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What Is an Underground Home?

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  • Written By: Pamela Pleasant
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2014
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An underground home is a house that has been built into a hillside. It can also be built underground on a flat section of land. These houses are referred to as earth shelters and they are mainly built by people who are environmentally conscious. There is minimal upkeep when it comes to taking care of an underground home and they can also cut heating and cooling costs considerably. They blend in with nature and preserve and protect the surrounding environment.

The earth sheltered home can be built into hill or slope that would not be used otherwise for building purposes. There is no loss of green space because the roof is underground and it can be used for as a play area, park or small garden. These types of homes also preserve nature because the land over the underground home can be left undisturbed. This can revitalize the landscape, especially in urban areas. The number of plants and animals around these types of homes might also increase, which some earth shelter owners see as a benefit.

There is no wood used to build an underground home. The structure is made entirely of concrete and other materials made to withstand being underground. Wood can be conserved and the concrete home is said to last much longer than a conventionally built home. This is another environmental benefit of having an underground home.

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A home that is built underground is thought to be safer than an above-ground home. Natural disasters such as high winds, tornadoes or hail storms will do little to no damage to an earth shelter home. During an earthquake, the ground vibration decreases with depth and this makes the underground home much safer. The earth shelter home has a concrete foundation that can be earthquake-resistant. Concrete and metal studs make up the exterior of the underground home, so it is also fire resistant.

Freezing temperatures and power outages are not considered a problem in an earth shelter home. The temperature remains consistent within the home and even when the heat is completely turned off, the temperature will only drop a few degrees a month. In an earth shelter home, it is rare for the temperature to drop lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), even in extremely cold areas.

Living in an underground home can be less expensive in the long run than living in a conventional home. Insurance costs can go down because the home is fire- and natural-disaster resistant. Maintenance and energy bills can also be much lower than in a conventional home.

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