Earth-Sheltered Houses

Earth-sheltered homes fit a wide range of climates and a variety of building sites, create weather- and noise-proof shelter and blend harmoniously with their surrounding landscapes. These Earth-bermed structures can drastically cut your energy costs by taking advantage of the constancy of the Earth's temperature and thermal mass. Besides taking advantage of the soil's temperature-moderating effects, earth-sheltered homes also are protected from heat-robbing winter winds and the scorching summer sun. Paired with passive-solar design, an earth-sheltered home can save you tens of thousands of dollars in fuel bills during your lifetime.

This collection of articles from the Mother Earth News Archive will inspire you to build your dream Earth home.

Down to Earth Homes
Earth-sheltered homes cut heating and cooling costs, create weather- and sound-proof shelter and blend in with the landscape.

MOTHER's Earth-sheltered House
You can build this inexpensive, energy-efficient earth-sheltered house, with a three-quarter round foundation and passive solar greenhouse in the front. (This is Part One of five stories about a 1983 building project at the former Mother Earth News research facility in North Carolina.)

A Naturally Cooled Florida House
This earth-sheltered house provides most of its own heating and cooling through the Earth's insulation and proper air circulation.