Introduction/Land/Earth Shelter House Project Plans and Pics

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Mallow, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. Mallow

    Mallow Well-Known Member

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    Well after following this forum for several months I figured I would post up my land pictures and let everyone know about the house I am preparing to build in the spring. Recently I purchased this 10 acre parcel in WV and I will be building a passive solar earth shelter built out of precast concrete for the most part. All windows will be facing due south with appropriate overhangs and so forth. I will be documenting the entire process along the way and keep alot of pictures to keep everyone updated. Now for the pics.....

    Current House Plan 1800 SQFT 30'x60'
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    Southern View that the windows will be seeing.
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    Western View
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    Eastern View
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    Spring Fed Trough
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    Future Pond Location / Ravine for Dam
    [​IMG]

    The land is about half old field and rest is the woods that is located on southern half of property. I should be ordering my precast walls next month and actually start building around late April/early May. Thought I should share a bit since I have been following these forums for a good while.

    Thanks
    -Mallow
     
  2. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You will LOVE the earth-wrapped idea. We are in our new home, same--passive solar etc. Our pantry jets out from the north side of the house so 3 sides are in the ground, it stays a constant 50 degrees. We are in zone 5. Suggestion: You may be happier with the door to the pantry coming from the kitchen. Then an area of the pantry could be your baking nook as you would lose some counter space in the kitchen. ..Joan
     

  3. Mallow

    Mallow Well-Known Member

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    Farmmaid,

    I was trying to find a way to get the door in there but not sure I wanted to give up the limited counterspace but the plans are a work in progress which I have about a month to finalize. The house will be earth on 3 sides and over the roof. I am going with 12" hollowcore concrete planks for the roof along with all the insulation/water sealing.

    Thanks
    -Mallow
     
  4. Karin L

    Karin L Bovine and Range Nerd

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    Pretty country, and nice layout.

    The only problem I see is this: where's the back door? I only see one main door leading to the outside (besides the ones to the master bedroom), and that might not be too good for fire safety-sake.

    edit: what I mean is, it might be good to have two "main doors" for safety sake.

    Just thoughts.
     
  5. Mallow

    Mallow Well-Known Member

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    In underground homes it is a bit difficult for a rear exit at least on my plan, so there wont be any. As a precaution I will be using metal studs and almost no structural wood throughout the house. Also all bedrooms have windows which is a requirement for firecode
     
  6. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Supporter

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    I'm building an earth sheltered home too (in Vermont). It is the 'way'. :)

    As to exits, think of opening windows and tunnels for the back. As to fire remember that contents burn and often produce nasty fumes.

    Have fun and keep us posted with your progress.
     
  7. MyHomesteadName

    MyHomesteadName Well-Known Member

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    I asked this question a few days ago and some people told me that mold and water might be a problem. Anyone have any comments to that effect?

    The passive solar design earth shelter was my main choice for my "hobbit house", but I was warned against it in the VA and TN area.

    I would love any insight you might provide and I look forward to seeing how you make out. You are doing exactly what I dream of doing in the next few months.

    :-b______ (drool)

    *jealous*

    Please post pictures as you begin construction and the final product. I love this stuff.
     
  8. egads1

    egads1 Member

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    What part of WV is your property? We have 17-acres and a small cabin outside Romney, WV.
     
  9. Mallow

    Mallow Well-Known Member

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    The property is located about 5 miles outside of Bruceton Mills. It is part development where lots are 5 acres each (I ended up with 2 lots).
     
  10. Mallow

    Mallow Well-Known Member

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    Well there are several ways to stop moisture from forming on the inside of the structure. First off insulating the entire structure from the earth around it by using 2" foam insulation. This is the reason most basements gather moisture. Second you can use whole house dehumidifers along with energy reclaim units. I will be starting off with the insulation route and see if it is an issue. If it is I will add visible ductwork throughout the house to deal with it.
     
  11. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Have you thought about using sky light tubes through the rest of the house?
     
  12. Mallow

    Mallow Well-Known Member

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    I considered it but there are a few drawbacks. 3' of dirt and water leaks are among my fears of them. Instead I will be using some LED lighting systems to provide some lighting.
     
  13. mondakkid

    mondakkid Well-Known Member

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    Dear Mellow....I can understand your excitement. That is the dream of a lifetime to plan and build the home that is all your design. I am in about the same place as you people in planning, etc. I was able to get a few acres in the mtns of northern Az. Since I am in a different temp zone than you, I have a little different house plan than you. I am still making some changes as I learn more about active and passive solar house building. Since I like getting up with the sun, I have the kitchen, dining, bathroom, and the master bedroom on the south side. It will be interesting to follow along on your progress. I hope I will be able to post my solar house plan soon and pictures of the area.
    Have fun with your dreams...jerry
     
  14. Nyx

    Nyx Misplaced Appalachian

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    If I can ask - did you use a program to draw up the house plan? It looks very nice, and I've been searching around for an easy-to-use one to layout the house I'm nowhere near being able to get yet. :)
     
  15. Mallow

    Mallow Well-Known Member

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    I am using "3D Home Architect Home Design Deluxe 6" which for the most part is easy to use but a little to simple at times. It seems good to get the ideas down but you would still need a more detailed version drawn up to work from.

    http://www.amazon.com/Broderbund-Ho...s_sr_1/103-4826815-6916619?ie=UTF8&s=software

    There is the link to it at Amazon it seems hard to find now for some reason. Not sure if the publisher(Broderbund) quit carrying it or what.
     
  16. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting those pics, Mallow. I must say that is going to be a really neat place there.

    I take it by your comment above this program will not extrapulate a materials cut list and related detail construction drawings from the overall layout drawings? I know that is asking a bit much, but it sure would be nice to find a program that did not cost an arm and a leg that would do this.
     
  17. Mallow

    Mallow Well-Known Member

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    I think you can do a material list and so forth if you are doing traditional building. Since my walls are cement and so is the roof it throws it way off. If you are going with a stick built house this should work just fine though it doesnt do plumbing or electical from what I can tell.
     
  18. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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  19. Mallow

    Mallow Well-Known Member

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    I have seen this paper before at some point. It is an interesting idea but I am not sure it would be worth the extra excavation required to put the system in place. I do know that it would save in a few aspects like the insulation under the slab and alternate heat source if it would work correctly. Interesting idea none the less.
     
  20. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    Thats a pretty good plan Mallow, except I would make the kitchen twice as big and just have one living area instead of two.

    donsgal