Building Underground; The Design and Construction Handbook for Earth-Sheltered Houses
Wade, Herb Building Underground; The Design and Construction Handbook for Earth-Sheltered Houses Emmaus, Pa: Rodale Press, 1983
Date: December 21, 2003
This book was noticed in the bibliography af a few other books and sites, though it was seldom recommended. I am not sure why. I got a lot out of it.
The book feels and reads like a relaxed textbook for a class on Building Underground. There are eight chapters that cover in detail, many aspects of what people have done successfully and unsuccessfully in underground homes. The thing that got my interest initially was the fact that it was referred to in the Earth Shelter Technology book (Read Review) as dealing with building wooden floors (page 153). There is a whole section on building with wood all around... that got me to thinking. I have A LOT of trees to remove. Wouldn't it be great to use those trees to build the house in greater detail. I am now contemplating a saw mill machine for the project.
This book starts with a history of the underground home. Very interesting. I must admit, my excitment over this made it hard to muddle through, but I did. It was good
Chapter Two deals with designing for the site. A lot of great meaty information, however, he was explicit on making sure that am engineer checked the designs before taking on the project.
Chapter three discusses several solar opetions available to the owner-builder. Next deals with the properties of the earth for the top 15 feet of earth you will encounter.
Chapter five and six got REAL GOOD dealing with construction with concrete and wood, and waterproofing and insulation. Chaper seven got into the details of wiring, plumbing, heating and cooling.
Chapter Eight ends the bood in a good set of examples of eight homes that are occupied and completed.
The appendices are invaluable for calculating heating requirements and waterproofing materials.
Despite being ever-so-slightly dated, this book deserves at least a browse for the next owner-builder.
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