Assuming you are not the most unobservant person that has ever existed you are most likely aware of the trees that surround you every day you live your life. There are trees in the yards, lining the streets, in the parks, and everywhere you look you will most likely see a tree. You have also most likely seen some of the havoc that trees can cause in communities like,
Log homes like many forms of construction can be green if built in a way that makes them green. Modern log homes unlike their older counterparts are tightly built, have very little air infiltration and can be outfitted with all the modern heat exchangers, furnaces and insulation. They can also be made very durable and incredibly long lasting with good roof overhangs, foundations that keep the water off the log walls and modern low to no VOC containing stains.
What is adobe?
Adobe in its simplest form is a sun dried brick of clay, sand and other earthen materials. It has been around for around at least since 3800 bc in Egypt and may extend even farther back in history than that. It has been around so long because when done correctly adobe is a strong building material that is suitable for many climates even rainy ones.
Origin of the word adobe can be traced back to the Egyptians and it transformed only a little bit over the intervening 5000 + years. It was given it current spelling and usage when the word was assimilated from Arabic to Spanish and then the English language just co opted it from there.
Earth sheltering is an ancient and time honored technique for moderating the temperature of a house or other structure without any external energy. It has been used for thousands of years across many cultures starting all the way back with humans who lived in caves. To the right can see a picture of sod houses built in Iceland by some of the early settlers. They not only needed to build out of sod due to the climate of Iceland but also because it was one of the few available resources to build with.
They work off of the very simple fact that the soil maintains a certain temperature year round despite how cold or warm the air outside. This can offer you tremendous advantages when it comes to keeping your home comfortable for no extra cost in money or energy.
The diagram below illustrates what I am talking about about the soil maintaining a steady temperature. Not only do you get the climate control benefits but having a earth sheltered house can protect your home from storms and other forces that nature can throw at you. You home will also be quieter and burying your home in the earth could be a great way to escape city noise.
Well summertime is definitely here in full force in my home state. As I write this it is currently 100 degrees outside and it is putting my AC to work today. While I get to enjoy the cool conditioned confines of my house it reminds me that not everyone can have AC or chooses to use AC because of its environmental impacts. AC just in the USA is responsible for emitting 100 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year which is the equivalent of 21 million cars driving around for 1 year.
Two Pictures to Help You Appreciate Earth Sheltering Techniques
So on this nice hot day I came home to find out again just how much I love the fact that I live in a basement apartment. While it is not the ideal home that I will have one day in the far distant future it has two redeeming features.
-The fact that it is 3/4 underground
Hello my name is Josh Larson and I am the creator of the Green Living Library. Here on the blog you will find updates to content found in the Green Living Library as well as stories from those living the sustainable life already.