Earthquake tests of masonry walls
Living in shelters Earth has a large part of human history. The connection to the earth shelter homes began Use of caves, and over time, changes in technology led to the construction of custom homes Earth. Today, the earth shelter construction of a rare practice, especially in the U.S. during the energy crisis and the oil crisis of 1973, together with the back-to-the-land movement, there was a wave of interest in the earth shelter / underground construction in an effort to live independently. However, progress has been slow, and the earth shelter construction is often regarded by architects, engineers, and the public alike as an unconventional method of building. Techniques of earth shelter has not yet become generally known, and much of society still unaware of the process or benefits this type of building.
Earth berming: The Earth is against outside walls stacked and packed away diagonally down from the house. The roof can be or not fully covered with earth, and windows / openings can occur on one or more sides of the shelter. Due to the building above the ground, fewer problems with Moisture earth berming compared to U-Bahn / fully submerged production are connected.
In Hill Construction: The house is set in a slope or hill. The practical Application is a hill with a view towards the equator (south in the northern hemisphere and north in the southern hemisphere). There is only one subject Wall in this type of soil refuge from the wall of the hill, all the other walls in the interior of the Earth / Hill embedded.
Underground / completely embedded Building: The soil has been excavated, and the house is set in below grade. It can also be due to the common atrium-style atrium / courtyard in the middle of the shelter are designed provide adequate lighting and ventilation.
The advantages of earth shelter are numerous. These include: taking advantage of the earth as a thermal Mass and offers additional protection from the elements, energy savings, providing substantial privacy and efficient use of land in the urban environment, Shelters have low maintenance requirements, and protecting the earth often uses passive solar building design.
The soil absorbs and stores heat. Over time, this heat into the environment, such as an earth shelter released. Due to the high density of the earth, change occurs slowly in the soil temperature. This is called delay Hermal known. Because of this principle provides a fairly constant temperature of the earth for the tunnel, even if the outside temperature undergoes large fluctuation. In most of the United States, the average temperature of the earth once the frost line 55-57 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 14 degrees Celsius). Frost line depth varies from region to region. In the U.S. lines can freeze in some 20 centimeters more than 40 inch range. So on the basis of a low earth berm in the House against an external temperature gradient perhaps ten heated to fifteen degrees, instead of against a steeper temperature level where air is on the outside of the wall instead of earth. In summer the temperature gradient helps to cool the house.
The reduction of air infiltration in an animal shelter earth can be very profitable. Because three walls of the building are surrounded by mainly earth, very little surface for the outside air exposed. This reduces the problem of warm air from escaping the house through gaps in window and door. In addition, the earth walls protect against cold winter winds, otherwise could penetrate the gaps. However, this can also be a potential air quality in indoor spaces to the problem. Healthy air circulation is the key.
As a result of the increased thermal mass of the structure, the thermal lag of the earth, protection against unwanted intrusion of air and the combined use of passive solar technologies, the need for additional heating and cooling is minimal. Therefore, there is a drastic reduction of energy consumption for the home compared required to houses of traditional construction.
Earth shelters also provide privacy from neighbors and noise control. The soil provides sound insulation against external noise. This can be a big advantage in urban areas or near highways. In urban areas, is another advantage of the underground rescue the efficient Use of land. Many houses can below grade, without spoiling the habitat to sit above ground. Each site can be both a house and a lawn or garden.
Problems of water seepage, internal condensation, poor acoustics and poor air quality indoors can occur when an earth shelter has not trained properly.
Issues include the sustainability of building materials. Earth shelter often requires heavier than conventional building techniques and many construction contractors have limited or no experience with earth sheltered construction, potentially jeopardizing the physical construction or the best designs.
The threat is carried by water inlet to have areas in which penetrated the seals. Vents and ducts, which can off the roof of some problems related to the possibility of movement. Precast concrete panels, a Deflection of 1 / 2 inches or more, if the earth / soil is layered on top. If the openings or channels are rigid in the place during this distraction, the result usually the failure of the seal. To avoid this difficulty openings on other sides of the building located (next to the roof), or separate segments of the tubes can be installed. A narrow tube in the roof, which can closely fit into a larger segment of the building also be used. The threat of the entry of water, condensation and poor air quality in rooms can all be overcome with proper sealing and ventilation.
The building material for earth-sheltered construction tend to be non-biodegradable materials. Since the materials have to hold water, they are often made of plastic. Concrete is another material used in large quantities. More sustainable products are tested to the cement in concrete (eg fly ash), replace and alternatives to reinforced concrete (see more under Materials Management: Structural). The excavation is a page is also drastically time-and labor-intensive. Overall, the construction is comparable to conventional construction, because the building minimal processing and requires much less maintenance.
Condensation and poor quality of indoor air problems can be solved by using earth tubes, or what is known as a geothermal heat pump – a concept different from the Earth refuge. After the amendment, the idea of earth tubes (see also Sokol Blossor Winery) for underground structures be used. earth tubes instead of the loop, let one end open to descend to draw fresh air to the chimney effect, by exhaust vents located high in the underground Construction.
Landscape and site planning
The siting of an earth sheltered building is an integral part of the overall concept, study of the landscape a potential site is crucial. There are many factors to determine if a site survey for civil engineering. The topography, regional climate, vegetation, Groundwater and soil type different landscapes play dynamic roles in the development and application of earth houses.
On land which is relatively flat is a completely submerged house with an open courtyard is the most appropriate design. On a hillside garden, the house is directly in the hills. The slope determine the location the window wall, an exposed south wall is the most practical in the northern hemisphere (and north into the southern hemisphere) benefits from solar energy.
Depending on the selected region and place of the earth sheltered construction, the benefits and objectives of the earth shelter construction. For cool and temperate climates are targets of retaining winter heat, preventing infiltration, receive winter sun, by means of thermal mass, shading and ventilation in summer and to avoid the winter wind and cold pockets. For hot, arid climates objectives include maximizing moisture and provide shade in summer, summer to maximize air movement and keep warm in winter. For hot, humid climate target include avoiding summer moisture and provides ventilation in the summer and keep heat in winter.
Regions with extreme daily and seasonal temperatures stress the value of the earth as a thermal mass. In this way the earth is protected most effectively in regions with high cooling and Heating and high temperature differentials. In regions like the southeastern United States, Earth can be refuge for additional care in construction and maintenance of condensation Problems related to the high humidity needed. The soil temperature in the region may be too high to allow the earth to cool, with temperatures only slightly fluctuate from day to night. Preferably, a proper winter sunlight, and sufficient resources for natural ventilation. Wind is a key aspect evaluate the planning site, for reasons of perceived and heat loss and ventilation of the shelter. In the Northern Hemisphere, south-facing slopes tend to avoid blown to cold winter winds generally from the north. Completely absorbed shelters also offer sufficient protection against these harsh winds. However, in atria the structure have the ability to create smaller turbulence depending on the size. In summer it is helpful to take advantage of prevailing winds. Because the limited arrangement of windows in most of the earth is home, and the resistance of air infiltration can stagnate the air within a structure where there is adequate ventilation is not given. Through the use of wind, natural ventilation can occur without the use of fans or other active systems. Knowing the direction and intensity the seasonal winds is of crucial importance in promoting cross-ventilation. Vents are often placed in the roof or completely sunk bermed shelters on this to achieve effect.
The vegetation of the landscape is an important factor. Adding plants can be both positive and negative. Near trees can be valuable in a humid climate, because their roots removed water. However, a prospective builder should know what types of trees in the area are and how big and they tend to grow rapidly because of possible solar potential compromise with their growth. Vegetation is exposed to a wind protection for homes winter winds. The growth of small Plants, especially those with deep roots, also helps in the prevention of erosion, on the house and in the local environment.
Soil and drainage
Soil type is one of the most important factors in site planning. The soil needs to ensure sufficient capacity and drainage and help to retain heat. With regards to drainage, is the best kind of soil for earth-protecting a mixture of sand and gravel. Well graded gravels have a large capacity (8,000 pounds per square foot), good drainage and a low potential for frost heave. Sand and clay, but not compact well and it may be susceptible to erosion as a result. Clay soils, while at least vulnerable to allow for erosion, often not for the proper drainage, and have a higher potential for frost damage. Clay soils are more prone to thermal shrinkage and extended. Aware of the moisture content of the soil and the fluctuation of that content throughout the year to prevent possible heating Problems. Frost damage can also be problematic in some soil. Fine grain soil moisture to keep the best and are most susceptible to heaving. A few ways to protect against capillary action responsible for frost damage foundations placement below the freezing zone or insulating surface to shallow foundations, the renewal of frozen soils by leave granules and capillary draw of moisture by a drainage layer of coarse material into the existing soil.
Water can potential damage to earth houses, may cause ponds to the shelter. Avoid sites with a high water table is crucial. Drainage, both above and below ground, must be handled properly. Seals on the building is essential.
Atrium designs have an increased risk of flooding, so that the surrounding land should slope away from the structure on all sides. A drain on the periphery of the roof edge can help collect and remove additional water. For bermed homes, interceptor drain at the crest of the embankment along the edge of the roof above recommended. An interceptor drainage basin in the middle of the berm is also helpful, or the back of the berm can be terraced with retaining walls. On slopes drain can cause problems. Building a drainage basin or manhole may be water around the house get distracted, or a gravel-filled trench with drain tile can be installed along with sewer maintenance.
Soil stability should also be considered be, especially when evaluating a sloping site. This track can be stable if left alone cut, but they can severely compromise its structural stability. Retaining walls and backfill can be constructed to hold up the slope to be built in front of the dugout.
In soil protected Construction there is often carried out extensive excavations on the site. An excavation several feet higher than planned, the walls' perimeter is used for access to allow the outside of the wall for sealing and insulation. Once the website created and installed the power lines, poured a foundation of reinforced concrete. The walls are then installed. Usually they are either cast in place or formed either on or off site and then sort. Reinforced concrete is the most common choice. The method is applicable the roof again. When the walls, floor and roof are all cast in place, it is possible to make a single pour. This can reduce the probability the fact that it reduce cracks or leaks at the joints when the concrete has cured at different times.
Applied to the exterior of the concrete sealing is. The most commonly used sealing system includes a layer of liquid asphalt, on a heavy grade waterproof membrane is attached, followed by a final liquid water sealant can be sprayed. It is very important to make sure that all seams are carefully sealed. It is very difficult to locate and to repair leaks in the seal is complete after construction.
One or more layers of insulation board or foam on the outside of the seal included. If the Insulation is selected a top layer of porous seal is added. After everything is completed, the soil in the remaining space on the outside of the wall filled and sometimes on the roof to accommodate a green roof. Any exposed walls and the interior finished to the owners preferences.
Reinforced concrete is the most commonly used materials in the earth shelter construction. It is strong and readily available. Untreated wood rots within five years of operation in the earth shelter construction. Steel can be used, but must be wrapped in concrete to protect it from direct contact with the ground, to keep the metal corrodes. Bricks and cmus (concrete masonry units) are also possible options in the earth shelter construction, but must be strengthened in order of displacement under vertical pressure, unless the building with arches and vaults constructed to hold.
Unfortunately, concrete is not ecologically sustainable material. The concrete industry is working on products, the more earth-friendly to be developed in response to consumer demands. Products such as Grancrete and Hycrete are always readily available. They claim to be environmentally friendly be and either reduce or eliminate the need for additional sealing. However, these new products and were not detailed in the earth shelter construction has been used.
Some unconventional approaches are also proposed. Such a method is a method of WBS Mike Oehler proposed. The PSP method used wooden posts, Plastic sheeting and non-conventional ideas, the more windows and ventilation. This design also reduces some of the problems with conventional drain structures found. The method uses Wooden posts, a frame, like a rib for the settlement forces specific designs, with fewer pieces of heavy equipment, plastic sheeting and earth floors with plastic and leave carpets spread effect.
Several layers are used for sealing in the earth shelter construction. The first layer will not crack or pore Seal in the structural materials that also works as an adhesive for the waterproof membrane. The membrane layer is often a thick flexible polyethylene film called EPDM. EPDM is the material usually used in water garden, pond and swimming pools. This material prevents roots dig through the seal. EPDM is to work very hard and can be shared by some Insects such as ants fire chewed. It is also produced from petrochemicals, making it less than perfect ecological.
There are various cement coatings can be used as a seal. The product is sprayed directly on the exposed surface. It dries and looks like a huge ceramic layer between the wall and the Earth. The challenge with this approach is if the wall or foundation shifts in any way, it is able to penetrate cracks and water through it easily.
Bituthene (Registered Name) is very similar to the three mantle layering process in only one step. It is already complex in the leaves and has an adhesive backing. The challenge This is the same as with the manual method of stratification, in addition: the sun is sensitive and must be covered very soon after application.
Eco-Flex is a environmentally friendly waterproofing membrane seems very good on foundations, but not much is known about its effectiveness in soil recovery. It belongs to a group of liquid paint-on waterproofing products. These are the key challenges it must be applied carefully to ensure that each area covered on the right thickness , and that any crack or gap is closed.
Bentonite is the alternative that is closest to the optimum environmental scale. It is naturally occurring and self-healing. The disadvantage of this system is that it is very heavy and difficult to install for the owner / builder.
In contrast to conventional building require earth houses instead of the insulation on the exterior of the building into the wall. One reason for this is that it provides protection for the waterproof membrane to frost damage, another is that the Earth is refuge in a position to better maintain their desired temperature. There are two types of insulation in the earth shelter construction used. The first is the Near single-cell extruded polystyrene boards. Two to three centimeters glued to the outside of the seal is usually sufficient. The second type of insulation is a spray on Foam. This works very well, the form of structure to get it funky, rounded or heavy to. Foam insulation requires an additional protective layer how to help foil to resist their penetration of water.
Housed in some low-budget world, insulation can not be applied to the walls. These methods are based on the U-factor or thermal heat capacity of the earth itself under the ice. These designs are the exception and risk, however, frost heave damage in colder climates. The theory behind no insulation design relies on using the thermal mass of the earth to retain heat, rather than relying on a heavy masonry or concrete inner structures in a typical passive buildings exist. This may be the exception to the rule and cold temperatures extend into the soil over the frost line to make insulation for higher efficiency.
Conventional above ground passive solar house designs often high R factor insulation exterior walls with high thermal mass leave U-structures inside the house. Most Earth sheltered houses accept this approach as well. In conventional passive solar design, the internal thermal mass of brick there, compressed earth block masonry or other heat-storing materials. Even heavy timber construction or change SAP phased nano-particles "in Energy (brand) body for heat storage be used. developed in cold weather, warming the thermal mass of low solar radiation during the winter months, the thermal mass of the objects inside the house true. During the evening, will make the thermal mass that heat to heat inside the high add-insulated shell. During the summer the shady thermal Mass reached by direct solar radiation. By planning, the mass inside the house away from windows, summer sunlight will not hit the thermal mass. The thermal Mass, a cooling effect heat absorption from the air. Thermal mass flow meter provides both heating and cooling effects in a properly designed passive houses. The amount of thermal mass and sun exposure is essential for the direct solar gain design depends on the local climate. Sometimes thermal mass is a liability if Structure is heated only at the weekend on air power or wood stoves could, preferably a highly insulated envelope and less thermal mass for winter climates. To prevent this heat, cold mass at the start of the weekend and leaving the structure should only warms the cabin at the end of the weekend. Some designs avoid the sea saw effect of the massive thermal mass temperature gradient less thermal mass below the frost line of the earth.
Design for energy saving
Erdenheim are often designed with energy conservation and savings in mind. Special designs of earth houses provide maximum savings. For bermed or-Hill Construction, A common plan for all residential rooms on the south side of the house instead. This provides maximum sunlight to bedroom, living room, kitchen and rooms. Room, no natural light and extensive heating, such as the bathroom, closet and laundry room are usually located on the north side (or mountain) side of the property. This Type of division can be implemented at two levels house design with two levels completely underground. This plan has the highest energy efficiency, earth homes due to the compact configuration and the structure it deeper into the earth. This enables a larger proportion of ground cover exposed wall as a shelter would be a story.
With atrium earth shelter the living rooms are situated around the atrium. The Atrium arrangement provides a much less compact than the plan bermed one-or two-story / inhill design, so it is often less energy efficient, in terms of heating needs. This is one of the reasons why classical atrium design to warmer climates be applied. However, the Atrium to catch him in the air then tend heated by the sun and reduce heat loss.
Earth shelter with solar heating
Earth shelter will often be combined with solar systems. The most frequent use of passive solar design techniques used in earth shelters. A south facing structure with the North, east and west sides covered with soil, is the most effective use of passive solar systems. A large double-glazed windows triple-glazed or Zomeworks beadwall (Vacuum / blower that your double pane windows with solar-filled Styrofoam balls at night for added insulation and vacuumed the beads in the morning, now Patent expired), spanning most of the length of the south wall is critical to win for the solar heat. It is useful for isolating the windows with curtains accompany protect against heat loss at night. Also during the summer months and provides an overhang, or any type of sunscreen is useful to block out to win the excess solar energy. The combination with solar earth shelter known as "annualized geo solar design," "Passive Annual Heat storage ", or sometimes as the Umbrella House." (See Nick Pine alt.solar.thermal posting on Usenet alt.homepower and groups about this kind of House.) The roof house extends about 23 meters radius polystyrene insulation of underground walls. A plastic film covers the insulation (for waterproofing) and soil layer at the top. The gap materials, like an umbrella. It sheds excess water, while the soil temperature is warm and dry.
Passive cooling of the Draws air with a fan or convection from a constant temperature in the vicinity of air in the earth cooling tubes and then buried in the house living space. This also provides fresh Air for the occupants and the air exchange required by ASHRAE.
Earth shelter construction: History and examples
Historically, earth berming a common Building practice that severe combined timber and rough stone work with stacks thick grass or turf on the walls and on the roof. This served as excellent protection from the Elements. In a relatively short time, the layers of soil to grow together leaving the structure with an appearance on a hill with a door.
Earth sheltered picnic area on the Interstate 77 in Ohio
In these early structures, the design of heavy timber acted as a structural support and added comfort and warmth in the interior. Rough stone was often stacked along the outer walls with a simple lime mortar for structural support and often serves as an outer facing wall and foundation. There are greater use of stone work in the earth shelter structures in areas where wood is scarce. These are the most sustainable earth houses go so far as material because they are able to decompose and return to Earth. For this reason there are few remaining example of how Hvalsey Church in Greenland, where are only the stacked stones. A the oldest examples of berming, dating back some 5,000 years, can be found Brae in the Orkney Islands off northern Scotland at Skara.
Today bermed earth structures built quite differently from those of the past are on. Common construction employs large amounts of steel reinforced concrete as a structural support and building envelope. Bulldozers or lynx can be used to earth around the building and stack on the roof instead of stacking the earth instead. A community of 5 earth bermed structures in Hockerton in Nottinghamshire, UK to be found.
A historical example of would-hill earth shelters in Mesa Verde, in the Southwestern United States be. These buildings are built right up to the cliffs and caves on the face of the cliffs. The front wall is constructed to enclose with local stone and earth structure. Similarly, now uses in-hill earth shelter construction, the natural formation of a slope for two to three times the external walls and the roof of a structure. Alternative builders Crafts as a kind of in-hill-known Earthship structure. In Earthship construction, tires rammed with earth as construction materials for three of the walls and have used in the Usually a front facade of windows to capture passive solar energy.
The best known and probably the largest earth-sheltered home is the residence of Bill Gates, who built it had, over a period of several years on a heavily wooded area on the shores of Lake Washington. It is an excellent example of the lack of intrusiveness of this type of home, since it seems much smaller than it really is when seen from the lake.
Although civil engineering is relatively rare in the U.S. can successfully Examples can be found in Australia, where the ground is so hard that there is little or no need for structural support and a pick and shovel are the tools of the builder / Had left, began. See Coober Pedy and Lightning Ridge.
In the beginning of 1970 China undertook the construction of Dixia Cheng, a city beneath Beijing. It was primarily a complex of bunkers that 40% of the population could take at this time. It was a response to the fear of Soviet attack. Parts of it are now in more commercial companies used.
Kandovan in Iran
Htel Sididriss in Matmata in Tunisia
Inside a cave in Matmata (Tunisia)
Cave House in Rochemnier (France)
Sustainable development portal
Bill Gates house, a very large earth-sheltered Home
Coober Pedy, an Australian opal mining town famous for its underground building
Earth cooling tubes
Malcolm Wells, proponents of the earth protected buildings
Energy Efficient Landscaping
Hurricane proof building
^ Earth homes (www.motherearthnews.com)
Baggs, Sydney A., Baggs, Joan C. & Baggs, David W., Australian earth-covered building New South Wales University Press, New South Wales from 1991 ISBN 0868400602
Berge, Bjorn. The ecology of the materials. Architectural Press, 2000. This book contains detailed information on building materials.
Campbell, Stu. The Underground House Book. Vermont: Garden Way, Inc., 1980.
De Mars, John. Hydrophobic concrete barns geomembrane. Concrete Products, January 2006. Concrete industry magazine can be accessed online at.
Debord, David Douglas, and Thomas R. Dunbar. Protected landscapes on earth. New York: Wan Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1985.
Noble Hart, Mike. The handbook of earth shelter design. Dolphin Books, 1982nd This was in the depths of the earth shelter construction with many illustrations.
Miller, David E. Towards a new regionalism. University of Washington Press, 2005. It provides examples and information of sustainable building houses, including Earth.
Reid, Esmond. Understanding building. MIT Press, 1984. This book contains detailed Design and construction information.
Roy, Robert. Earth Sheltered Houses. New Society Publishers, 2006. This book is a current manual of the owner builder. It has over much of the information that is in his earlier book.
Roy, Robert. Underground Houses: How to Build a Low-Cost Home. New York: Sterling Publishing Co. Inc., 1979.
Terman, Max R. earth sheltered housing: principles in practice. New York: Van Norstrand Reinhold Company, 1985.
The Underground Space Center at the University of Minnesota. Earth sheltered housing design. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, ed. 1978 Ed. 1979th This is an academic look, how to build an earth shelter building.
Wade, Herb, Jeffrey Cook, Ken Labs, and Steve Selkowitz. Passive Solar: Subdivisions, windows, U-Bahn. Kansas City: American Solar Energy Society, 1983.
Oehler, Mike. The $ 50 & Up Underground House Book. Mole Publishing Co., 1978.
Wikipedia Commons to: Earth sheltering
British Association earth desert
Earth sheltered Structures: A Pathfinder and Annotated Bibliography
Eco-Flex rubber – Eco-Flex is an aqueous, solvent-free, non-flammable, liquid waterproofing membrane.
Formwork Building Inc. – designers of today's earth-homes.
Grancrete – Grancrete claims for a green product that is stronger than concrete, is water-and fire-resistant and sets up quickly.
Hockerton Housing Project – Community of 5 earth homes near Nottingham, UK
Hycrete Technologies – Hycrete admixture has the highest Radle to cradle rating for sustainability.
StocktonUnderground: A Client Access
Home Sweet Home Earth – Designer and builder of the world's homes
Underground Living – Low-cost Building site.
Categories: Building engineering | Energy saving | House types | Animal Shelters | Sustainable Building About the Author
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