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Earth sheltered building

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Methods of applying earth sheltering to a house

Earth sheltering and windbreaks can also reduce the absolute amount of heat needed by a building. Several feet below the earth, temperature ranges from 4°Celsius in North Dakota to 26°Celcius,[1] in Southern Florida. Wind breaks reduce the amount of heat carried away from a building.

Types of windbreaks

Windbreaks around a house can exist in the form of hedges, or walls (stone, soil, ...)

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 (aswell as via cracks, see Passive solar house) it is best to cover the roof with soil so as to attain maximum efficiency. However

Glass roof

References

  1. Stephens, ibid.

See also

External links