

COMP'C~ G'RAiNU_~Jll··~-""'9I UCKl=!!!.l








,.----·FlJIFlRllN:Q.· STRIPS





'DONTRAcm:l:f~ :








Mtlilne:a;peliBl, Mlnnesot1!l Il!lh:~eI 11IJ!1II'l'IhlClase il:&.IOOOlute,. InJt.

Meyw. Borgman ,J!I JOhnson, Imc.

Kl"I'lu.And'ers.on 0' 61. PaUl '19119

.h!1'I)I' M'a111Ia<Stln

13,146 ~olal $q. 'iii. (1,231 ca) l,W Iq. h. ~e~ th.~eebedroom u.,n ~:a}

1,065 8q.fI. lper twi},o bedf90m unit {9}

IFletnforcal coMfete' ~Iock ,Eili.d wood' stlKi wa ~IEi. precast IOOTIeJ'iete ~CIO'j pmcast pallel am. ,slab..aJII-grade,lloors

1111111% en i",QO~ at HI In. (46 ,emil !95% on wall$

FIlaoJ-4lnr. (~a C9l11 ,Iglal Insl:lnatlon

We;fl&-3 11111, (,EI em) rtgld II'ISUIlatioli1 om 'COIItOrete block w,alls, IS In. (1 Scm) 'r~b8rlll'ilsii. batt Insulatiolil Inwood S'tuliil' w,aJls

S:praIY, bentof1l~te'


Gas, 'k!Jl'<oed'illir furnace. BC!tlve 1iI1lI:!1i p;at!liilve solar

INMUral \"emlla.tlofl

'These oosi;$ relieCt flpo9CiaJ MI-IFA DemOOSln!ttcn iprtlfBd (9ljY menlS and local ccn51ructkln 1JldtJ&1Jy COnollbol'l3:


Both the :(;'ons'TNdion mEFlliooE· and bu Ildmg rnateHials ror the \NJki River St8lle' Parik house were dEitioornmly ItmiIJect----to tedmiq uesrammar to <mr.l oommonly' used by ht:lilde,~ @r small rural IhClUsas, aJndi t[l nilElteri.all5 g.e:nena:lly i1lvaJlable In lumber ~arrl:S ,oi small ~mm!mill8S. The archil.e~s imPQsed I:h~e IJmitations ~LJsa of 'Iha re~awe r~fI"IO!enl!!"ss of nile OOiJsa s~te: from CI !~rge L!'rblit~ !:l F'ea :and in

OF,o:er to demollSlrate n~at an enef!JY,e-tficie<f1lt house tni:at uS&S p.~\'eI wJaf coljettltm and grora~BlechniqlUN ean be const~e;d' with malerlatsi r~ad"111 avaJlilli!Jri:l to Inlil general pu<bllc,

Set il1l~ a sooll'l·l\lU:;!lIilQ h~II$lde willl the south wall one-nledl 5 d'1it,Q ra&SeaSI CIT ~OiJl:h, !he Witdl FlJVIF MouSiE! ilJenefrls hom passiw .solar galli1l. The Ejft\Jra f'IOrIh wall, most (;If the west wa.IL am ~nJo:ns 0' Ihe eas·ti!lnGI ~lJth


wells me earth :st'\eltered. The 'e"xks!]ng soU-,a

~and g ra.'Vel m~ll----:fs id~!lil!or and

less~n~ 'Ihepr,oblems or wate~ 1J'i1l\l'


On liiIe ,ea-slre:nd @f 'the .u p,p e:rleve'I, ill ,large deck prollides rlmJ,piai"l1s wfth a:dd['Ii(mal ~,pa.oe ~fld a ,,;iew 01 the natilla.l 'par1< ~Yff(H..Jnding.s. A 4·root'l.!l[d'e' p _2"-m, d~ .€IJoliig the SlOUth side or the house alsOseNes as .a SLImmer SILl i"I made 'for U1e lower-level i;!,<frnfows.

Be/Wean 'the oortili, :S:lloped fS,:2. pitch) h.~f of lh8 roof .end tlrtf;! Ra:l $Obi Ul hal1 of 1M rool aremanuSilly opera.tile demstory windows_ TIl~8 pfO\!!.de n8Lu r·aJ Ilg'.hJ rnr the rooms :at !he !::i~ck of th~ IJIPper from of !he house and In SUmmer v~nUla!.e I.h e h~9h cei[fng spaaes !hal fiiOffllliiJIy ccirecl a.nd slra:lliy hm air. The cle:es~ClI)' wi i'1'drn'1S <IT'e ffily1ppoo wilt! me1'lually

cpernle(i, ifls;.dalied tn '!hat ,j1!rll' clcsoo duri~ winl,!! r nighl1lme hours a!f]d en dmJdiy winter d<l!ifS In reduoe n'll:fi1 r(l;S15~ Well I nteg;raled wilhlhe shapes and materia:~ used ~fI thE!, house, th'El' stJlJitI:e rs I1Ip;pBliM!o be almost a pM or tJi1ita, SlruClti:Ifa Wh11lfl, they rue' in Ute o.penl posIdon .and arB uoobl:ru:si¥e when ,o!osed_ ROi.')l ovemang$ .01 00111 the sf.oi!J~ ,B!I'I{'t nat r,ools are desiglile;:1 to sh !!die g~~S$ ,areas !:l;1ild 'toalJow fltl mil!:iw1ruer s!,mlffl,h:t 10 enter !he house~

To 'eJirrt1lia~a: ~lrotm~ltlGn: of OO! Ih€i 00p or the high, sklpedl ceili~ Or'] the upper le\,lE!~ •. a drci!Jr:~~ n'g 'Ian df~W5i air th rougl1 sJots

In ~hE!' linsbenween Ihe cletesfonj Wlndows. The air- is th~. direcred Ihro ugh. duCQ 11'110 ai. r,ock bti:1 located belawlhe floor 01' !he lower-level ta'm.Uy room am is rewme:d 10 I:h e forced-air rum:aCifl'.


Ju'l~ 1. 1 IBM

Upper' Frl1oor' Plan

O:HI, 8 ~!


024 8 .... -





~--~~ W41ERf1100f M'E,",ORME I!.........~--~ fllGlD NSUUi'lilOl.ll -~---- EA'FmilI COVill













S~9 "",Ddt

caFKiete IDIlSll:l!14Y Wiiter!:i'fwf1~ ~fl~




inienaF I'inl.:.he:sJ Ge~1TE!1 ~l~_rns


WUd RllI'er SlJitIe pa'rk, CtIl:~:Iil' 'D~!I'Ity, ,MillitiilEl.nta. IMcGliI'l ~e. EfiIll.ter,D!¥11II ,~~ilhR'ed!6,

Chl'l!iney AlI!5l0~lM

Hedl LBr':!l;o:n 'C!mll'wetlonl Spring Ulatl

MIi2iE1 sq. n. (174 ell)

Weod lII,udl l!I'rId rell'1!l'o~' concr~te Mile!! wall&j w@oo b8!1m :ilIfill!l: ,.ck '~~Ii w,~d lOis': al"dI,cone,ete s,latHlngra;dI'8~laG~5

G8% on rco~ O\!I~ UI In. (46 em)

'S'D% on .".~III:S: .

R"i1'-2 In. (5 CIml) Irlglidl IAS!LlJlatlonJolII! slope~ root.

S ~n. '~~5 c:m) flbel'lg~M5

baH InSUlatlOllll' 'Om! '11'$1: ro&1' W'all~2 In. (5 CIl'lI}I{lgldi Insyla,tiofl on ~:eiI'lo~ Qf ~liIctrete blockJ '& In. (1I:i ,cm~ fibei'ig'lass ib!!llit [flsuhil~lolll In iG'IIud ~11i

f!!llof-butyl meml:nlil'lil' Wa'i t&--'howeied-on mstilc:

8,159 ~d.;f.r~edf:orced·alr~!l!'rml!l!~iI. e!1:Htrlc 'coils ~ n8!l1,~;pllf ,~'Uct&. wood stOV>ll

N8~u.m.1 ventllat!QIrn

s: 7,!!2tl 15,220 6.970 ~liIl~20

~:900 3,]00 2.500 e,.,oo 9,f,25


'1"1'1Me ~ rl;iJll;!d ~ MHFA [J.tlifIOI:ISlrmtiM '~ !eQlJII~8"m~ anlll ~ ~1rumiEin ~ ~~N

Whitew,ater ,state Park Hous,e

In des[gl'lTng thls 'park manage's residence, Close AS$lOCiates wan~E!d to provtda a space arnmg:emenl fl exible enough 10 cornftlrlabfy hou&e variws famil:l'si2f):s--Im importanl ron:sfliaratiall due ~(I !he htgh turnover arne-rig, pank rrmnag:El'rs_ AddTflOji)all~, !he design h.'Bd to provide balil a plllbOc reception area aM pnvacy fm lhe resldefl't5, The first reqofremenl WiiS roo'! by J ncLuding three bedrooms lnat cculd 00 used idl:amatively as a study or den. The, S&G01'ild concern was resolved b, cle5ign~1'lg ail 'efi'trJ' vestibule rooITI~ enough 10 ~modate a. d'e$k and severa'l visi(OrS but SepSJil1ed rrom !he family Il'\lmg area .. by glass. ,rtoof5.

SiIOO all an ang III 10 a gern Ie. SOYthwest

~llJpe. Ih~ hOUS'6 faces predomlnan ly soL1th 10 benefIt from solar hlil1i!1 gain The hili wraps around the ,slructure 011 Ih..ra-e &ides, wnti a break: for lihe garage ami rna n en ry.

AMve (hs' entl)'ama:al'ld slaJrway, a high vauiled ceilir'IiJ Pf01ectS lh rough 'tile 'l3'e.rIh. OO\fered roof. proViding natura) rtgh'llmm dome!lhap,oo sk)'llghls. The roof of lillis. clerl9Slmy ls sloped' at a 45-dagrea angle In ord'er to mBlfimi2e the bene'lts of' 1'00 ap solar collector p<l!1els, wl'llc1i are used e·ltcl1J.s1vety tor p;,a'heating thE! water supply Two ol'her skyUghts supply arldi IOniSI natuial Ilghl to !he kitchen al'ld rMng arsaa

The il' ooAar sys!e- ronS'istll oJ two t~:atmes: tIIle rw! oolar panels, and vertical

panels on lhe SO!J1'h well wh ch ooUeC1 heal tha.t Is raMer clrectly I.lsed 10 heal the house or stored In ~ rock ttl" lJIntll needed Unl k8 Ihe roof collectors, w,hiei'; am used the year-round, thOi' "'lertu~a1 SOlj~V clJllmcrs ~[lHe only ill Winlet"

Passive liOIaJr beneiil5 are oblamed via the SQulh.f.adr'lg gl~ng, wh]c~ allows tha, SLIn to strIke and warm the hollow piteGasl ronGJ'le:!e Hoor. By pennitting aIr flow In all dlrecfions, the pr,ecasl paJOB'Isa;pp~:rlmate a warm air planum through which mr ls oontlrUJo\JsJy forced by the 'furnaoe 'Ialfl-ithu!l evenly diSllFibtitingl the solar Iileal. The masollry mass 01 lti€l house also store-s Irteat from passive gain

1I11fl-H-~~--r---- CAS,EMI!:;II!!T WINOOW .:....-~~-+~-- SlUJl CO.loUM.N f'ltIOM ROOF PlI!.A!NK TO FOO.'I'lNG

:t1~-~--.._-~- CAS'f·IN.p,i.ACE CO'HOREl'E StU _...----~-~ I.el< 'BA.>CKHLI. ~-~~-~- COllfCRElE BLOCK WALL --~~-+~-- f1SERGJiA:SS; INSUUlTlON

....... ~-_,_~-~. W'#lRM AIIF1' DUCT ,Fl't'iiJM SllL.A!A: COLLE'C'fORS, 11'0 ROCK STORAGE Ie:JiN:

_--~~- CONCRi1E ROOf! SlAP

~-~~-- V:l:POR UJiiRl~ _~4+-'r-F?~--~ s:AA!D' LAveFI

South! 'Walll DetaU













Site 'lI!"D(k Coocr.ela'lna$Onr}! ~tals

~';IlI,te(!lflX)hng GIl!jE1!l!.iV tleaiJng'~ 18ElOr:!ca1

lftIeftlr I]nt~hea QOII'Ifiral requlrefllleFll'!:!lI


WhITewater Sl'Bte Park. 51. Ch!Sl'le;s, Ml'nn8:sg~ Clo:se ASSi€llirli8tes, Inc.

Mever. B'OiI'g,m&li1 , Johll SS!, lne,

J'ohn Sr:ll'ry---ba£:l!nl'jit Iledng 'sll'~em

Sola r I!r,chite1:tl IEliIgltle'El'l'ing---,afl1tiYe' 5Iolar CQ,II:ector 6¥!1lemS

Wolt,er l'lJmtler ComFl'lii'lY July 1,9111J1

1.1191 sq. fL (HUI 'ea) RelnfG'rced com::fllI'le bl~1iI: walls, Nllcon precast panel raO't INII'CDII precast p.a:mu1!:1 and ISlalNliii-grade, 'Iloar

1011% on root' art 1811'1. ~46 em) '75/% o'n waH,S

Rool'-4 in. ,1m em) rigid Ill'Iguhli~lon

We' 15 (above gl"a'dB)----4, In. (110 em) tilJl, In CB,~'kty 01' wes1, wall; 11,4 In. (4 em) rigid illsularl!1on elsewhere Elu[I,[·up coal·tar b<ltumm ,amll ta..rred f,elt


E!liectric f\oroBdi.air furnace. aC1hr,e and Ipa&&lve sol:ar N:al1ul',al vel'1~ll;anon

S 5,,625 21.000 2,085 6,640 2:1,7505 2lIl • .ros asas




~ ~ IlBIIeG '!;pI!lC.'I1 fI!I~FA. ~~n Projed ~I{I(jmenlS RIlCIIOI;al ~ 1nIiUSli)' coocI;oons

Upper 'FIIDor Plan ~N

024 8


Lower IFloor Plan





11'1 ,terms of structure, hOUSEl' 'plan type" size, dlimate\ aiild faca:!ion, th;e 50000n houses In !his sectiOn ilI'ostllll:e th-e vari~ of ,e<arlh shell;el1ed Muse d~igl'is 8_nd configurations possible lin <I ra!i1lge at c(lmales.

Most of these h:ou-s&s use oonventicmal flat- 1'00<100 Structural So/Slems !hat il'lClude ooflcrele IN,ell,s 'With a precasl or poured oonm1e'!e roof. mhews. ~ef'. Invol\!le mora unusual

slructlJiiial Sry,Slems-TeJT8··lJome"s dome-shaped !'IilmI.IJles, Arthite1iFa'S ClINfline:ar rear w<:l.ll. ,and

!he 1IiN;)(:Jd roofs o1~a E:a:Flh~e'Ch, F eull~e, <md 5unmve hooses. for ~ampIEl_ The curvoo Iratalning walls ,of th lit Suncave ,and IRemington hmJSBS e,nd !he absence 0'1 r~lalnlng wallS If] lihe Hadley house are other vanallon$. on lhe typh;;al slfUcturaJ design 0'1 eaM sheltered neuses,

RlindnQl tile Ij:lOjirularity ,or the ,ele'llatiulial 'type of !loose design. many or ,th-ehotJISJRS in 'lilts SifiCl:ion are elev8llonal strunif.l!.l~es set ~nlo :so\JIti'l'4adng s~. PI. number oJ ol11ler coiiil1igtJraIJoo8 are also included. pointing lull) the V~h tty O'r basic saM s-hel~red designs. The ~ark: resJdunce ~,.;rn atriunMype desjgl1. file

Slicks & Stones and Wheetei" hous'Il!s combinE! alrium with elevalio:nal femu res, and !he lEarthtooh 5lmd 6 houses e~pose~hEl W€Sl as wall as south walls,_-a vsria!lion ol'1llhe elevattonal dooig n.

iJk:e' tft8 MHF A demons:traidon holUlSes, neany all the hemes ln this section employ teallUres such as glazing 011 sm.llih walts and mas-sive coi'lslrudrol"l mall~nBls in order '1'0 muimize passive solar gain polentJa:1 associated with earth sheltered strm:tu res, An e·xeeplioll, the, Mmelan.d, house in Texas dernOflSlra'l€Is thi!lJ'~. ear1h .shellerii'igcan iliIso prove a:dvanlageous 111 terms of providing passive cooltFlg beneFits. Severa.! a:rd1itecls have, included -active solar features in thEiir houSiIlJ-S to reduce energy costs even 'llJIrtner. Tile Sun Earth nQme. tor ,~ample. mm'b.ines a, nurntJ_er of ptlSSf!.ieaond aC'lI\fE!' $(lIar fe{dures ID adhie'il€!' a high dagfH of energlY efficieocy .

VIJh1le the m.eqoril)' 01 lJ1es'E! Iho'!.l~ar8 located in rural .or'suburban settlligs. where LQf!lng 'ordlnaooes and bLodldlng eodes am ga(!leraU~ fass lJou b1esome Ulan is Iroie YiIiIh

tJrb(ln si~es,lhe Clark: and Sticks &. Stones homes tesflfy ill Ihe' ability of earth shelt6red hcuses RI oomplement ,al'lld blend w~h ooniV9n,tiona.1 home styles ill lypioaJ urban tlr"'(l8S.

Mtl'roovie-r. the Ar,chiterr8 deve:lopme,nt. Uk€! ltJie Seward town houses builllJnder th'l'! lM'frlFA demonstration project, providiil$ ,evidence thai' concepts 0' 'earth shelle ring C!m be '!rery sUGW'S'stuUy l),sed in c'r'!!!a.liog m,tI!Ureside:rrtlaJ rornplflXEts.. olte:n on sites consldered unlsuUable for f,!:!sidentlro constructrorl. T'hlil ooonom c and envimnmerlta.1 benefits pos~b'€I through sue'" msidenlial developments cal1rt(1l:-and soould aveifook:ed by archileClS and builders.

Th'El ~tra:stsl!'1 st)I!toaJld apP'OOf€lnOe amor-;g these OO~es. as well as lMe MHFA demonsltanOn homes, ser\IU ;0 !.lnderswr~ a ~if'lt ~requertlly ern;pllasiZled' I:)y proponents '01 ea.!'Ih shsllering----"namedy, lhal Ihis typeO'r arohitadure J:)ermim designers ,consiClerabFa' riexibflRy .;meI ingenut!y in cmating O;:H'lfll'orlabL-e,. allracUve, sma, and energy-altich~m homes.


[lug fr11:0 the side of a SOlHhwesHacJl'11g hfll end partly ,covered by earth on the rool, SUncave ~,a.s the 'fIrs\ passive solar adobe home buill on $~lJla1'ian. The earth sJl'taltered de-spgn was (II response. to ~he sloprng site rnaraClefistics, ;a r,eques1 {or low vIsibility from !he nelghbomlg roao, and llie owners desire lor a high ·degree of Ihermal InteglTly,

ilchJeliab €I through ealth sheltering. Its earthCOVe-Fe<! form permits the house to harmonue ~h the st.moundinQ t'Eirrain, milllimi:Ze heal 1os!S, and lake maximum advantage 0'1 solar


Thrs home Is an axcellent H:II<lITq)Je or how em1h sheHenng permits in!e-gration of a house wi1h rts envncmment. The earlil lone of the brown adobe bilxk IJsl1Id ~or the west extenD!' wall (aodror all Interior mass walls) matches

Ihe ector or th~' simounrnng s'Oil, U·UJS hlelpfng !he hotJ<S~ blfl'.nd Into the 5mfound~f1g hlll,

Through the use 01 a CUI'\lOO Felaming wall. the archilects have cleated a gl(l ntty slopi rig earth b-erm that echoes naturally occurring fOr:m.s t)'f Ihe surrounding landscape In addltlon ~O giving I he house facade a three-dlmM$rona~ liIJppe:arance rather uncommon among '~rIh sheltered houses. lh~ archil e shape of the wall helps e1f~lJively msiS1 rateral earth for~es. By enclosing htJe space Oil Ihe sooth side 01 Ihe house, which is used as a patio. the GOrvoo wafl ensures pri1J8.C~ wh~le adding an ou1door llvl ng space for the occupants.

Like Ihe' Wifd Rlller Slate Park house (pages <:12"45). SUJ"1cave teatures a c:le:reslory element and a partially earth..oo'ii'eted sloping roof. The cle r&slory windows Il roilide SQlar gain an d

natLlra.1 Jighl to the rooms at li1e back af the house, as well as assisting wrlh n~lL.lfaJ ventilation. Two slcylig:hts pei'i9trale he north slopmg roof over Ihe areal, pefTTlltbng spot lighting ever the dining t:abfe and k~!ooan work space.

The rei nforc€ld CO!icrele m OOCII'l.ry waIls, adobe waifs, and noo'r:s constituLe !.he main li1ermal mass or Ihe house-a mass sufficient to kee.p Ihe house cerntertable wjlhOl.Jt baCfol:!JP tleallng for several day!> in a cflmSle Where

ou !side emperatu res reach ·15°F (·26"1C l. The su n provides about 86 pereanl of thE! required imnual heating: lass ll"iaJ"l a cord of wnod has been l'leWed annually !o maintaIn an interior temperalure range or 6,5°-75'F (18~-24"C).

~~~Po!!,=-TI=O =---------====:



D 2 <II, B



:SOIIJI.COVE:AEI) flOOF ---------~-_ .....

BEYOND __ .Le _._

e;UjL'T·UP 1i1.0UF --------------..


COl\lCfilLrrc, BONO BeAM ,---_!:!~~l¥?~~~~~~ STUCCO AND LATHE--~-- ..... RI~ID INiSULAliCN -----_ AooeE -----~--- ..... PLAST6R-----------~

_Se_,_c_ti.;_D_"- ... 'O".,2,_.j! _'\.'I1 ~'W,alll~ SeC~iDn





SSlua Fe, New Mex!co Da'll'~d Wrllgl'!t

D!I'II'ild Wfilght

Karen T,eriy


m~:O!5iS ARiEA: srIlAUCTURE:

11,500 sq. tit. (1 as ,tal

'Concrete ma!sGl'Iifjl' and adobe wains,wood ".am 3nd declldng roof, brick cDIIls8nllli HlKlr

60% en Ir,so,t :all Sin. (1 is om) 50% I@!'I w;l!H~

RDn1'-2 11'1. (5 Glin') r~BI~ rr:hSUllatlo~ ,6 in. U 5 cm~ fiI be'rglassi batt! 1 n:~!ula1.iQn Walns-2 n"h. (5 em) r¥gid fnsulill:lDI!'I

Fourilly" 9Q.I1 b, bl!! HH.!p f'ootlng





PalSslves@laft a&l'tlai'laal retentlonl t~teiP!ilces Natlllilll vllntuatean


Remilngton Heuse

ln merging grace'ull'y !Nlth its natural w(JQded sile, the Reming'ttlrl h'otlse lakes on a threeclimMsional appearanCE! ralher unusual amOf'lg eaf'ltl sheUered home s, This fyJpe of facade, ILke ittat of the SUIlC8I1tl' dwelling (pages 54-51), [$ lar~ely aue 1.0 lI1a CUf\led reJ:ainil19 wall wraps arou nd the lrant 01 ltie house" crea.l.lng i!l pmtarle oUil.door courtyard.

Another 1 nte.restiU"lg as,ped or thTs hoUSE US me rer<dillety farge area CO\i'ered by e~rth; Ihe rabo o. exposed wan area to square raclage is qUite low. All of the rool and most of the walls are earth eeveredTha key to '!hIlS plM Is lhe 48-'1001 ('4.5,..m) renl.in1J( $kylighl:--Called a '$0 lar alitlc" by arc'hiloot Fideh arc! Web5.ter~thta'!

ell18mj~ ~he lellglh 01 the huuse aM pmvldes


substanlial natural light tnrOLlgll'1.olH (hie' Interior spaeas, Trle sky~ght. unit aroo adS as: a solar heal sink from whfch warm rstumalr Is tiroojated iOlO the rest of the house! by the arr haMler of a. splil 'heat pump system, In additIon, Ihe lnni1 Was designed 10 accommodate eigh~eeo linear ooncenlIating sotar colleC!or5-nCl'l yet ~nstalflfid----to run a domeSlic: Mot wate.r syslem,

Even without !he active sotar system, Ihe house has proven quitel 'Emergy·efficie-.nt, based On temperat"Ure mOlilitonng figures and hetll.iingl r:oslS.The p::!ssive solar Q mn vlalfla skyrlgt1t is ab.oortted by the thermal mass 01 the _pOsed split-race eoncreta bILICk"; Which ties ,been used for ooth exterior and inlenor walls.

Inside temperatml1l$ WerE! co ntl n U(J\i!S Iy reco'f(:ied lOver <lIlour~season cycle the Y'8\iaF thai th e house wa.s comp1e1ed Over that ona-vear period, !he. highes'! lemperature recorded was 8JDF (28<'C). !he IQweS1-r'ecorded at

ChriSll'nM in 1 978, VIi-!1efl all systems in !he house had been de-liberately turned ort for jour davs---wss 54"'[!=" (12"C). Ths annual inside lemperstul'e averaged 71'F (22"C) over !he same penod, when Ihe average outside lemperatUl'8 was 49"F (9"C).

For !he first wlnler, £hi:! Iota] I'leatlng COOlS ['Of the all-eleclnc structure were 5180: $75 ror l1No cords 0" wood, S 1 0 for [)lJal, and $951:m afec.triclly talxn,re baslc appllance use),


fl~Dor P~lan

02.·4 a



o '2'·4 i!!I













HEA1I'Ifl!ilGi S¥SllEM:


,I\:sttevilile. North C\EiJi1!l[hllSJ RI"ham F. Webster'

Reeiie,. N:oJan,.Q & M~Elnlth IFI~C:!IilI:Ellrd It<O I'In&dy

May t971!

Rijen'Elrd IF'. W'ebster

U20 sq. ft. (fll'J ca)

~Inf~ rl~ed COrl~~'" block 'wails, ~,.,ecn1IC0Jmr,ete roor. COllitlre'lfJI .slah·ol!1Jrade '!loor !lOI"k on ~QDr :at 3tH15,trn. (1I'6·114 em)

75% on Wi!lUII

RQor-:J II ill. ,8 em) filg[d in!lula:l~O"

W!i!ltIl,....:2 in. 1(5 cm~ rigid Iln8<1i13s:1lion

EII.!ttt robblu mem'brane


Solar Btttt:. ,E!J~r.;l'O--lIlr lIl~t pum P', wood ,;to~e ElliM-coolod .[rnllm vent 'I!ll'l, 11'1 r-'lo.Ellr h,~t pl:IJ'np

TheN'orman C'ark homa, li'lliE! the SIiC\ks &, Stones house (pages '74-7'7', Is an e)!~HeJ1t Illustralit:m of how an eatlh shelter~d hOLlse- 9'lJin one Wf"lh strikingly different de-srgn--can fit 1010 an urban seltlng. The jutlil'lgl pr,oJecfrons an 'thi'il tJouse-a CQl1l1guratklll1 I'M at mighl well appear ahtrusi\lfj in a. conventional aoo¥eground hou:1;e-aduallv help !tie Clark hom iii b!end In wfth o~her houses in !he netghborhood by makll19J It appear less "undergrcurut·· The hiny en1liroom~n1 am;! a we.<l'lth or shrubs, trees, ivy, a'l'ld other p'an!ings surrounding I.he house also 00l11rrbiJte to ltlilii s'l3r1se or harmony with tile enllironment

InlerestrrrglY. JI is ltie' solar collectors, I'I1O:UIlfed on Ihe conC'r~hl! projectiol'1, tharl 91lfe !he hoUSe i'ls ul'llqueform. TIll£> shap-e evolved from tlJ'Ch iteel Clark's, des[re to lake advantag:e


Of solar gain in a house that faces east""""'tlfllike most passive solar houses, which am oriented south, I n h~tct, one ul lihg, mall'! beJie~ts of houses fea.luring ani ,earth shetleroo atrium design i:slhal thay 00 rIOt rn'CIw I ra any speciflc orientation. in d~sfgrtfng his house, Clark worked cmatively withlhe opposing forces of !iiie slop~hk:h ruled owl aJsoult!-fa:cing;&-aml the need ror a south arieflltalion for lhe co~lec:!ors.

The atrium desrgn is a most approp(Jate plan fm a house localed til a rather dense suoul1lan nelghOO1'hood slJoh as Ihls orm. As with moo! such designs, the maln Hving spac:es-bedrooms,. kftcherl, dining ~f\d Ilvlog roomsr-are arranged a:roul"l'dl a OOl'itral a:lrium !hal pmvidm; Iir\$ffi '!h stlnlighL The ir'Jlerim of !hE! ii!tnum, adorned wdth f1 urnereus plai"ill$ and

sh ru bs, ts an iO\l'1ticn{l family gathering pface; In wil'ller, lt is conven!ed to 8. greenhouse by st'r,~chin9 iii rm.lvethylel'le cover across IMe lop' 01 the space. The atrium/greenhouse also acts as B. solar coUector in wiritar. as il absorbs and stores haal. As shown in the floor plans. Ihe kit.chen and dining sreas provide views ot boltl th:a prMI~e, in n er Qourty~rd and, th rough exlerlor windows, !he oUldoors.

The house !Uses an <i{ilive domlN>Lic hot w.aler s¥s1em, a 3O,galioTi (114 -I ) electriC water heater, and a l[replaCe as a backup, Addfli1)rlal solar energy oblained v.fa th-e 400 sq:uam f8'et (36 cal of rootlop solar collectors is stored tn the B-iru:t1-thic.k. a·tool-high ,~20-Gm-thfck, 2_~-m~ htg'hl walls Md in the concrele slab Door.

!ll~., B .-.r-.


'Ci s 10 20





S,ite Plan (aena] view)




pJi!)n!nan~ O",g@.1111 Norm, Clank

Norm Chnll!i: and HalldQI"8 Constl'lUc-tlon CompiUlY J'1iII1II Ui 1 llli'7

GRO'SS AAiEA: 11,BOO sq. H. (16,2 ca) heated ,511051:11- H. (45 cal' unheated

STRUCTURE: C!I:J!·II'II-plaoe reln,forced concrete wa lis, WiO. 'beaml anlil dedlrllg Iroof. CQIllCille:l .. sla~on.gmderiOOr

EARTH CtlilJEFI: BO% '111111 roof at 24 Tlii. 1611 em) 88M '0111 walls

INSJUlATIOIN; RoO'f-3 In. I{eI 1:1111) rigid

InlSiula~lon -

WaIl_lI In. (2.5 em) rigid liii9.ulaUon

WATliFiPROOANG~ !R:oo,,_.rl ..... pl~ !lot m;S;li!ped fll:lel'ig'I'89.9,

Walls-asphalt c.oatl~1I1


IO:EGREE D'A'i"S: ",700

HEA1IiING SYSllEM~ PaUM'so'ar', woodi, ,electric Dac.:kup

,C()OU'NG SVS:uiiEM: Hahilral v.enUla'll!!!:n


To, achieve his goat of usingllel'1erg'!l~!;.I'ingl leehn lqaes appr'(IJnia~e1y, Itle designet of tills; house II'l~E'gIraJled Ilhree: maJ,or appFoachlilslc home an:e:rqy ~l1se Nalion; e.arth shaltering, super tnsula1ion. a.ndI passive .solm' desiQ'I'I, Through I!ha lIse'o! 'these featlJ'res, the amhilecf has very successfully mel. the' owner's reQllIfl'erne,f1!s. for brightly tit, aesthetically pteaslhylnte:n:or .!lip~oos,: a hJg~ cegree 01' et'hE'i'fQY efficie!OCY: and H mooer:am oon&{roctloo budget

The heavirv wooded site"fo the nOl15'e stopes raltle. sleeply ID the south. To Increase usable outdoor space and pl"olllde OOeflyate ~J'IIltgh"'llor passfllllE! tI~l!i\9. ltIe, deslgnerandl owner det:irloo ~o de'tach ~he' hOll~' from H111 garag~ and move it liP !he hilL On the north side, lih.e house is tully In 0 Ihe hm, with

the earth Sloping down 00 tlh.e WitSl iilnd ea'S! SIdes to meet grade 0fII tlhe sou;lh By

elimi111ating ~! tmd1tlon:1ll1 n~l.alh:nq walls, fie an::hil:oo'l ~Hpl 'OOII'Is1ructkm ooiII daoovl1 while only mrrrimallV reducing I!he themUl1 peFfom'll.ll'lCl8

or !he hOlJose. The ectdoor spa~ III thesOiLIlh or 1he nvfng spares Is designoo so that a greenhouse and sore:ened patio ean bell!!ddoo.

Tille' oonceptl!J OIJ k~y 'to li'its; SGuth-fac[ng' Iloll'le is the coopUn;g ar laM sh9:ltering with passive solar direct gain, Tha sloping 'roof ;mel lilfge cte~eslory WIndOWS in eve!)' room maxlm1:zje the ~etrallon Dr su:n.lighl tou,a house, RleJ dark, fnsuli:led I"loor m8!S$. '!ogelih"Gf w~~ !he con creta biro!< walls requlred to suppoM ~he Ell1IrliFI loads, serve as The stc.r,ag.e medium fo solar radlalion.. All wall surfaoas aliBI p:ainled while' to reHect and diffuse r.uf.J.ation 5.0 thalli reaches, aUlhe dark highma'5S Inlerim .surlall:~"

Unlq;ue M'long the I"1OUhS reanJr'ierl ~n this 'book., !he Hl!.drev ~, h~ no earth COIJef on '!he 1"00'1 Itns!ead; Ole ,architect Used large amounts or fiberglass insulation on !he roof as well 8$ throug'hou'l !he' house', Bulll:Jlng fhe' iI'OGf stirllCLj,Jr8 01 ro.<Jndl (} ku~jols1:s !hit! span Ih!B ,_ Iir-. ,width or !tim I~· . iipBOI'l

for ~DI~n.

desigl18'r esllmateg he S~'i.i''€Id the OWfl!3r allProxrmately $9,000-.$1 0,000 fn ()OM~filJG!lon costs by using t.h e--se ~$IJP&ri FlSILI:i'i'lti'Ont lectmiql!I~. Them;;al pertQ[lIl'Jance data on ~he ooLlSle.liave incl[caled thai allhough the surtacs a~ea of thili roof accou ITt::. for 50 pereen I Dr lhe lolal exterior S1Jrlace area of Ihe house, it aCCOU"i'i1S .'cr only .., perDeil'll of the !'leat loss h"om th~, stru~tu rs,

The pnmal)' Ihea.ttng system is €I!ediic 'forced-air, wiih S'Upply ducts localeci beloiN 'the flOi:l:' slab. The .air-relum dUCI, wh ioh nms the lellgilh of Ihe peak of Ihe root, oolllilcis and redislnllUles 'Ihe WOII'I'T1I afr, 1'0 redistribute warm air !'rem eil1hef the lirepla~lilil,ocd 'stove m from solar heat gm, 'the h~gh ,a.iir fe1um can be lJ<SerI I'IULorl"batlcally wtln the furnace blower.

Mior,e nTofmaliTan about prototype Ihoose plans, b~ 0.11 Ihis ImUStlI deiSlgn can be obta.lll'l"sd fllOm: Tom Eliisoo, Ellison .Dasfgn and ~JruC!f;ofl', 2001 Unlwf1S.ty Avenue ~ulheast, M ~lis. MITiM~ 55414


It! 2 "



ROOF------------------~~ Pl. 'il'WOOO'lRUS5 ,~OI<ST ~!liltli:AL '1" StiilUmt.E RDOANGi PL WlfOOEl SHEATHING F1.1llERCil.ASS. BATT I~SUU.'fLON V,APQfI BARRrI1H G'I'PSU!.II 'OOA~D cE!l:uMG,


WAlLS '-------------~ WQO:l]l STII..JD fHiiIIIM1I\IG


~I~'ID (N'SUl..Ai'nON


G'I'PSIJI.l'! BQ~1l

OP;E;RJ,BU SUfif6H:!\[ilE$ AElLIrwoao IHfAPJT'WOQl)

PL 'lfWOODO'VER p~ 'lfWOOri

nIBs: S'I.!I.I?POFI1ED BV SlTElE:L PilPil! .AiF eNDS

WlMTi£A POSITION ------------+--ri----,i+-F.-~ SUMMs]RI I!'OSmON --------------,-.."""fr---~--;.,!---!'

@ ~'"
* 0< '*
P SUIlI.N.G GLASS DOO:FI------------!

nOOR ------------,


cRll;iJDr ~~SlUI.A'Ii'ION .. - -------i~~~~'"'I!:"f_==9rI3 Ji!'VC DRAINAGE ~, I~-------i!~=":;;_

~South WallJRoof Deia,11



MinnQlliPQII$r MlnnllSO~ Tam EUIR:m

E~ II)QIIII Dellgn ,& 'CS'I:'!:!5·U1Uc.tlonl 1979

John FIil'lliler, lorn Ellison


1.!!I50sq. I. (176 '':8) Rell'lfuj:'oed ooncrelJe blook willllG. wo~brU'ss I\ill-of, 'C~mlQrete !S:!ilOOfl-Q rade ~Io~ r Sf)% em walls

RiOof-16 IJiI. {IIi em) rroo"',g:ralill WaU:a.-4 y~ 111. (11 em) rlgt:f:il.

IIII:S u~'I:I'~lon. 1a~1'lng ·to

W~ In. (4tm}

:BI1i.ith~n:e on waU!!, ,a!liiph~n i!!h~ r'lOIe:.e DI!. ml}r

tEAA;rn C!OVER.:






PM;slv~ ~Qlllr, w:m:od 18l1(1'118', eled!!'h:: fQr~-alr 'h!~MCe Natural ~enttlst!o;~

This l:IDtJse 1 nThe Sea Ranch i California, is a good ~lITIpll;E! of ca:retu rly ool1llbtni'filg earth sMllering. design dmalls,! an.d lanoscapdng Lo produce 9: tiOld$El! that Is e~m ely oompaltitJle Wllh lH'noe environment The ~wner' reqUti~ed asirn pie', en e!'giy"COI"l$EH'V~ngl bu Drnn.g' that OOu td usil~ wU1'ts;lan!ij I~' Mn;:h ~a Ins a.nd :strOIlQl winds typ~ca.1 01 the c:oaSlal d1mame. whirlijl penn1fljf'!g !1'! good \1'1 ~ O'r lihe I~:acl rie Ow.¥! ~olhe .oouth- ~n.chM ifilto ,~ SQlU'lh'lacing, !:le:n1t'istopl~1 tlJllskle, Itm Ihouse !ia$ eEl &JId roof ~nI'OO 'M~ n,g:~ural graS$S and lK:e plant &i:E!t Mlp inl~F~Me !he house' wiI!1i tile

sill! By v;l rtue 1111 iI:Sstrong. simple Mnes, !he


houeS~ ~il!kfjS 11$ ~h1!ce' as an Inl.egra,l part O'IlhEl Ia_nd~ap~, rallih~iI' than oiy\!i!~w,erfi!'!;g It R~ sklinQIS!:nd terra-ron:afloor ~lt&.S rElfl~a ~ihemlar:s of th e SLrFmllni1! Flgi terrain.

The wulhorle!'11atiof1 cd permitS n to' oonelil tr'om d!reGt jJ'ti'SiYescmrgaln wihHe

of! lis OCCUpM!SI OIl'! e~nS1¥il! ,.i'I3W of '!he

nortoom CaIHornla soorenne Passiv.e gain from Ihe varlal, south-facing oMfU:hJ'i'!'lii, is' stmerl In !he OOllCf1Ci1e b~k retaining wa!18 a nd In 'Ihe 'liI~ ~ 'on OOfi.CrelJej' slab. At the request of the rOWOOfcS. :ill U,e' dooblfHJl~oo g_ Wa<$, IlIflloed to liifIinimi;!'1;! '9!al'ie-lhree sk'ir1ghtspl'ii.:)lV~ addiliooalspCl[ lighUng at the

rea rof!hehoLJ!5e

A proJ eding!owe:r thB.i houses a lo'it a:lso cornahns oJ)sraJ1Je derestmy winoows Ilh i1l1 ass~[ with vantl'latlClf'l al1l~ pm'iiide ao(:lIlIonOliI light Na:tuJaJrJy heated s1rattliedaJr ~s moved by am automated ran. from [hie tower W a 6Bl'!d heal Slo:raga blld oolowllie UI\eftoor.

AA Irneresti ng d~ig n deWl is ~h'e placemenf oll:ht!~i~ooj~ oolar dOlTlesUc wa.ter heatingJl cgl~$S, ill ground le\l~_ The rollecicrs are iflh!gr~Loowl[hlha reanll :slope be'low l:flB' elCitei~nor, $.01r.l'Ih.laelli\g ~ oeelli.



'Floor Plan


ID '2. '"


0' 2' 4 !I









The Seal Ranch. CBHrornla IDilVl1ii Wright anlil Denrilts, A. AlI1dM'~o-SEA!ilrOlllp

Tom Hul5ke1lS

March 19711

1,ElM I!tj. ft. (161 ca) COfiere:te Il::ilecill Bna: 'woad 8tUJllIW<l1~s. wood beam Eil'l:di lIf~ek!l'Ig mlll~, concnota slab-O'r1-gra(h~1 'tllllor

1.6% on mo' a~ 12 In. (311 em} 5'0% on iV,lIlIs

Rocd-2 In. t5 em) rigId Insula:Hon

W,alls--2 In. (5 'eml rrlg!d Insulation on concrete 1iI'lock Walts" Ii lin. ,(1.5 em) fiberglass batt Iflsulatlol'l ln stud walls Ma<6IJlc


PassIve .S.-ot8;, lelectrlc D'<!,&eboard. woOd! S~Qlve !II 111;111'0111':!I'tJon


0' :1 .t

.. ,


The St[ck:sBl. Stones house s'lJooe5sfully ea.rr:ies tlnroliJgh: <l.scaledhdowl'l ,ep; to eartJ!1i s'h'e:lter,ec1 des1gn-Tihe archltec!S i'1a'lle' designed ooth 'Ihe Interior U\lfr!ill and! lllii!Cuage :spaOE!s and !he e'lf!f!nor rouny\ara areas 1ooL:lg'1I'f~ll¥ Wid imaglnabe!ly. sO'lhatlho overall hOuse plan S!~em:s eomfortabhl com pad, ,;ati'Hli' than cramped. A hlgfi Ciegree 01' l1Ia1'u ral oonlig'ht admP!1 00 to !he roorrtslhmugh soothfacil'lgwimdgws ,mel two wimJ:ow courts. in comtlinallicm wlID <lI !'l;!latwely s:ptlcioos

frving :ai:rJingtsLJrl court area oonlrii:rule to a sense ~I airll'l:es9 ,i'iInd ·opermoos,

Tlus h~U'$8 a~o ls ~ t~n:a '9)(arnplg ul how earth ~~ltiartf1g' can be used to make litUl' mosl 'o~ a small !SIte: ~n a typical IJrt;JatJ \Sti'tlll1~ The ,wmh bi3TJ1fI w~senl$ i low profi Ie Ul $C8'~ wrth thu lot, !lind IP rOi,ri{j I9S arrrJple YClItl s~ace that wouf(ll otl'le"""fse !lave been oon,!1IU med by at

OOJ!l¥e~liona!l'. lloovegrcmnd ho_me.The~fJ:J1 I'oodsoaprng, ugil1lg tr'ee.s that WiE!'J1e growing 01'1 !he si,le be.tme amstJm:tio n as well <IS IreIllS and '1I0We',5! helps the hOl:lsi;! Ib lend inlo' !he !'1 ~ghbD1heoo wh.i]e pr1llSeNfr;g fJ'l"OO~OUcS Ugreen $pa:ce~ in il!O mba;Jl') '!:In.v[ronment

Withftarlh CO~~f:Jg 90 perter:Jt ij' lJ1ie' roof and eo P6'rcenl of 'the sides, fhi!S noLf5e! rnay bes1 be deS'Criboo as a pan~tr-ililion<lli. as o~d liIJ elevatlonai OF ~Irillm. design, This Iype 01 ooooe plan ~s cl1l!!11lch.ri2!~d l:iya:n ~I.ensf'le earlTi wve r on the roor ano b¥ window Opei'Ttf'lgs (lin sev,s ral sIde S orlihe

MUse. The east wiooow Goort m this iIDusa 1l1il11PS provide nalural fight to lhe. twD· maln bmirrooms. whlt;h iliIifU sat al/lN4ili "Immlhe pnrnarv l!vJng spa:ces,

A li'ery e neC'lJlolB CleStgiri rt:!3tu FU If'! tl<1 e! f'r18!1rI [jvjng area. ~s t~ ra.1iSed1 iiIiOOid'en floor which

sub:lily &eparateslhe' rllVinga.nd djning iareas in an otherwise oP'fW1: spaoe_ To ,erth.a:rt(lethe rieeling af spadoLJ sne$, in thIs, ane~, Ule precast CElmrng fu;; h:igi1lef here thall'l l;n, the bed'rooms

f.he sun~n~un court pmlJlides, wnlighil ,;lind venb1!:\Uon tolhe rooms ~m:l ,!;lO~$:S:to !he


IBulld[ng heal ~s accymu laWd from SSw raJ seurcas, The prim.ary h~a1il'1g system----a ga8lfired. fo~d·a.Lr Iuma,oe-is supp~!j!mel'lt!'llf by P£lissive soJa!" h I! at IJal Fl 'thlD1Jgh 'Itle d~ubrEl'gJ1Wl'd, iilJulh·fadJ'IQI gla:s.s ami bya ~burnin.g sltlve In the raised "~r:Jg room SJliilce. He.all 'is sl:oreC and released from lfile toormal mass gf ·!he walls, root and UOOf

The ~m.!'emliollal reel ollha carport prl:l~ storag;e &p.iIC!eI Oind pmse nts a slopoo surl~ce for "ruhJrc i!i\iSIal!;ation of 001 ar pel1ets.

Floor Pllan

10 2' 4 IlJ



Mlnne:apolll!l. Mlnn:esom Froe:l'tle:, Saphir, J"s-Str~ks ,S Stones Design

IFowlw. HlInley'

S1il'ck!l, • StOIlDI! 1O'N1!j1ll '1'9'.80

SilM,en L IBe:rg.erson




GROSS, AREA; 1,3SID sq. iii. (122 tal)

SiIliUC1iURE: Rl!ln~~I'~ced MlilctoBlle bliWk 'INaila. IpnlClIS!i Wf1o.rell ,ro"'. ccm:creli'!' ,Illab-Qn· gmda IIQoI'

EAflTft COViER: 90% an r'(l(!~ 111'2-18 In. (30-4!Scml

8.0'% on walls

INSiULAlIJ:IlN: Aoor ...... l:n. 1(15 em) flgld Insulmlon

WialI&--3 In. (7 ~ml '"B!!cli Insula'ion

'WA1:EAPROOFl~G; Bltwnene


DEGREE CA "'S; ~1iI1.1!IQ

H_EATING SVSl'EM: Gn hu,ced-alr furmke.

Sectlion QI 24 ~ lill llIuslve'solar, IiWQOd stove

,.=,;;.;;;;.;.;.;~;,._ .,.iiii" _ _'i --.____ COOLING SYSTEM: N'<rlural W!I'!Ima:llufil

These two houses are 'rIarialions On Ihe pmtalype E.arthlactJ house desIgn dellalop!l'd by archJte<;1 Don Metz. a plCJheer In eall1h sheltered 00I1S'!ructian, Both houses are chcaradmized by rurnplicily and durabilily in dNtgn and construcbon-i:hemes echoedl ill Ihe c:hmce 01 buildIng matenals Inside E.ai1ht!'Chl 5, ror example !he heallj' II mb8f rootsys'[em, large masonry amh OVI3 rlne wOl'Xl :stove, a;n.dI dark nOlO! nfes ~nk the l'it;uoo to rts wooded 9t!e and lnelp create a warm. romlal1able lnterior The ced!iir stllPl'ap siding !hal has been used! on the B>tle.rior surtaees has been bleached I gh gray and !e ' 1.0 weather


Exposure or bo1h 'the west and sooth sld~ 01 thew !'No !muses fs SrB her unusual deSfgI'1


foe.atUn:!. Although these d'esigns may not lake as, mUM advarilag,e of passive S{Jlar opporwhities li6 some other earth shEl-ltered hoU9S. thB'I o'lter coll5k1arable natural Ilghling and a dllic;e oT viey,rs not generallv availabte' with the more eomman rtneal arrangemMts 01 south·-tacll'l9 earth $heltered tIDmes. The e~~sE!'d wesl WEIll also. p ovldes a mean~ of ea~ emergency eXIt from the bedrooms

Uk'El mosl eanh-rnrngrared !>Iructures, !haw homes, ware designed wIth pasS1Ytl solar gam Hl mind. !-Ileal OOl:ainm:llmm !he sun eorrrmq Ihrnugh the south and west gtazed walis IS absorbed ,and dispensed by tile l:lull1-ln 1.h.erm:a:1 mass or the ooncrefFJI walts.. ihelloor, BInd l.Ile FOOl system,

ThB floor s)!'s~em ~ !ill'1O her feature

aSSOOimd WI[h tI'1ese Eartllled"t designs.. A Mu'ble slab rur plenUm, Ihs floor consists or Oil ooncrelE slab 'Supported by GOrlerete blacks spaced at intervals on lop of a slab 00 grade. Fans 0100 earm aJr IT'i!o [he spaces ~twe!iln tht3 blook.s, d~51r1bu~lng I( evenly. so that the floor is always warmgr Ihan a Lyp-leal slab-ongrade Hoar. As a result 01 this Iloor system wi"lh lIs 1a1ig,e, warm lhermal mass, 'Iemperature changes wi1h[n IhEl house are nOI reI to !he same extent !hall They 'Yo'OukI be in houses wi'lh II'l!:SS thermal mMS

Mare lnrormaoon Ih@ pro otype Earlhlooi1 p al1iji may be ohliiilr'i&d' by wnting to Don Metz. Earlhl'OClh Pos~ or1JCEi Bol( 52, lyme!, New Hampshire 03768.


-- ..


FIDor Ptan















Lyms, Ni!''W H:a;mpshijre Don Metz

W!lyn~ Pike


: 1979 Rolle-ri, Pfl rronj Don Me1Z

2.13110 sq. ft- (1 BO CII) Relf'l'fcrud roncrele walts, ,l'Iea'lY 'Imber beam and! tongue and! groo'ie da:lIi ng "'GOt I:I'Q~'IlIIe-B'1:a I!:I t1lnCf&1e nDliFr 100% on roof lit !l In. (2.3 em) 50'% ~m walts,

Roo 1----4 in. (10 em' rlgldi In8ulaUDII'I

WaJj;&-,2' [1'1.. ~ S em) rJgld I ".5LQtatJon

Ce'c1 .. IRA


Olt.-flred hytIrDnll: s,YSIem, wood s10lle

Narwfill \l'li'n IJIaUan


SRl'H COVER -----~~ __




~SolJlth WalllRoDf/FII~DDr Secli:o'l1l


SunEar1h House

lhe Su:nEarth t10000 rn C~lorar1o SSrYQ.5 ~5 alii exmlJenl E!1ffimpte nf hffi\!' paSSN9so!ar wclmc!ogy can br;:! oombinedl with a bas~c IlIruih :::ohe,lltered hause dieSign to yi'iil'ld quil& si.gllffi~nl en ElIQY sa vi ng;s over ,ooiilV'en~lorla! homes. The [oweElergy consump~Dn 01 ll'l is MU:iie re:s:ults tJ;oth 'rmml:flE!' passwe solar reaw rss IfICl)rpmatool iOIn !.lila nOOSfaJind: tht! cwflrem' kinow'ledge at how to use I heM t~res to oMain Uie bes!! I~Tlerg:y pertnifllioce.

'iIMh !}e;rms on !he roof and onlhe easl. west. and 1'IGnh Slides i IhQ SunEarth OOlJS!1I' has ::;00 square feel t~.a ce,~ ollioor-to-eeil1f11Q soutJi.faorng Mn®ws_F~ltv-four 55,.g~I~on (20'EH.) waller-filled bna.QI emrnsare s~kiedagaln6t thss-a windo'lNB Air 1"i$ted by !he dru~ ri:ws into !hill ceiNng veifill!; aoovelihe drulTl$, UH~fII n~W!! !rtl.o M open plenum betw,oon Ihe cemng

<liM the root Vents Iromlih 15 pjenum pr'O"'~d€l a lheITJ'lOSip'hoflliC:: !low of wam. i1liir an!}lJnd the IFlside of !:h~ I'iIOUStl Allhough moot lOr lha :sola)F 6ne,rgy ooDeC'too thrcughlhe Sl]ulM wlndCWlii is s:~ored (ntl"i:e d ru ms, ~he mass 01 ll'1e slab fioor and! Itle walls providElWIDl! a:~i~EOIi1'al sl[lrage c;a:pscity .

The oollJ'ole glazing 0'11 the soulh windows t.s prolle!Cle!:i b'Jl' ill. BeadweJJ movable' instJl.won S1f$lem CO'I'Isisting 0' ;;!i Will n 9'~~d with pwa1le1 par1~:S 01 plate glass spaced Si nehss ~ 12.5 em) a.paft. rn G~u'dy WiBEI.the, ,:ru\d ,91 IfItght tiny polys!)! r0f3l'Je beads meaUI()ma'tlcally btOWf1 in bie'tWe&n Ula panes.

Sill I nple-gli1Ued .sunSCOO'p ~,1igJr!S e~t~ndlng up Iilmugh the beffilS add to Ifle, natural Ug'Mlirg prmtldw by the SQ!lJ1h windows_ Painted a rei1e(;t1ve wliltte on Ihe tl'OSl'd~l. I:h:ese

skyrJghl:s. are ti!ted to lll'E! SQiJlh !o increase 'Igllt gain in w[l'i\erand minimize solar gain in !llImmer.

Wa:IMliIf pmhealil1lg is hand~edI by two ,30- g!llllOf! ~ ~ 14·1. ~ bltlGk si!Elel domeiSlic hoi wat~r !a!nks, IP Istet! I Fl' stan:ledenciosytes on 1he ,axpooed wuth wall. th.n 001 lee!. hea1 Ircmthe sun in Slll'mmlll r and! winter.

CarBrU!ty rrumilomd for enerID' pertofITJ<IJlce ove" lne past MD years. SUI'lI5~ house llPiies er.erg~ from '!hiJ SUn 10, haMle aU tn;€!, s;p.ace l'iIeaUngi:!nd 20 perool1lt or the domeslic hoI waLitl:f l1eed'sruf the OOL!.ftse. In addltfon 10 the oboMu;s 1~F1oml.c beneltis. the DWT1ers: dtelha opecmess oflhe house pli3lJl. row mamlenance, a.r;d quielrii~ as e !her posl'tlve a91peciS of thefr ear1tJ sM£I.e~d hoone.


11 r-------------~------------------------------~------~----_,.


~!bUkId allfll):>1 '1 W< <)1 r~rrldi(llr";l E!flI!f[:p' reqUllad for £11=8 hlC'almg ~

CfUl1I1Q ~, ;w'Mr rT'I!lnll'lt, »

~ '" '"



Floor Plan

,(J t2 4, a


Section 0 ~ •

--------------~--------------------~~~. --------












LongmGI'1', Col(iffiaG P,ilul Shl'ppe;e;-CGlolad:O SLliilw.(uks

Jahfl.SCln-Vl:lil!lnli~AFcl'lu~elill, Inc.

Colofl!ldo SUiIIWDI'k:i!, 191:8

1,800 sq. ft. (Ui2: cal Cast-bt-pl;rce concre1a walls, 1000iiiermll decik on steel ~~.s' lI'D'gi, ICOII'IClete sltab-ongRld'e'lom

100"1. on. ~OIJ'llIm 12 In. I{!'O em) 1SOt~ DIAl walls

Roor-2 tn, ~Si em) rigid Ifl5Ula'llon, II' 11'1, (23 om) rlbergla:ss bat! illiBlJlIaUDn WaUs---ot In" (11l em) rlg,Cd 11'i5UIB~h:m

Thl"ft-'PI~ ~fli" ili'liilr,ell


Pa95~liI'e 8IlIte:J, hQI _1M' bae~rd. lieat-<Cireulating tlreplm:e

Three ru I'blne ventilators

r T I


. .-------------~----- NeT&.. FLASHil\lG .-------------------. SllmJ!.. i:I~J!l1


_____ " I 211


_ ~~a!"' .... '1:;! lilt 'ilila'.:rr 5'~ [5':~

-_ U

20 'IS

.---------------- EaR'fH COIlI::f!I Mil f'nT .------------ meow lNsUL-'T10N

A. rr

.---------- fo,cuA£O CONCfliETiE ROOF F------ RSElRGLA§ IEIA!TT '"5 U !..AT!lON .----SfS£l..fAUSS


£lumIg to'Uf clOL..ld:;r days ~l:!W1 Msrli:!h 1& ~ Miiiw21 l~ ~ifinJlera l\Ire I '1S,!d~ ~rW ~!;I te-It 00.1" 8' (4~4-=Cl !lie wd~er-hJ~~ ~1iU1 I~J d:tJ~ MlJ'MOO tfu! [B$i':f'JiIl [!.[\e'f\i'II ~Iy lie! rnainl<;liFl !tJl ... tcm~i~'rj'W1'8 '.1I1ll10i.J' li'Jec ;3Ji,;j,DOO.,gr mr~ e."'iIU!;jY, ~ r)Ofn'iiiil IntErtn1'l1 tlf;nJ gffi[;:;J;


------------------ wo~~ SnJU WAIJL WITH P'liJfWOOl!J1 IEnE'l'i!lOR. FmEn'lGLASS BAn IN!liUU,:nONl, GYPSUM BOAAO IN"IUEIOR

-::-------~-----------::! FlANES iJifSUlA1'Elll G'-ASS 'wmHl :Am SP'AC'E IFOR !!i,nR~AM 9EA.1J IHS~bII\1II0N

:---------'W.A.TEnfll..LED HEAT Sli[jRAG£ m;a,UM!S

.,.----------------- mGID INS~LIl1ll0N r------------ I'lOOIi1ED ~QNm:HE WA:L.L ~----- .E:ONCnETE StAlE!


B,oothe House

Architects tn snllihem T e)tas, whem this home ls located, have' a lwofold problem wilh regard toaflergy usa, The 'grea1est oom~ cm- climate cnn:!m!sy:S.1.ems oeeur durtr19 summfi'r, wh:e-n high Lemp:eralulies a'!,rei.e.g~' In !he IIp,per ninel.ies and Dft~n e~ceerl1(l(loF (aEli"Cl' IQr rliWS- IOn the other hand, wfnter"lQs, spcradk: berow·rl~ezlng temperolUres accompanied b!l extremely elia!f1geab'e we:atller oom:!iLjons (e,g , ~!!mperafl.m'$ ha.1Ie boon !mown to plummBil from 76"F ~25"C~ 00 ~WF (.....o1"'C) 'ofI'itrun hou!:S wh,efl a "bl ue norltler~ blows inl The period 0'1 hfghast heating demand lasls rrom ml!j..Decem'lEr to mid-Ma'I'Ch.

ThE! ~ttect has combmed ,aa1'1h shEIl sling 'lNi1h passlYEI solar featu res In deal effidenUV wilh roth ~t[ng and cooling needs of h.OUS9S mhis c[imere_ And gi Elnne rising CO$t 01 ossil fuels, earth $hel.lering has beoome an

I ncreasiTIgly popular oplJon In thls re;l00 01 Lhe


The pornary deslgn requirements requested ,by the r-S;'Ihed owner !:if ihlS home' Warn reducred . utflity oosl$ ~nGlldlding d~eased dependen~e 01"1 energy denved from fosS'n fueJ) , e1l.!le 01 maintemm0!3', simplicity oT ool1slrudion, and !lec1.nify. AHracliVE! landscaping, qU;l1l!lness. I!IM "'OOIJ'lugical !lcspeclsn iEllll additional bel1efits lihe owner iilll'ri'btne5 10 her earUl sliellieroo homs-

The- house; blYllt Into a SOL1lhe3sHadng hlllS1de. ta~" ~tdVMlage or tile vfew, mfenta;IlDn. and prev-alring breezes. 1d'1! WIf'lI'Elf, !he hoose Is partially Er.ded by wann air COUedled In he greenhouse, Active' $Olaf collectors ~re u'5fld to heal. lhl"l domeaHc wa~S'r. wt,rjch romMhum a deep well en die 15-acr,e t6..,1'm1 property

The centrally located "'wlnd tower" presents a ulliQu1il solutmn Lo the eernmon pmbiem cT provjdk~ adequale cr.oss-v:en1ilation In ran uoo

shmtered house. The Wind I'owa-r, whic:h ca.n lJe opened end dosed from inside the hOUSEl, draws tn 9' pfevaJllR19 southwest Mnds Ihrough

th e house I Ii su mm er, cfl'eiJng wetcome ere sslienl:llalion and cooling Shaded roor overhangs help keilp Ihe S\Jll away fmm 'Ihe housoel In SOmma r A, small, packaged air condition rng un" a;~l'5 as 8 backup cooling syslem.

l[luring the summer of 19BO, wh c:h bmlm records for lemperarure highs. number of consecutiVe days Cover 1 OO"'F(M~l. am:! lack of rainfall, the hDuse turl"ied In an a:rtremeJy good en I'9Y performaf1Cl;l Even hough landscapmg' hadscarooly begun am1 the roor MIS C!lViifKi mairlJy with a sparse Gmp of weeds, fn-e house' corliSUmed on~y about 40 percenl of tiTe energy requlred by 5tmllar-s,izoo homes in he area. Once the landscapIng has become estab Ilshed, eyen grea.leIf energy elficJe~ 1$ e~pecled

l'CfjG;Uf ,ilrtbi !>ROO!jl;E

WOOD IC:Q~NG -~~~~---...,


PlJ,NK ~-~-~------;

Wllir=flPmOflNG ~-~~~, ~ !NS1.U:,J[IHlN -----,' DR!l!IfUlG_i

Q 2,01 .1:1 ,,_-,

1-- -_~mwEA




CC,NST'hI U C1iED~ PH01l"~G Fi:tltPHV ~

GROS.S ,A.R.!:::A:


EA!RTH coveR:




HEAlif.N6 SY5iliiEM:

Fori: WoFtlill,TeJliil!l

Ray W. Boo'l~aoothe ,& Assoclililes

J.fUI'IIl~ McClure' reii'm Systems. IM:ay 19'5O

IKfpp BiIll!:e:r

2,7M sq. ft. (251 i:-8)

Cas!.1 n"plal;.~ con crete Willis, P'fECast ,lianb on, s~~tl.lral sl@'91 Irra me roor, I:OI1II::J6tll !daI:M:m-g mtle noar

100% Of! roarBt 2.4· Inl,

(61 cm~

6&\;' 'Q(II! WI:!I'[h.

RoO"l'---4 In. (10 IlmJ rigid il'lsulanon

WIlHs--,2 1111 (.S C"m) rigid ~"sl.iraHon



EIM:lrlclo~-alr 9Js'lllm, SOlilf gree:nhoH!!l, h~ilt· ,cirelll'I~U"9 rjf1eJil'r'E>~.

Wind ~tlwer, nBW.raH 'tBnl.l'~UI;) ~

= ~
rr J - --_. -f
J Wens House/Office

''When you have a stuflnlng pond and 'foresl view to tht'l east you buitd facing easr and lind serne otirler way 10 admi'lsolai rildla1ton" So s.ays archfle!i:lt Maroolm Weirs, "' ptolll"r In earth st1elten~d !'louse daslgn- Walls' combination nome."office, ()n Cape Cod ls one room wlde and 110 f,ee1 (33 ml long. with its king axis running d1:J e norlh-swth Along lh 9' full lenglh of ~hl S 2)(iS runs tEl centrally loci;Hed. 'lrip!e-gla:l!efl slWIIgtrt, which admils suhslmllial natLlral ijghl and 50lw heat to all lMe' rooms tn Um IWtIH. Snap-on canvas slUld~ shrill;;! 'the sKylight dwring the summer mMth.s to avoid oV(trh.e9ttny_

Wells h~ tak:en. arlva:nlage of heaesltJetic Mnefit!> of ,ear1t1 5:1'1 elteringl to Cl"ea18 a 'hClUS~ l.f1ii!t Olem:ls extremely well Will; the surrounding woods MtJteover, the lIarymg heighls and d€l:plhs of the lil'arIh berms-a1lowlng f(u enlrMCfls. wfndaws. and \ll'i&J'tts----help soflan and


break Up th'e Ion!;! raeade af !he heme, By oorHrast. an aboveground buIlding dEtslgnoo in a similar style-l.e .. one wilf1 a long. relative:lY narrow felclJlngl.lliar Sh6~ould nave had a: hars<h, sLark Ei,p;pooranee If'll bills landsmpe

Mrs. Wells, :a.landsC:{ijJe deslgne , has used mtlsl"i naliw trees, s'hn.JDs and ground cover fmrn 1he site to good aflQf;;t Tha lamJscapfl"lg on the roo[ is moi'l9' noticeable on lhe Wens housa than Is the ease Will1 most other ,ea. sheltered houS&s because Wells has avoided using a Cum on Uls sdge 01 the rool lapenng tl1e eanh and VUG'elation to the ea~ 80ge no'! onl:f eUmll1a1ed I e need 10 tha lraditional curblng, but also helps Inagrn.le the roohop lanclscaping mth !he overall how se des!:g;n

Wells !!Bys he liOfT1eUmaS jokes to VIsitors !hal the smOO'Lh. dark fk:xm. are '~ails QI impoF1ed [!alian leather_ Thh5' u:nusuru efJecl was, In ran rather s.rnply achlwed by coaling

ihe a)(p!]sed rohcre~·a 'HOOF with ai moome of druk INlJod staln and urethane sealer, WelJs notes tnat the floor lS Lo dean, aboorbs !1Uf1li:'g hi weil, and 1$ roug 11 emugh to eliminate the pml:lEem5 Wllh slippenness sometimes associated Wllh COflcrem' 'rtoor s(abs The heating pipes ~l')Cajloo between !he Floot sJabs also keep !.he &CIncre1e floor warm enough to wei on In b1ll'e hmt

OIJebo pu I Itle. holiest a]r down from til e top of I e ~j9ht. p:us:h II Ihrougl1 aIr pipes betweii1!ll 1tJe floor sfab.s and return aa! a tamperarur8 of a,ldPfOJII.1 mate-Iy 100 -15"F

(21 -24"q

me 11'1formallon about Slmllareal1li sJ1elleroo house plans Is a .... ailable In UnrJergtar,1f1 rJ Des-Jg1J:5: ($6.00 POSlpaid) am:I Und.e!gm~nd Firms Bao J (513.00 poSlpald) , whid"t may be ordered rrorn Malecl WellS', Pes Office Bo

1 49, Brewster. M essactiusattsJ 02631

HEAVY WHITE ALUMINUIli CAP-~~~---~~----~-!lIIIG'LE-LAV£ti ,QL,ASS ~--~~~--~---REMOVdLE M.!L.WAU..

,GLAZlN'GI PANELS, ~----------~----....

CONDENSATION G'I:.iITfER ---~---~-~--........_

lEMi-COli:TiEO 'COt'P~FI

FlASHING -------~----~--~--

WOOOSffiNG~---------~-----~ FlOOF--BIJl"\I'L &'H EEl ON PlYWooP, WOOD JOfST WiTH FmERuLAS!;; BATT .NSI.iUioOON. II7RYW,A'Ll.. Oo,.q;ft VAPQ:Fi BARAIEH --~-~---~~-~----. EA:FmH CO"'BI---~--~_""

otrn' DUCT ----


~ .


r------CDNCiFiE:T1: PIE.FtS ,------Am DUCT

. .----~-- CONCRETE S!..Ai

~-~ META.!.. .iJIJCTS IN ~ruum BED .---,DONChEliE SLI<.B









FlrDor Plan





"'~fl05S .I'lREA; STRU CTU'A,E;


IN5'lJU%T10'N -

!'!I EAlii NG

C EG It! EEIilr;AYS:



B:rew~iiler. Ma5$;lchiiil 5't'ltS !Malcolm W·en~

Rl:!llJert 0. SmHh

Sol Seur.oe BuIJ:d~rs May ~'geo

2.600 zq. fl. (~~ ca ~

Poure'iid 't\on~re'i!' W;1III!<, w,llcd beam land jO~$I: mof. f.loi.rl;)lesfia'b I!;on crete f,leor

¢5".l, En f(,Qf at 1 a In,

(~8, em)

40'% 0f1 wilill51

!Roo".,.._.g In. ~3 C'mI) fiberg!8;5.!l, baH rnsulallon

W,aU~ In. ~1'5 em} I'IIg~d ~JI.'!Il.Ila;UiOfI

E..P,ID,U. rn'Ii:J'trar membra.rn! on _t:antil w~ns


'OJ IkllrM hDI wme"f. paS'!lla solar

HBliIrul 'nfll [lBtluiil


Among~he ilOUS815 inoludEid ln thlcSEJoo.'k, ltie· Ard1iilerra homes aJffi unique: 1f1 twa ways: ~hi!.Y ,<lWEI the ooiy e~pre5 ur homs Irom ootsk!e fue ~rnte<1i 'S~!lta5. afild they werespecifi~1y designed to 00 buTit on IhUlsldes. A:fI.d', Dke the Sewam l'Oill'lliri house-so lh ssa hones are urn.muaJ inth~1 ltiJey are .amOh~ 'li1er¥!W mlJltire$iden;Iia1~ e!l!l'ihstmliereli1 developrnEln'ts bum to da!:<I'l. S~veral Affihjlerr!l; complel!:e.5 h a~e beei'il comp!e'!ed In france and 8;pI:!iin. afld the compan¥ ls !Seeking' d'evefape rs ~fl the LI n itedI S!aLes.

These 'dfi~elopmen1s :sef\jr1!ll1 as an ·E!XOE: Ilenl example ai' how eartih sMlfenfig can tum a ,fie cClOs.klered l!.irlW Ifabreror conve f'loortal ool'lStructioll to aesth.e1io--,and eronorrtlc-ao'M"aJ1tage-.Tha ArOOiterfSi 00l'H!l!ructiQtJ syslam ts aXlr,emely wall$ultec:l for d.evelopmenls on sleep SJClpe5 l'Jecalil&e of Its fi'e'xibifity and ability til stablll:i:e hiff:si1de, oondtlloos_

By virt!l.le ofllilJe· steppoo d'e5[gfl 0'1 Ihe Archlterra oompfexes and the Ir:uMd glass front wall$! o~lhe uni!S" all the resr.der!ts of the diYeJo,pmenl enf,oy a 18fJhdeg Fee' VIB-W Cltf H1e .suooum:lrng landscape, ThI[lSie ooutMactrtg glass walls. pro'liide na!ural ~gt1!t a.nd vh1!w and pass'jv~ OOIar gainMd helplhe ynUs appear IUU'urall¥ inl:egra~ed with the mJn.res, of!he hirlsld€1'.

Sl£l~ng lJle liInils slair lashkm in sl018 cui In'tolha hliiside impal"lt a SeMe ,01 pn~acylo ,e'acil'l l!flIit-bec~uooot tne ul'1C'tlslroc!ea view ,or {he hotJlzorF-whfle 5<Tm~ltaneoL:JcslJ' pUmlitling H hlgh unJt ool1sity (e,g.., 1iII!IIi estr-malOO ten t.[.I'1its per I!CfIiI In the r,ecerU.J¥ completed NI[;€

Pro.led~. Sul'ilane preservatlun and Ua' ofl<md !h.u wwki otherwise be conS<idered unu.sable a:r,fj, obvious envirtlt;Jme!'!'tt1 oo.nefiLS assooiaited w]tr. ~hfs 'lypEl' of G'ev,alopmef1i,

The looiwitfuaJ Un!l$ are designed ror fI-e~.bmlll' ijn 5pa~-ean:angemmts. For re!llafflPI.e" Itu1!' ClIne- 10 fOLJ r-berlrooi'fii Umts in I11s NiOli.l

dev-elDpmEifU varykorn 1,000 to 4 ,000 square f.e;e,t. (00 to 000: Ga) tn' slze: room sl~es vaJry depel'lolng at! the owners' wl!5he!'lc In mc:sl Ardhioorra complt9!'eS, leaeh unit ha:sa priva!e g:afdsWcourtyard.

The key to !he Mdlr!erra $iYSte:m ,is the abifrty ollihe d(l~e!Orreffi to mold !he rand and design through a patented oof'!.sIruc!iol'1 leuh:njque caJ[led Aeinfru-ced Eafih. !=;i r:s1 ,the tand is 'CiilnWuroo into a. s.e fl&5 o~ 'te:ril'aoes. .and' ,excaiValoo for the oomasiles. Then !he HeinJorooci, Earth loohrlfqu.!l!-in w.hich Jong metal striP5 altached 10 praeast COl'lcre!e waHs are ~e,j~ be~n s1J~essive la!(telS 0'1 ba'Ckflll---ts used Lo SlaiJlrizE! Ihe backfi Ij (see phtJ,tOg.r.aph 00 page 101 ). The waif panels, whlct! term the OJrv.~.d rei1llf stru!!:lU ral walls' 01 tile ymls:. re51st lateral '8i:1l1ih pfessures '!/ery ef!iden Uy.

Pleer Plan

!iiJ a 4 fI,










Va:IIHlI1rn!. france snd Mlaltr'ld. Sp;a:I'Fi

An;Ih~tet1a. rlfie.

Heml IIldal. Ylles, Barard MI. Nlctiile1lll IValbonne}.

1M!. SatmJaga IMur.3S 'M'iI!IeJf,1lfiI) (Mildrid)


The WaShililg'lon Agrenl:~

1 ,OIm-4,100 sq. ft. (00.300 ca)

Pi~eCliiSt £0111 crete walla, ca80~In,place' eDl'lCi!'Btl! roof. llitmcrl!t.e 5Ia~l'I-s:radlll t100r nll% ,an roof art f:2 til.

1!:iKI em)

~iI on Millil

Roo.r-1 In, (.2.5 em) rtg'ld Insul&1km

W'alLs---4, In. (11i1 c:mlJ air splice bel.'Wel'l IU'ecas! walls ,!ln~ Inwrlor' fl'i:1l~ W"aJ1.!1, tl;spl1lall Im!mbrflnll II1Id IPVC

5ecUon a z" II ~ KEATING SYSTE : ~ baseboBrd

~--';;;";~ ...iiI/!II' __ r--""""_1 COOI.INlG S¥ST1EM~ Manuei venUIlIUd)1Il



;;--~~~-------S'l'Nffi=m: Imn::FI r-"'"--~~~~~---GM'o'iC:L O.F'tA1N.AGE LII!o:fElR

,....----~-----WA1VIJIFlItKlFlfia ,----------fU~~~ l:NiSUUllI'lON r---------VAPiOR BARRIER

F""~----FOU:F!EDCaf\lC:FI_ETI! .,--------PREa;sr COr4..cAFE ROOF PUtNIit ~~~~~~~l'\>ord;;rT--S1UL If!=iNFOfiOC\M~m



( .- I






Umfuu btoot'l". title most u nusu al fea lure or th Is T el'T1l-Dome liicma is I ts moo u lar ~cn:ire shell 'slw~urlil. ullilngccmblmttfOFl'$ '1J1 24·fwt·witle

~ 1 3·m) rnoeu le.s The patanloo !ilome forT!'lls IJ5ed In 'Ci:mstmclmg the oouse are commcm to all homes trutlt by I!11H Mt~un4~ased TarraPorrm Co rpo:rauon this M me kiiQOmposed Qf sbc-~ 8J-l'tal f modules.

The entryway lo the ooma,rOITflW bl{ hall a moouJe, Is clnsed off bum tile rest 01' the

house by a shcfrrlg' glass door WhiCh CfeiJ~ 6'3 an air lock ami LJ ses I.h~ Ihrmne So wUilhem ~l:posure to r~ fullest POIBf1ha) The Miry acts es a sunrccm by [;;011 !ll;;lmg passiVE! solar heal Ihrough til§! SI;iIlJln-ladng ern;al'lcB1 wl;nrlows and


~toreSi heal 11'1 'the m8SS~\I'iE!' SIOl'iEi fl'oors

The pnm81)' heat SOl)rCt'! fOor ~he, {l woDd·bl.lmmQ' slcl>"eI', I S ;supp~ n1e!nle<;l by the ~aS:Slve selsr gaulU1rOl.l~h Ille scuta- fad m;I wmoows_ H£i31 from the ~rep!aGe H; radialed mlo a he.u . .El'llamoor 'oonmd II ,'mm Wh1ch the warm air is pi'Cked up aM cirooEllloo th mugll 'the ". en t pij)'eS under the "oarLo all the I'{!iom~, in the hOlJse

One a:chralnlage fO tine dcme-sl1a.,ped mOOlJleS is, ltial the roofS' carl SLI P;,oo:rl\, earth loads wry eflldently------'lJ'1a lJuiroo r ciauns fn Else stJucturss have 'twenty Urnes the laad.,!Jaarlf1g capacity 01 UaL'foolru;j earlih 'sh~lter5 Because

of this 'Int;l'~etI Ic~d·beanng caPiilICI!'I', Terra-

[)arne homes normaJly am ooV'efedi mUll 2 to B reel l ~ to ,2., "l m j of aarl1l'l, aJ lowing Ih~ designers to ge;nUV gra:oeooil Q\r,er Ule strucl.tJ re 'ollowlng Ute na.1lJral curves or the; OO.l"Ih

Am:l!ih€( rage h:l Ih~ ~YQ@ 01 :$!mctYJil and bullding 15 that the- walls and roor are poured as one IJ.M, leall'ing no OOld icml5 ~t Ihe rool ~nes In. OOIl'1!)ina~lon, the .slandaJ'dL~w [ll!)ijure form!> and pou nngsY!ilem p;e!rmi1 rapillT-and hefl~ riil'SS oos'~ly!;Orn;.1ruc!k)h.

Subth'll'~IOf'tcS <lVCir1m~nt ~omjJle!l:e'S. and I;Omll'l€!rcl~1 9Pi!al afel CL.!r[~Oilly under dei!v>iliopma n1 Llsi ng 'the T iI;l rra-Dome SY,f;lem

UHnt 'CC'IlI:H-~~~~---~~-~~' ROCK CO'!rEru:fI Wffi'I IF'OI:. 't'EfHiIfLEiNE



WIfiIiI POl,. ¥HH"fil!EHE $HE~'



~CIl!l»l QFc1'WQ


'Rne!!: 001l1CFl£lLl Wl"'fH ~OL'I'ETlI1"I.DIJ;; sHEEf

IfI~OM1Q'! ,pvCOMlMtGE jllflE -----!, CONGA~W.l~-----------~ CONCRHeSI.A.S OVEiF!


Do:m;elWall Section

r~ ~1 ~

02,. Iii,


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