A Walipini is an earth-sheltered cold frame.[1][2][3] It derives its name from the Aymaran languages.[4]

A greenhouse can be built by digging a hole in the ground and covering it with glass. This takes advantage of the heat stored in the earth during the cold season (warmth in winter, cooling in summer). It is an adaptation of the idea of passive annual heat storage (PAHS) to the greenhouse. Therefore very suitable for climates with cold winters. At the depth of several meters, there is very little seasonal variation in temperature. The earth around the greenhouse structure has large thermal mass.

Designes[edit | edit source]

walipini interior

The Benson Agriculture and Food Institute at Brigham Young University examined the concept in detail and has put together a manual with specific designs. These underground greenhouses are called "Walipini" (pit greenhouse) in South America. The Benson Institute's experiment was built in Bolivia, high up in the Andes where it gets really cold. Their greenhouse costs $250-$300 in materials and is designed to provide vegetables year-round for seven people. They recommend a minimum of 94 square feet (less than 8.75m2) of growing space per person. Some Walipini Design Alterations Sugestions have been made.

Mike Oehler of UndergroundHousing.com, described a similar concept in The Earth-Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book, available here. This is an adaptation from his earlier work on underground housing for residential purposes.

Russ Finch of Greenhouse in the Snow has developed a commercial Earth-sheltered Solar Greenhouse capable of growing citrus trees and other subtropical plants in the middle of the winter in Nebraska with minimal supplemental heating. The Greenhouse in the Snow also utilization of Earth tubes to store heat and control temperature.[5]


References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Walipini Construction (The Underground Greenhouse)" (PDF). The-meal.net. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  2. "Pit Greenhouses". Inspirationgreen.com. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  3. "Rob's Modified Walipini". PermacultureNews.org. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  4. "Build a $300 underground greenhouse for year-round gardening (Video)". TreeHugger. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  5. "Greenhouse in the Snow - About". Retrieved 15 April 2021.
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Keywords greenhouses, agriculture, solar, construction, sustainable farm energy alternatives, gardening, architecture, permaculture techniques
SDG SDG02 Zero hunger, SDG12 Responsible consumption and production
Authors Rasmus, Ethan, Joe Torreggiani
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Ported from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walipini (original)
Language English (en)
Translations Czech, Hungarian
Related 2 subpages, 6 pages link here
Aliases Sunken greenhouse
Impact 1,761 page views
Created April 4, 2016 by Ethan
Modified October 23, 2023 by Maintenance script
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