The Beauty of Passively Heated Underground Houses

This example of passively heated underground houses shows the benefits of a subterranean, passively solar-heated design that is not only functional but beautifully designed as well.


| May/June 1978



Learn about passively heated underground houses and how these well-designed underground homes save more energy and money than above-ground homes.

Learn about passively heated underground houses and how these well-designed underground homes save more energy and money than above-ground homes.


Illustration By The MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff

Learn about passively heated underground houses and how they more than equal above-ground homes in beauty and functionality.

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Passively Heated Underground Houses

Sure, MOTHER has already told you about ultra-low-cost semi-subterranean and underground solar-tempered houses. (William T. Beale's 16 foot by 30 foot, $6,000 Athens, Ohio guest house, for instance . . . or the Andy Davis $15,000, 1,200-square-foot "cave" dwelling up in Armington, Illinois.)

And she's told you how incredibly energy efficient such beneath-the-surface homes can be. (The Davis family, as you'll recall, heated their place during the catastrophic winter of 1976/77 for a grand total of $1.29.)

And she's pointed out many of the other good things about underground houses. (How quiet and peaceful they can be . . . the protection they offer from tornadoes and other storms . . . the fact that they can be brighter and far airier than most aboveground dwellings . . . the ease with which they can be cooled during the summer . . . and so on and on and on.)

In short, it has become all too obvious to the editors of this magazine — and to a great number of other folks who've seriously studied the situation — that subterranean homes are very definitely going to become more and more important as we all hurtle into a resource-poor, harsh-climated, overpopulated, and crisis-ridden future.





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