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Malcolm Wells and Earth Sheltered Homes

12/7/2009 11:24:21 AM

Tags: green homes, earth sheltered homes, architecture, Malcolm Wells

Malcolm Wells Underground House 

Around here, we’re big fans of Malcolm Wells and his designs for earth-sheltered buildings, so we were saddened to learn that Wells died on Nov. 27 at the age of 83.

Wells' many books included The Earth Sheltered House: An Architect’s Sketchbook, which I read and enjoyed just a few months ago, and How to Build an Underground House, which MOTHER EARTH NEWS recently decided to reprint. (You can find them both here.)

To learn more about Wells, you can check out our 2006 profile, “The Father of Earth-sheltered Design,” and read the New York Times obituary, which calls Wells a “champion of gentle architecture.” 


Above: A sketch of an earth sheltered house from Malcolm Wells.

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Pat Miketinac
12/9/2009 10:57:04 PM
Malcolm knew that this unconventional concept could be proven with some effort, as seen in his extensive examples. His logic helped convince me to build my own 21 years ago, along with visits to the two at MOM's Eco-Village. Heating and cooling is optional here in FL since the house is always near the 72 degree ground temp. Mine is based on Rob Roy's 1st design that is also in his updated book, "Earth Sheltered Houses", from Other good sites for resources are (of course) and

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