The Complete Book of Underground Houses, How to Build a Low-Cost Home
Roy, Rob The Complete Book of Underground Houses, How to Build a Low-Cost Home New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 1994
Date: December 25, 2003
David's Thoughts: This is the mother of the whole process. Before this book, I had no idea of the specifics of what I was doing. I knew how to design some basic floor plans, but that was it. Rob Roy does an incredible job of telling you the process he went through to build his berm houses in great detail. This is a must read in my opinion.
Rob Roy deals with design, site excavation, cement footings and slab floors. The then moves to his process of using surface bonded 12 inch cinder block walls. Next comes the timber framework for the posts and beams that hold up the decked roof. One his best parts deals with waterproofing the roof and walls. He is the only one I have read to date that covers drainage and illustrates completely the 'proper' way to lay and drain your roof for an underground home. This is one of the best parts for me. Again, if you are building underground, or just building a sod rooffed building, put this to the top of your reading list.
From the Publisher
"According to Roy, underground or `earth-sheltered' houses are unexpectedly livable. Judging by his book's attractive pictures, that's easy to believe. The house he bases his point-by-point guide on is indeed a showplace. Its homey touches are just that, though, and Roy's main concern is creating such a house, from drawing up the plans to surveying the site to the actual building. Roy's instruction is insightful and comprehensive....Throughout, he covers construction and installation details that are extremely important for nonprofessionals brave enough to undertake building their own homes."óBooklist. 148 pages, 40 color illus., 130 b/w illus., 8 X 10
From The Critics
Instead of marring a grassy knoll or field with the construction of a conventional house, you could design and build an environmentally sound underground or earth-sheltered home. Roy, director of the Earthwood Building School, provides detailed instructions, from choosing a piece of property to excavating and building a home from top to bottom, with case studies, photos and diagrams, and further resources. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Click to enlarge image