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By Rob Roy
An earth-sheltered, earth-roofed home has the least impact upon the land of all housing styles, leaving almost zero footprint on the planet.
Earth-Sheltered Houses is a practical guide for those who want to build their own underground home at moderate cost. It describes the benefits of sheltering a home with earth, including the added comfort and energy efficiency from the moderating influence of the earth on the home’s temperature (keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer), along with the benefits of low maintenance and the protection against fire, sound, earthquake, and storm afforded by the earth. Extra benefits from adding an earth or other living roof option include greater longevity of the roof substrate, fine aesthetics, and environmental harmony.
The book covers all of the various construction techniques involved, including details on planning, excavation, footings, floor, walls, framing, roofing, waterproofing, insulation, and drainage. Specific methods appropriate for the inexperienced owner/builder are a particular focus and include:
- Pouring one’s own footings and/or floor
- The use of dry-stacked (surface-bonded) concrete block walls
- Post-and-beam framing
- Plank-and-beam roofing
- Drainage methods and self-adhesive waterproofing membranes
The time-tested, easy-to-learn construction techniques described in Earth-Sheltered Houses will enable readers to embark upon their own building projects with confidence, backed up by a comprehensive resources section that lists all the latest products such as waterproofing membranes, types of rigid insulation, and drainage products that will protect the building against water damage and heat loss.
Rob Roy is a former contractor with 27 years of experience and 12 previous books to his credit, including Cordwood Building andTimber Framing for the Rest of Us. An expert on underground building, he founded the Earthwood Building School in 1981 with his wife, Jaki, and is frequently a speaker at events throughout North America.