(Journal of Underground Homes)
Burrow Bureau (say this 5 times fast) is
a place to learn about sub-surface and earth-sheltered
houses. It is the aim of our website to illuminate, elucidate,
enumerate and generally extol the advantages and disadvantages
of underground living and the building of subsurface dwellings.
Modern Underground Home
Living green and saving on energy bills, the owners of
over 6,000 underground homes in the U. S. are living large.
Underground America Day is celebrated May 14 every
year (it began in 1974). Creating this day was the brainchild
of Malcolm Wells who came up with the idea of celebrating
not only moles, gophers, snakes and cavemen of yore, but
people as well.
"The Groundhog has his day every February second,"
Malcolm was heard murmuring, since there was, uh, dirt
on top of him. "So, let's celebrate people living
underground!" Well, he didn't actually say that,
but that was his spirit.
Earth Sheltered Dwelling
You're Gonna Have to Deal with Some Things ...
Okay, so now moving on. Underground living is not for
everyone. There are issues you have to deal with whether
you're buying or building a subsurface or earth-sheltered
house. Moisture, ventilation, lack of light are the main
disadvantages in dealing with underground living. And
if you're prone to claustrophobia then this may not be
And, on these pages, we will address each of these realities
and concerns. They should not deter you when thinking
of the possibility of living below the grass, however.
Now, if you've been living under a rock your hole life
(pun intended) then you may not know the advantages of
underground homes (of course if you've been living under
a rock your whole life then perhaps you already know).
Modern Earth Sheltered Home
Some of the unapologetic
advantages of underground housing are saving on
energy bills, shelter from the elements, more security
and low maintenance (you never have to worry about
your aluminum siding or painting the outside of
an underground home).
Now, if you are planning on living in an earth-sheltered
(bermed) home then you'll have a few more worries, such
as painting part of the outside walls. But you'll also
experience some of the advantages too like having more
Most builders in the northern hemisphere will make sure
that an earth-sheltered home is facing south in order
to take advantage of the warming rays of the sun year
round. So, if you're scouting a location for your new
green dwelling this is something to keep in mind, as well.
A few other things to keep in mind are in regard to the
water table where the underground home is or will be located.
You don't want to dig on top of a natural spring do you
or have Old Faithful blow you out a new one every morning
when you're in the bathroom. No, this would be bad.
Underground Home Concept
So, just as in every real estate transaction, with underground
or earth sheltered homes, location, location, location
is of paramount importance. And once you have the ideal
location picked out and have talked to your builder, the
rest is all literally downhill from there. Did I just
Coober Pedy is a city in Southern Australia known for
its opals and underground dugout homes.
The Chinese yaodong is a cave house carved out of a hillside
and yet contains a courtyard.
Written by Kevin Knatloa
Originally Published on November 05,
October 09, 2014