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Earth sheltered building

8,482 bytes added, 14:30, 5 February 2019
→‎External Links: + Mother Earth News archive of articles on Earth Sheltered Houses
[[File:Earth sheltering.png|thumb|right|200px|Methods of applying earth sheltering to a house]]'''Earth sheltering and windbreaks''' is the use of earth against building walls for external thermal mass, to reduce heat loss, and to easily maintain a steady indoor air temperature. This can also reduce the absolute amount of heat needed by a building. Several feet below ==Definition==* "A building can be described as earth-sheltered when it has a thermally significant amount of soil or substrate in contact with its external envelope."<ref name=lowimpact>[https://www.lowimpact.org/lowimpact-topic/earth-sheltered-houses/ Earth Sheltered Houses] page on Lowimpact.org</ref>* "Structures built with the use of earthmass against building walls as external thermal mass, which reduces heat loss and maintains a steady indoor air temperature ranges throughout the seasons."<ref name=Anselm2012>[https://www.intechopen.com/books/energy-conservation/earth-shelters-a-review-of-energy-conservation-properties-in-earth-sheltered-housing AJ Anselm (2012). Earth Shelters; A Review of Energy Conservation Properties in Earth Sheltered Housing, (chapter in: Energy Conservation, AZ Ahmed, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/51873]</ref>==Introduction==Approximately 50% of the heat from 4°Celsius the Sun is absorbed at the surface.<ref name=BSGwebsite /> Consequently, the temperature in North Dakota the upper layers of the earth changes dependant on the day/night cycle and to a lesser extent weather (e.g. in full sun the surface receives more heat, whereas if it is very cloudy less energy reaches the surface). The passing of the seasons has greatest impact on the temperature in the superficial layers of the earth. The air temperature fluctuations at the surface can be rapid (e.g. the sun setting or a rainstorm). However the earth takes time to soak up heat and to release it (earth is like [[thermal mass]]).<ref name=roy2006>Earth-Sheltered Houses: How to 26°CelciusBuild an Affordable Underground Home. R Roy. New Society Publishers,2006</ref>StephensAlthough the very superficial layers of soil possesss so many roots of plants and air spaces it acts more like insulation.<ref name=roy2006 /> But past this layer, ibidthe subsoil is hard and compacted and dense.<ref name=roy2006 /> Soil is stated as having an [[R value]] of about 0.65-R per centimeter (0.08-R per 1 inch),<ref name=Hait2013 /> or 0.25-R per 1 inch.<refname=roy2006 /> Variations in Southern FloridaR-value of soil is also greatly dependant upon soil moisture level, with lower R values as moisture level increases.<ref name=Hait2013 /> The deeper down you go, the slower and more blunted the response to surface air temperature changes becomes. Wind breaks reduce At a certain depth, the temperature in the amount earth is constant all year round. Seasonal temperature fluctuations have so much depth of heat carried away from a buildingearth to permeate, they even out, and this roughly equates to the mean annual surface air temperature over winter and summer.<ref name=BSGwebsite /><ref name=Hait2013 />
Some put the depth of this '''deep earth constant temperature''' at 6 meters,<ref name=Hait2013>[[Passive annual heat storage]]: Improving the design of earth shelters. John Hait. 2013</ref> and others at 15 meters.<ref name=BSGwebsite>British Geological Survey (BGS) website [http://www.bgs.ac.uk/reference/gshp/gshp_report.html]</ref> Also, this temperature will be different depending on geographic location. For example, 7 degrees Celsius in Montana, USA.<ref name=Hait2013 /> The deep earth constant temperature in different parts of the UK can be between 8 - 11° C.<ref name=BSGwebsite /> Another sources suggests that the deep earth constant temperature (which is described in terms of the amplitude correction factor, the amplitudes referring the fluctuations in soil temperature between winter and summer) also varies dependant upon soil moisture level (4.25m, 5.5m and 6.7m for dry , average and wet soil respectively).<ref>Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings. Walter T. Grondzik, Alison G. Kwok 2014</ref>  Below this the temperature of the earth gradually increases by about 2.6 degrees Celcius per 100 meters because there is also heat rising from the interior of the earth.<ref name=BSGwebsite /> ==Types ==[[File:Earth sheltering.png|thumb|right|400px|Methods of applying earth sheltering to a house]]There are 2 main types of windbreaksearth sheltered building (see also diagram). Earth berming is where the home is built close to the original grade and earth is mounded against the sides of the house.<ref name=cordwood>[http://cordwoodmasonry.com/earth-sheltered-housing/ What is Earth-Sheltered Housing?] Earthwood Building School</ref> A thin layer of earth may be laid ontop of the structure to form a [[Living roofs|living roof]].<ref name=cordwood /> Windbreaks around When [[passive solar]] design is applied to the layout of an underground house, the side of the structure facing the equator is left un-bermed to allow for collection of solar radiation. A chambered underground house is where the entire house is below the original grade, and this type is more rare.<ref name=cordwood /> Earth berming a home provides 90 - 95% of the thermal energy advantage of a completely below grade home.<ref name=roy2006 /> Earth bermed houses also require less excavation and their roof must sustain less load, menaing they will tend to be cheaper and easier to design and build. Earth shelteres are usually single story,<ref name=roy2006 /> perhaps because the structure already has to contend with the weight of earth above it that adding an extra story mandates excessively expenisive load bearing elements. However, some two story earth shelters have been built, sometimes because of a steeply sloping hill site which makes this form work well.<ref name=roy2006 /> ==Advantages and disadvantages==Earth sheltering can increase the thermal mass of a building. However, in temperate and arctic climates we must make sure that we add a insulation layer. The thickness of this depends on the depth of the soil (see [[Passive solar house]]) If no insulation layer is put in these areas, heat will leak out into the soil at times of the year when the earth cools down. As most heat tends to leak out via the roof (as well as via cracks, see Passive solar house ) rather than the side walls, it is best to cover the roof with soil so as to attain maximum efficiency. However, to many people this could have a claustrophobic effect. In these cases, covering the walls upto only 1,6-1,8m allows a window to be put in so that (when standing up), this claustrophobic effect can exist in be eliminated. Besides this method, it is also possible to cover the walls entirely, but implement a glass, flat roof. Hedges made from [[plants]] that are not only thickly vegetated but also thorny can deny access to a space behind the form plants. See [[Integrated pest management]] and [[Perimeter Crop Protection]]. == Factors to consider ==* The expense and energy of building earth-sheltered [[hedgebuildings]]scompared to conventional buildings. More effort is required to remove the earth, but effort is saved by not needing to provide an attractive finish to the surfaces which are covered by earth.* The different form and visual impact - e.g. earth sheltered buildings may have less impact, and be less conventional in appearance, and create less shade (thus allowing more sun and space for plants to grow - see [[Urban agriculture]]).* The earth may provide temperature buffering and/or walls insulation. * Lower set buildings are much more vulnerable to [[flooding]] - important if there is any significant risk of flooding (stoneconsider even theoretical 1 in a 1000 year floods, soilnoting that actual risks may be higher than theoretical risks, if a risk factor is overlooked)== Temperature buffering ==A benefit claimed for earth sheltering is that it provides a moderate temperature buffer between the house and the environment. Is this accurate? It is true that the temperature of the earth is often more moderate than the air - e.g.10 deg C (50 deg F) when the air is -25 deg C (-10 deg F). However, [[heat transfer]]{{w|heat transfer}} is a function not only of temperature difference, but of the thermal conductivity of the medium. Question: Over the range of temperatures experienced by a house in a given climate (say, a cold, temperate or tropical climate) what is the difference in heat flux between a wall exposed to air and a wall exposed to earth? This might be expressed in a formula, and depicted in graphs.{{sp}} Of course this would be expected to vary by soil type and water content.
==See also==
*[[Passive solar house|Aerodynamics of a house affecting thermal efficiency]]
*[[Autonomous houses and neighbourhoods]]
==External linksLinks==* {{W|Earth sheltering}}(Earth Sheltering article on Wikipedia)* [https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/types-homes/efficient-earth-sheltered-homes Efficient Earth-Sheltered Homes on Energy.gov]* [http://www.waynelabs.com/KenLabs/KenLabsThesis-LowRes.pdf The Architectural Use of Underground Space: Issues And Applications, Kenneth B. Labs]* [http://2030palette.org/earth-sheltering/]* [https://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/natural-building/earth-zl0z0703zswa] Mother Earth News archive of articles on Earth Sheltered Houses
[[Category:Construction and materials]]
[[Category:Heating and cooling]]
[[Category:Thermal insulation]]

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