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Going Green Underground: Eco-Retro Earth House Designs

Going Green Underground: Eco-Retro Earth House Designs
They may look a bit dated at first, or at least more whimsical than required for functional living. Still, these earth houses have more to offer than custom curves and a unique aesthetic – including a set of design philosophies, strategies and tactics that are far from just superficial nods to sustainable trends. The designs take everything into account from fire and earthquake protection to integral insulation-efficient arches and buffer rooms for energy-free temperature control. While not every Erdhaus is actually built under the existing ground on a site, they are all tied to their earthen surroundings by sloping sheaths of greenery. Some of these are built as continuous strip communities, a kind of eco-suburb that looks from a distance like a simple set of rolling hills. From an energy generation standpoint, all of the standard sustainable solutions are also available: geothermal, water, solar and wind. Related:  Subterranean & Earth ShelteredArchitectureGreen

Underground Home Design: How to Build & Bury a House Living underground sounds disturbing – cavernous designs, claustrophobic images of cramped quarters and fuzzy pictures with low light levels come quickly to mind. A well-planned underground home, however, can be designed precisely around these problems to have all of the advantages of a cozy and private above-ground house as well as the sustainable and structural benefits of an fully-enclosed living space – entirely under the surface of the Earth. William Lishman sums up the design advantages nicely: “Why build underground? Lishman has lived in his own incredible underground home design for decades now with the pictures to prove it. His eco-friendly earth home consists of a framework of steel trusses covered in spray-on concrete and covered with tar and a layer of plastic for water protection.

Earth Sheltered Earth Sheltered Homes "Another type of building is emerging: one that actually heals the scars of its own construction. It conserves rainwater and fuel and it provides a habitat for creatures other than the human one. Maybe it will catch on, maybe it won't. We'll see." - Malcolm Wells, 2002. The earth sheltered house uses the ground as insulating blanket which effectively protects it from temperature extremes, wind, rain and extreme weather events. Fifteen feet below ground the soil maintains a fairly constant temperature equal to the annual average temperature of the area's surface air. There are two types of earth sheltered building. Honingham Earth Sheltered Social Housing. Looks like vertical placed logs are helping to support the berm on the right. Earth sheltered home with conventional facade. Earth sheltered home, as above. The facade may accommodate any architectural styling of the home owners choosing. An award winning earth shelter dwelling by Cam Architects. Casa Organica.

Simple, Modern & Green: Desert Dream House Design Designing and building a home in the high desert is challenging enough thanks to extreme temperature shifts, but all the more so for those who do not want to simply shut themselves off from their surroundings and live in an air-conditioned box – like the engaged clients who hired architect Lloyd Russell to design their sustainable desert residence. A humble rusted metal canopy covers the house itself, providing essential shade to the entire structure as well as all exterior porches and patios. Combined with full-height sliding walls and windows, this plan enables the home to be cooled passively but also lends it a rustic aesthetic shell that blends it with the surrounding landscape and historical desert industrial and farm buildings. The home is populated with all kinds of quirky recycled materials and fixtures, a strange blend of modern and traditional in its look as well as its structure and other physical components.

Subtle Subterranean House is Underground & Understated Many underground homes have relatively extreme designs, either due to ultra-wealthy clients who give their architects a (literal or at least metaphorical) blank check to design a luxury dream house, or because of existing conditions (for instance; retrofitting an old military base and/or missile silo to be a new home). This modest alternative shows the power of simplicity in a nonetheless remarkable minimalist home in the ground. BCHO Architects started by carving a basic box-shaped void into the earth, holding a place for the space with likewise simple retaining walls of rough and raw board-formed concrete. A side stairway starts the sequence of movement down into this space, slowly taking into increasingly more enclosed areas. Along the way, the naturalistic texture of this bounding structure is reprised in real-dirt exterior courtyard floors, rammed-earth walls outside and natural-finish wooden furniture inside.

Scandinavian Homes Like Real-Life Hobbit Houses Curb appeal: cozy exterior, extensive windows, and a green roof? These adorable homes prove that a grassy canopy can make the perfect ceiling addition to any house. Green roofs are traditional in many Nordic countries throughout Europe, so much so that there is an annual competition to determine the best green roof project, which is hosted by the Scandinavian Green Roof Association (SGRA). These images feature some of the most stunning living roofs that can be found around the area. These green coverings are not only an aesthetic trend however—the feature offers a variety of environmental and financial perks. The roofs absorb rain water, cool the home in the summer and retain heat in the winter, provide insulation, and can even last longer than your typical shingles. Above: Hofskirkja, Iceland Thjorsardalur, Iceland Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland Mikladalur, Faroe Islands Renndølsetra, Norway Saksun Village, Streymoy, Faroe Islands Norway Torshavn, Faroe Islands Skalholt, Iceland via [Fubiz]

Green Roofs Are Changing Architecture: Kowloon Rail Terminus © Aedas It used to be that roofs were up top where nobody could see them, covered in gravel and full of mechanical equipment. Architectural renderings were pretty much all shot from eye level. Not anymore; green roof technology is making roofs into habitable architecture, and changing the way architects think of buildings. The Express Rail Link - West Kowloon Terminus by Aedas will connect Hong Kong to the National High Speed Rail Network. The terminal's roof is a series of ribbons that meet ground level, turning the building into a big walkable (climbable?) The architects tell Designboom: Flowing ribbon pathways spread to the roof plane, morphing into a highly sculpted garden. atop the 25 to 45 meter tall volume, an observation platform along the south elevation directs views towards the skyline, Victoria Peak and encompassing landscape. The have green walls inside the terminal, too. More images at Aedas and designboom

Fallingwater Cottages, or: How to Win a Design Competition The right answer is only obvious in retrospect, as with this wonderfully-integrated and highly-contextual solution to a difficult problem: what does one make that neither adds to nor subtracts from the most famous house in American architectural history? Frank Lloyd Wright’s own autobiographical words gave the winning group, Padkau Architects, the first hint: “No house should ever be on a hill or on anything …. It should be of the hill. Another clue comes from the nature of the project – it had needed to be small and green, require few active systems and less electricity than a typical home, and ideally integrating natural heating and cooling techniques. The underground homes proposed are tucked into grassy mounds, blending in with the surrounding landscape and providing minimalist shelters for visiting artists-in-residence, architects and educators.

design for wind, and sway click 2x The engineers for Chicago's future third-tallest skyscraper had issued a warning: Wind tunnel tests showed that the plan for the building, three thin, interconnected high-rises designed by star architect Jeanne Gang, had a flaw: High winds would push it around, making people inside feel like they were on a storm-tossed ship. According to the engineers, the design for the Vista tower "would result in building occupants feeling ill and possibly afraid for their safety," Chicago's zoning administrator, Patricia Scudiero, wrote in an April 26 letter to Jack George, a lawyer for project's developers. To prevent that, the developers requested — and the city OKed — an unusual change to the already-approved plan for the building: The 83rd floor of the 98-story, 1,198-foot East Wacker Drive tower will be an empty space that Chicago's famous winds can blow through. The skinny towers put residents where they want to be — near a window with knockout views. "Chandeliers would be swinging.

Solar Oval Cob Plan Small Cob Series No permit required - passive solar - small cob buildings SOLAR OVAL ONE is a compact passive solar design with a loft which can be an outbuilding for many possible uses. It has many valuable and green/sustainable features: Building with cob allows the use of local sustainable materials. Floor Plan THE SMALL COB SERIES is a set of small cob structures designed to not require building permits. Solar Oval One is a 120 interior sf. cob design intended to not require a building permit. Section looking North The introduction of irregular, non rectilinear and curved walls into your building creates a link between you, your building and the natural world. The materials needed to make a cob structure are generally very simple and there are many options: The foundation serves to support the building and connects it to the ground.