Earth sheltering

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Earth sheltering is the architectural practice of using earth against building walls for external thermal mass, to reduce heat loss, and to easily maintain a steady indoor air temperature. Earth sheltering is popular in modern times among advocates of passive solar and sustainable architecture, but has been around for nearly as long as humans have been constructing their own shelter.

Contents

Background

Living within earth shelters has been a large part of human history. The connection to earth shelter dwellings began with the utilization of caves, and over time evolving technologies led to the construction of customized earth dwellings. Today, earth shelter construction is a rare practice, especially in the U.S.A. During the energy crisis and the 1973 Oil Crisis,[1] along with the back-to-the-land movement, there was a surge of interest in earth shelter/underground home construction in an effort toward self-sufficient living. However, progress has been slow, and earth shelter construction is often viewed by architects, engineers, and the public alike as an unconventional method of building. Techniques of earth sheltering have not yet become common knowledge, and much of society still remains unaware of the process or benefits of this type of building construction.

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