A new article by Arvid Linde in Green Home Design compares typical earth-sheltered homes with structures made of earthbags. Linde raises a number of interesting points. I agree with his assessment that most earth-sheltered designs contain a lot of high embodied energy materials, notably concrete and steel, and therefore are not as ‘green’ as they could be. Earthbag buildings, in contrast, are simpler, lower cost and have much lower embodied energy.
You can read the entire article for free at the Green Home Design website.