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The Earth Shelter


| 2/16/2015 11:40:00 AM


People travel to The Farm Community in Summertown, Tennessee because it has one of the largest concentrations of "green" construction and energy efficient homes and commercial buildings you will find anywhere. One of the most innovative and ambitious examples of green construction on The Farm in recent years is an “earth shelter.” It was originally built to house as office space for one of the community’s members, and is now serving as a place for women coming to The Farm to have their baby delivered by one of the community's midwives.

The back and sides of the structure are submerged into the side of a hill, using the thermal mass of the earth to insulate and regulate temperatures inside the building.



These three walls are built from cinder blocks filled with concrete and rebar (more mass) that have been properly treated to eliminate moisture from passing through to the inside. The block interior walls are surfaced with smooth river rock, both beautiful in appearance and adding to the thermal mass.



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