The mis-adventures of the Bailey family building their own home
Playing in the Yard on Bailey Bear Ridge
Highlites planned for our Earth Shelter Home
What is a Berm House? A true underground house is one that is completely under ground. It is the most efficient type of home for heating and cooling but needs extra planning for air quality. A berm house shares these concerns, but not to the extremes of a true underground. A berm house is one that is built and then the earth is mounded against the walls and sometimes over the roof. Ours is designed to be almost completely covered with the exception of a few windows and doors.
The main purpose of the project is to create a home that is as 'earth friendly' as I can muster and totally unique in every aspect. I would love to see a team from Extreme Homes on HGTV come to video tape the home for their show. (December 2003)
Planning for our Earth Shelter Home has gone on for the past 7 years as of 2009. Here is a list of some of the features from the ground up that we plan to add to the home. This list is continually being updated and added to as we think of something else to plan into the home. Items listed here are described further on following pages on this site... well, that is being updated as we go, too.
Structure of Earth Shelter Home
Insulation under cement of the foundation for the benefit of the in floor heating system.
In floor heating
Cinder Block walls
Oak 8" x 8" posts throughout the home supporting the ceiling.
Oak 8" x 10" beams on 7 foot centers stretching from end to end of the house.
Oak 4" x 6" rafters on 32" centers
Oak tongue and groove decking at a full 2" thickness.
Milling our own wood saves us tens of thousands and allows us to mill wood at full dimensions. Click Image to Enlarge
Interior walls are not load bearing and framed with my own milled pine.
Drywall covering the framing
American Clay Plaster offering the final look and color for the wall.
Aromatic cedar trim and more in walk in closet of master living area
A LOT of windows for an earth shelter home. Not only are there windows along the courtyard walls, but there will be clerestory windows nearly the whole length of the house to allow light into the rear rooms.
Earth Shelter Home Utility
Geothermal wall built into home to give more efficient heat exchange with the earth. See the Floor Plans page to see the description of earth powered heat and air.
Air/Heat exchange unit to vent out interior polluted air and bring in more fresh outside air while retaining as much of the heat in in the winter and keeping it out in the summer as possible.
Pot filler over stove top.
In floor heating.
Rain water cistern.
Grey water cistern.
Hot water cistern that will be heated by the sun using a solar concentrator. (link good May 2009)