What About An Underground House?


Underground Rock Home

When we first moved to the suburbs, our new neighbors mentioned a group of underground houses located in our town. The houses were hidden in a very wooded area that was accessed by a small barely paved road. We found the houses and were amazed by the unusual appearance of the neighborhood.

We saw what looked like roofs covered with green grass. There were entrances that were visible above ground. Several years later, I met one of the underground home owners and discovered that usually there was a small entry with immediate stairs leading to the living area. The house I visited was light, bright, open, and very inviting. Beyond that, the house was cool in the summer and warm in the winter. We considered the concept to be quite interesting.

I have not heard much about underground houses in the last few years or perhaps I have not been reading the right publications. Currently, these houses are often referred to as “Earth Sheltered Homes”. The word shelter is the key word. Shelter: defined as a dwelling place or home considered as a refuge from the elements. Educational studies have stated that shelter is a basic need.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow wrote a paper in 1943 titled “A Theory of Human Motivation”. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, physiological needs were the most fundamental and necessary. These needs include food, clothing, and shelter from the elements. With this researched information in mind, earth sheltered homes become much more than an unusual home. They become a possibly better option for our environment in regards to safety, energy, wildlife preservation as well as a means to provide a subdued place to reside.

According to niftyhomestead.com, earth sheltered homes “use the ground as an insulating blanket which effectively protects it from temperature extremes including wind, rain, and extreme weather events.” Nifty Homestead includes on their website a tour of an 1900 square foot earth sheltered home built by architect Alan Shope. The following video features a tour of this earth sheltered house in Upstate New York.



The website granitehistory.org/underground-houses/ lists seven possibly surprising facts about these underground houses or earth sheltered houses. The seventh fact states that underground houses could possibly be one of the most comfortable places to live. The website goes further and states that underground houses might be the most comfortable living space. Although usually costly to build, underground homes heat and cool with ease. These earth sheltered homes can provide safety in emergencies as well as other weather/natural disasters.





18 thoughts on “What About An Underground House?

  1. In Australia, there’s a town called coober pedy which is entirely underground due to the suffocating heat.
    People only live there because of the opal mines and today, it’s a major tourist destination.
    Take a look at it if you will. It’s pretty fascinating.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Our daughter has been to Australia and New Zealand…with Texas Girls’ Choir when she was about 15 years old! She liked both, but absolutely loved Australia! She had a homestay with a very nice family…they lived in a suburb of Sydney. She stayed with them three days and went to school with their daughter…to a Creative Arts High School. What our daughter liked best was that they rode a train part of the way to the school!

        Liked by 1 person

      • You don’t have trains?? I’m actually really happy you elaborated on this.
        Most of those are things we take for granted down here. It’s just a really nice feeling to be reminded of things to be grateful for.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dallas has many commuter trains…thru downtown and out to North Dallas, etc. We live in Fort Worth and there are not commuter trains except for one line that runs to Dallas…near downtown. You can catch other trains there. Another train line is planned to run northeast from downtown Fort Worth, but not for a year or two…maybe more. Actually Dallas and Fort Worth (with Arlington in the middle) are one big urban area called the Metroplex. You can hardly tell when you leave one for the other anymore. Dallas is a bit more fast forward on the trains! Most all of the large cities have commuter trains/subways…like NYC, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia etc, etc! So our daughter was not at all accustomed to riding a train to school!


  2. My husband has always been fascinated by the concept of underground homes. He loves the idea of how energy efficient it would be. When I was a kid I lived my first 7 years in a basement home. My folks then built a house on top of it….so I guess I have lived in an earth home (sort of).


    • My husband is fascinated by them too! The small group of underground homes are still in our town. However a neighborhood of way too huge houses has been built beside it. There is still a small road that leads to it…a lot of people are very surprised when they find out the “earth sheltered” homes are there! That is neat that you lived in a basement until the rest of the house was built! We would love to have a house with a basement! There are very few down here!

      Liked by 1 person

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