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Posts Tagged ‘underground’

Solar Pit House (click to enlarge)

Solar Pit House (click to enlarge)

Specifications: 1,127 sq. ft. interior living space, 441 sq. ft. interior greenhouse, total = 1,568 sq. ft. interior, Footprint: 36’x53’

Description: This modern solar pit house is based on the traditional pit house. The construction is much the same. Additional ‘modules’ have been added to create an elongated rectangular design for added living space and windows added on the south for solar gain. Each module is based on wood posts set in geopolymer or concrete footings. Wood beams approximately 10”-12” diameter are joined at the posts with half lap joints and pinned in place with rebar or logging spikes. Smaller poles around the perimeter lean against the beams. 24” wide earthbag walls with a reinforced geopolymer or concrete bond beam rest on rubble trench foundations.

Solar Pit House (click to enlarge)

Solar Pit House (click to enlarge)


Solar Pit House Section View (click to enlarge)

Solar Pit House Section View (click to enlarge)

Complete drawings available at http://naturalbuildingblog.com/house-plans/free-house-plans/.
More information at our Natural Building Blog:
Solar Pit House Building Details
Evolution of the Pit House
Affordable, Superinsulated Cold Climate Homes

Note to other designers: I’d like to refine this design with input from other design professionals and make all drawings freely available on the Internet. Please email me at strawhouses [at] yahoo.com if you would like to contribute. Or just leave a comment here if you’re short on time.

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Spiral 2 Earthbag House (click to enlarge)

Spiral 2 Earthbag House (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 740 sq. ft. interior, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 31′ x 40′ plus buttresses and covered porch

Description: Spiral 2 is a variation of my first spiral house — Spiral Earthbag House. This unique, almost Hobbit-like earth-sheltered spiral design includes a large grow bed, exposed timber ceiling and living roof. Ample light is provided by the window wall next to the grow bed, window and door glazing, and suntubes. Distinguishing features include two bedrooms, masonry two-way fireplace, covered porch and cool pantry for storage of food (no electricity required for refrigeration). An alternate roof plan is available for building with TJIs where wood poles are not available. There’s even a door planned in for future expansion. This home meets zero energy standards, and is now one of my favorite.

Spiral 2 Earthbag House (click to enlarge)

Spiral 2 Earthbag House (click to enlarge)

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Earthbag Survival Shelter (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Survival Shelter (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 20’ DIA (314 sq. ft. interior plus pantry), Footprint: 23′ x 31′

Description: This round earthbag shelter for up to 4-5 individuals is designed for survival through disaster, plague, etc. It is low cost, durable and practical. This shelter is designed for DIYers on a tight budget who will do most everything by hand. Instructions include numerous key details not evident on the plan: venting, roof framing, how to reduce excavation by 50%, drainage, water supply, etc. I have not seen a better, more practical survival shelter plan.

Earthbag Survival Shelter

Earthbag Survival Shelter

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