Shelah Horvitz wrote:If you read extensively in Oehler, he mentions that he has a lot of troubles with gophers. You may or may not, depending where you are. But critters live in the ground, and this must be taken into consideration. Maybe a lining of hardware cloth or some other kind of wire mesh between the soil and the plastic would be helpful.
Also, plastic breaks down over time. Not so that it goes away but so that its structural integrity is compromised and it breaks into microparticles. So you might design so that in ten, fifteen years, it would be accessible to go in and replace the plastic.
Fred Klammt wrote:My one take on underground buildings is simple: it'll eventually leak. There are SO many variables. Even the PAHS homes have issues - and they are only partially underground. i spent an engineering career in commercial and industrial building operations... and even with their $$$$ budgets and toxic waterproofing materials used - eventually even they leak: cracked floors, shifting & leaking roofs, etc. The big issue is TIME: you might be alright for the first 5 years - but eventually the ground shifts, shit happens, and triple+ waterproofing cracks. Water intrusion and even worse: freezing water/moisture eventually erodes the building's substructure.
My advice: find a nice cave, and let nature do the work, or maybe re-incarnate as a ground hog :-)
Fred Klammt wrote: ** Excavation is the cheapest form of construction.
Susan Monroe wrote:One thing I just read was a link from this site, Capturing Heat While the Sun Shines, to Warm Your Home Next Winter
This article may have some bearing on what you're trying to do. Be sure to go down to the very bottom of the page and click on "Requested Paper for the Global Sustainable Building Conference 2005, Tokyo, Japan, Sept. 2005" for more details.
It sounds like you're planning on buying an existing house and moving it to the site, is that correct?
I don't have any excruciating interest in underground homes, but I've read about a few. And if memory serves (always an iffy thing), all of them seemed to have an outer shell of stone or concrete. EXACTLY how do you intend to deal with the termites? I just have a funny feeling that it isn't possible to bury a wooden structure underground without them causing a major problem. My main issue is the weight of the (rain-soaked) soil on top of a termite-damaged support structure.
Great strides have been made in thin-wall ferro-cement in the last twenty years or so. Do you think it would be possible to place a wood-framed home on a concrete pad, and then form an outer shell of concrete? It might not have to be very thick... maybe.
It's an interesting concept, but without an ironclad plan against the termites, I'm not sure this would be feasible. And I don't think being trapped (sorry) underground with poisons would be a good thing.
Have you ever investigated stone/concrete slip-form building (I think that's what it's called)? I know there is at least one book on the subject, although it may be out of print. Build your perimeter and supports this way, then backfill it the way you planned?
Here is one site on it: http://www.hollowtop.com/cls_html/stone_home.htm
I would like to hear more about this, what your final plan is, how you do it, etc. Low-cost housing is something that many people would be interested in.
Nathanael Szobody wrote:There is a series of forts built along France's Eastern border in the late 1800's. Some were built by the French, some by the Germans, and they were all built in-ground with enormous Earth berms. The idea was to be resistant to shelling and hard to spot. They became obsolete with the advent of aircraft.
The construction was vaulted stone masonry. The buildings themselves were two or three stories tall, all with a couple meters of earth bermed from the exterior up over the top, leaving large interior facing courtyards.
All this without plastic membrane.
I have visited three of them. Some of the interior space is rented out as offices and art space, but even the unrenovated sections are still in solid shape. So why can't we build houses like this? Where's the dreaded water leaking in and tree roots crumbling the structure? These places are covered in forest!
You can Google "fort de tamié", "fort du mont, Albertville," or "fort Kléber" to see the ones I've been to.