Advantages of living underground..................
Please e-mail us if you know of a similar house........

This brick is about 200 years old...They were originally part of a  local blacksmith shop, long ago abandoned....

Consider this... In the United states, as in most areas of the world, 55 feet below the earth's surface the temperature is always close to 55 degrees F. Most humans will agree, living 55 feet underground is not really practical..... However, when you consider that in most areas of the 48 states,  the temperature never drops to freezing 36 inches below the surface.......

Taking that one step farther, here in Harford County, Maryland, it has been over 50 years since we had a real freeze 10 inches underground...... 

Here’s the point...When you build a living space on top of the ground,  you have to deal with winds blowing 20 to 60 MPH combined with a temperature of 10 to 95 degrees F.  and these aren't  extreme examples.....

Build the same space only one foot underground and your structure will never feel the wind or extreme temperature.....The further under the Earth's surface you go, the better the conditions......

After considering many factors, I decided to go with six feet of earth cover.   At this depth in Harford County, Maryland, I calculated that I could capture 80% of the Earth's potential heat or cooling value......

To capture the  remaining 20% advantage, I would have to excavate another 50 feet.  The engineering and construction cost would make this approach unreasonable, not to mention that my stairway would have about 75 steps to climb......

Set all the Engineering information aside.  Just imagine how little fossil fuel will be required when your living space is 60 to 70 inches underground, as are the rooms you see in these photos.....

This living space is trying to stay 55 degrees F. when the air above ground is 95 degrees. It will also try to stay 55 degrees when the air above ground is 5 degrees F......

We have a standard 18,000 BTU heat pump to bump the temperature up or down as needed, depending on the time of year.  It does not take much energy to raise or lower the interior temperature to a comfortable level when the earth around you is hovering around  55 degrees F.....The fan on this unit is used to circulate air as needed.......

However, if you are independently wealthy and fuel costs are of no concern, how about  safety.  Consider this.....The strongest tornado or hurricane ever recorded could cross directly over our house in the middle of the night and we wouldn’t even know about it until the next morning......


Our kitchen with St. Patrick’s Day decorations......

 


First sign of Spring in Harford County, Maryland, it......cherry blossoms
Or maybe you are a little concerned that a renegade terrorist might detonate a major explosive devise in the neighborhood....Heaven forbid it ever happens, but we would still be totally unscathed,  even if every structure within a 10 mile radius were destroyed......
 

Now to get to the more common disaster that we also don’t have to worry about.  Our house is as close to fire proof as reasonably possible......

Consider this fact.... A typical  3600 sq. ft. development house is a stack of dried wood just waiting for a spark to start a fire. Once a fire starts in this type house, 98% of it will burn totally to the ground in about 90 minutes........

Our home is the exact opposite...98% of it cannot burn...ever.  Because, in our underground home, all the walls, even closets, are concrete. All floors, ceilings (and the roof) are concrete...... 


Front door area in early springtime, everything is turning green........

The interior walls are all cement blocks and many are filled with concrete and steel rods.  There are  more than 8,000 blocks, 25,000 pounds of steel and 409 cubic yards of concrete in this completed structure.....

The same conditions that make this home literally fireproof, also make it termite proof,  and  remember… concrete does not  rot, warp or rust.......

Also, there is the small creature issue, such as snakes, bugs, mice, and insects.... Any above ground structure has hundreds of openings, not easily seen or found by humans, but God's creatures find these openings in a heartbeat......

Why do you think there are so many exterminating companies in your neighborhood ? ....Water cannot get into our house, so nature's critters stand less of a chance of finding their way in........

Any living creature, big or small, must cross over our front door's threshold and that area is easily treated with a good ole' fashion bug spray.
 

As you look at the photos, you will see a 20 ft. orange tree growing in our 8 ft X 16 ft covered indoor garden.....The temperature of this area never goes below 50 degrees F, even when it is 0 degrees outside. You can’t find that in a  traditional home...Over the years we have grown many different  kinds of plants in this area, all legal I might add........  

Should we ever have the need, this area could produce enough food to feed a family of 6 for a long time. The growing season in there spans 365 days long........


A 20 foot orange tree growing inside house ........

 

 

One of the four bed rooms.........

Another nice feature rarely mentioned is sound, or the lack thereof....All walls are concrete and sound does not easily travel from room to room.....A very noticeable feature to first time visitors....We have had guests spend the night, only to wake up  in the afternoon of the following day, because their familiar sleep cycle was uninterrupted by  traditional morning sounds.......

And then there is exterior maintenance….. All we have to do is mow the roof about once a week in the summer. No exterior painting is necessary....... 

Our exterior color is nature green and grows. By eliminating vinyl siding and exterior paint, the surrounding area is  free of chemical contaminates...When a standard home has to be recalked and repainted.  Where did the first application go ?.......

And last, but not least, if you are in tune with the state of the world and all the potentially disastrous events that could happen, you are surely aware of the many airborne  contaminents that could be broadcast into the air you breathe, either accidentally or through terrorist activity......

If this ever happened, we could make our house a temporary safe haven in five minutes, simply by applying duct tape to the gaps around the inside of the 2 exterior doors and turning off any air handling equipment.......

The air now trapped in this underground structure could sustain two adults for 36 hours minimum.  A stick built conventional home leaks air like a sieve.  It is nearly impossible to make a traditional home air tight without major reconstruction.  Just a fact to keep in mind......

 
Front Door after First Snowfall....Always a great time to be in by the fire....