Nothing we know of comes remotely close to matching the wealth of knowledge found in this six-hour three-DVD set. The design course taught in DVD two is worth hundreds of times the cost of the set in the increased light, views and air. It will benefit your subterranean home, and the resale value will skyrocket.
If you are convinced you want to build below surface, but you need more information to make up your mind, or your mate's mind, you need this set. It is valuable to owner/builders, architects, contractors and self-designers alike.
Instructor, Mike Oehler, has taught at architecture departments at colleges and universities across the U.S., Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. Having the material down pat, he is able to anticipate your confusion and questions. And, unlike the live workshops, the videos allow you to study the material repeatedly and to share it with friends and family.
DVD 1 Construction
The Post/Shoring/Polyethylene (PSP) method of building underground with the warmth and charm of wood is explained in the first DVD. A layer of plastic which protects the wood from the damp of the earth is the secret. The original structure, built by this method as an experiment in 1971 for $50, is still in use. Instructor Mike Oehler lived in it for 30 years. He then worked on the stunning PSP earth-integrated Ridge House with its thirty-mile views.
This DVD winds up with a slide presentation showing construction and completion of a number of underground homes built by this method. Construction costs can be as low as 1/10th the cost of normal construction - sometimes even less.
DVD 2: DESIGN
This is the heart of the workshop. Using chalkboard scale models he has hauled for years to universities across North America and Europe, Oehler teaches his revolutionary methods of underground design. Rejecting the four common methods (the foolish four: skylights, atriums, vertical window wells, and the incredibly poor first thought design) he teaches instead twelve methods which guarantee light, views and air from any and all directions of the compass in each and every underground room. No more airless, dark, basement-like underground buildings! Mike is fond of saying, "An underground house has no more in common with a basement than a penthouse apartment has with a hot, dark, dusty attic."
You will actually design five underground homes during the screening of this DVD, using the downloaded copyrighted design kit. These hands-on exercises drill the methods home and are actually fun! Upon completion this course you will have a better concept of underground design than the vast majority of practicing architects today.
This DVD winds up when Mike takes you on a personal tour of the four underground or earth sheltered houses on his land. You see real-life applications of Up Hill Patios, Hollywood Wings, the Royer Foyer, Basic Designs, and more.
DVD 3 SHELTER
This third DVD teaches how to build a shelter for pennies on the dollar. It can take your family and friends through nuclear fallout, raging fires, hurricanes, tornadoes and even earthquakes. If surrounding above-ground structures have been destroyed, it may be lived in and used as the starting point for an underground house. In normal times the shelter may be used as a root cellar, workshop, spare bedroom, kids play house, or tool shed. The cost of a 12x12 shelter should run from $100 to $1500, depending on how many recycled materials you use and how much of the work you do yourself. Included are comprehensive shelter diagrams without additional cost.
The second part of this DVD teaches how to design and build a wonderfully effective earth-sheltered greenhouse. The prototype of this, invented and built by Mike Oehler on his 40 acres in mountainous North Idaho, just 30 miles south of the Canadian boarder, was in service for a quarter century. This greenhouse took tomatoes into the second week in December and hardies like kale and cabbage clear through the winter year after year, without any source of heat other than the sun and that which is trapped in the earth.
The greenhouse is resistant to the ravages of moles, rabbits, deer, gophers and most other plant predators. This greenhouse can even collect its own irrigation water. A 10x30 unit should cost between $200 and $3000 depending upon materials and labor.
The third part of the shelter DVD continues with a slide-show of the underground structures on Mike’s land. It includes astonishing effective earth-sheltered greenhouse.
Just a quick thought....polyethylene, aren't there variations of this that are known carcinogen that can be released by the materials over time? Is there any info given in the book/ dvd as to which type of PE is used or alternative materials?
from page 76 of the book The $50 and up Underground House
"As far as polyethylene goes we recommend buying it new. Old polyethylene which has spent even a few weeks in the sun tends to get brittle. After a few months in the sun it is all but worthless. The ultraviolet rays do it in.
(This does not apply to polyethylene underground where it lasts indefinitely.) Secondhan d polyethylene, if used at all, should go only into areas of secondary importance such as behind shoring outside firewindows or
Royer Foyers, never behind the shoring in the house itself."
Now I've alwyas thought about this point too, I really haven't found alternatives reading around or watching videos. Anyone have experiences or no if Mike has answered this question, probably has
Regarding moisture barrier / and whatever Mike might have changed his mind to use:
Somewhere i saw him on a video saying that he changed to using EPDM Pond Liner.
it may be on one of his house tour videos, maybe the RIdge House video tour...
I also thought his saying this might be on the 3DVD set itself, which was filmed in the early 1990's. maybe #2 Design video, which
in and of itself is worth the cost of the DVD set.
DVD#2 shows how to design a dwelling with the 13 wonderful ways
of getting light air and views into your home and water AWAY--the Hollywood wing, the extended Gable, the vertical window
well, clerestory, Sun Scoop, side hill patio, etc.
I am really glad I bought the dvd's and the book. Part of me didn't want to spend more than $50 on a book about building a $50 house, but I like the idea of having something I can count on looking at again and again while I'm going through the process and keeping up morale if I get discouraged or run into unexpected obstacles.
The DVD's make the process seem so manageable and he's a great teacher, not just a great architect. The visuals are especially clear. I've binge-watched dvd 1 and most of dvd 2.
Connected or reconnected. Fit with the right cycles and in the right season. Nourished and nurtured with natural energy. Aware of place and part.
"Don't believe every tiny ad you see on the internet. But this one is rock solid." - George Washington
Switching from electric heat to a rocket mass heater reduces your carbon footprint as much as parking 7 cars