Burrowing into the ground isn’t just for the prairie dogs anymore. Californians and East Hampton builders do it for style and substance.
A retired couple wanted to build a modern home that didn’t eat up the entire landscape so they chose to take their not-s0-unassuming modern home and burrow it into the ground. They call it the half there house or the Arc house, this 6,400 square foot modern home is made of concrete, steel, thermal glass walls and cables. Of course, the home is truly decadent inside with very modern amenities and beautiful finishes, but you wouldn’t imagine it being as sprawling as it is from the front, back and side elevation it creates from the straight on views, but once you are in the depths, you will understand. “Using subterranean construction to avoid restrictive building codes is a popular option in places like California’s Napa Valley, where home owners burrow underground for more space.” From the back elevation the whole home looks to be a grassy knoll. “On the property, Japanese maple and copper beech trees sit near a planted flat-roofed garage and grass driveway whose wide-set cobblestones look like part of the landscaping.” It is beautiful and could be actually unassuming, if the home weren’t of the modern airplane hangar aesthetic.
Why would you use subterranean construction? Climate control costs can be dramatically lowered with subterranean construction, just like using geothermal technology. Some people even argue that whole subdivisions should go underground. Do you remember our ErdHaus project? Our friends Mike and Andres built a home in Falls Church that was not built into the side of a hill, but dug deeply into the ground to utilize the geothermal energy for heating and cooling techniques. The home in East Hampton is a magnificent example of subterranean construction on a massive scale in a modern world. The owners weren’t probably looking to go the route of energy efficiency and high performance that most of us are looking to do, but the basis is there, and the technology is there for them and all of us to harness. If you are looking for assistance in a project like this, we’re always happy to provide guidance! We’ve seen it all!
Tags: arc house, earth brick home, erdhaus, geothermal energy, green built home in northern virginia, green built home in virginia, green built homes, half there house, subterrenean building, thermal glass walls