House in the hill

House in the hill

Awesome place to visit.

The building is underground. Underground homes are an attractive alternative to traditionally built homes for some house seekers, especially those who are looking to minimize their home's negative impact on the environment. Besides the novelty of living underground, some of the advantages of underground houses include resistance to severe weather, an exceptionally quiet living space, an unobtrusive presence in the surrounding landscape, and a nearly constant interior temperature due to the natural insulating properties of the surrounding earth. The greatest draw for most, however, is the energy efficiency and environmental friendliness of such houses. Because of the stable subsurface temperature of the Earth, heating and cooling costs are often much lower in an underground house than in a comparable above-ground house. When combined with solar design, it is possible to eliminate energy bills entirely. Initial building costs are also often exceptionally low, as underground building is largely subtractive rather than additive, and because the natural materials displaced by the construction can be recycled as building materials. However, underground living does have certain disadvantages, such as the potential for flooding, which in some cases may require special pumping systems to be installed.

Underground living has been a feature of fiction, such as the hobbit holes of the Shire as described in the stories of J. R. R. Tolkien and The Underground City by Jules Verne. It is also the preferred mode of housing to communities in such extreme environments as Australia's Coober Pedy, Berber caves as those in Matmâta, Tunisia, and even Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Underground living is even being considered for the design of a future base on Mars. Completely underground homes need not be considered impractical or unaesthetic any longer. With today's technologies one can direct natural light into living spaces with light tubes. Virtual windows can provide any view one chooses by the use of cameras or internet cam feeds. Even whole walls can display whatever view one wants someday soon (wall-sized flat screen monitors are still too expensive to be widely used), possibly even with live ambient audio added. Also factories and office buildings would benefit too, for many of the same reasons (noise, energy use, security, community aesthetics, save space; park cars and trucks on top of it instead of next to it, etc.).

Often, underground living structures are not entirely underground, typically if they are exposed on one side when built into a hill. This exposure can significantly improve interior lighting, although at the expense of greater exposure to the elements.


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