If you happened across a home built from an underground house floor plan you could be forgiven for thinking the owners might be Hobbits because the only things visible might be a door or window set into a foliage covered hill. This type of home is actually a series of small, interconnecting domes made from cement and partially or completely submerged into the earth.
Such unconventional house floor plans are actually a step in the right direction for those persons thinking outside the box in terms of energy conservation and environmental benefits. Living underground in such earth-sheltered housing has its merits and takes a very conservative view in energy usage.
When considering an underground house floor plan, look for the following applications:
1. The house floor plan should blur the distinction between indoors and outdoors. The purpose is to exist in close harmony with nature.
2. The windows should be honeycomb style to harness solar energy.
3. Since the windows for this type of floor plan don’t open, an intake vent system with filters should be installed to draw fresh air from outside. The filters help keep out unwanted pests.
4. Air should be fanned from a solar collector through the home duct work into a rock store beneath the main living space. The store system maintains an efficient heat-exchange which works with the insulating soil to maintain a comfortable temperature year round. A good system would require no additional heating or cooling.
The dome shaped rooms give rise to maximum floor space and minimum wall area. Floor areas do not to conform to traditional housing expectations and and the living spaces are defined with curved walls with no sharp corners. Natural sunlight can be channeled into the house via the use of a skylight lined with natural reflective materials
Underground house floor plans got their start in the 1970s from an Austrian architect named Eisenhofer. Sadly, most dismissed his energy efficient and unconventional house plans as nothing more than a hippie experiment. It has only been within the past few years that interest in earth-sheltered housing is attracting some interest. As people become more environmentally conscious, the popularity of underground house floor plans as an energy efficient alternative can only increase.