Efficient Earth-Sheltered Homes — 6 Comments

    • There would be more challenges, but it is possible to gain code approval (and a cost, of course). Build in rural areas with minimal codes to keep costs low.

  1. Thanks Owen. That’s a relief to know. Because a whole side of a hill will be against it, I had wondered if I should tar the whole thing but, I didn’t really like the idea because I’m not sure if the tar we have today that’s used on roofs is the same that’s in a natural tar pit. Man made I suspect. It certainly will have the drainage for sure. What exactly is a “swale” I’ve never heard of it before. As always “Thanks” for your expertise. It’s appreciated.

  2. Thanks Owen for this post. I had no idea that this particular site would even cover such homes. It also answered some questions for me. I do have one question that you may be able to answer……what is the best product to use to seal concrete to waterproof it and protect it from direct contact with earth and plant growth? In my particular build idea, there will have to be concrete walls that protect the scoria filled bags with earth coming straight off the roof as well as, the back of the build which will be a fairly tall wall against a hill. You know what my intentions are for my build so I won’t go further about it. Thanks.

    • You probably don’t need any special waterproofing on retaining walls if you have a properly installed French drain plus a swale above it to divert the bulk of the water.

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