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Going Down Under With your House

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					Going Down Under With your House



One of the largest home expenses over time is the cost of energy. Going down under is one of the ways
to combat this cost. No, I'm not talking about Australia!



Going Down Under With your House



One of the best ways to save money on utilities is to construct a house which takes advantage of the
surrounding terrain. One alternative for truly bringing this to fruition is to go almost or totally below
grade. Much better known as an underground structure, this method drastically reduces the cost of
utilities over the life of the property and provides you with a chance to build something very creative.



When you go down under with a house, you can have depths from ten inches to almost the full height of
the house. We aren't talking about a house under a lawn. One of the more well-known designs for these
structures is the atrium layout.



The atrium house is basically a 4 sided structure facing an open atrium in the middle. The outer walls of
the house are positioned flush to the ground or built up berms. The major living areas all face into the
atrium. Windows and glass doors are utilized to facilitate heating with passive solar energy. Access to
the ground and garages are provided via stairways. By taking this approach, the house has the
advantage of being protected from wind, is temperature regulated by the ground in an indirect
geothermal gain strategy and has a good open atrium that can be used for pretty much anything.



The fascinating thing concerning this approach is the appearance above ground. The top of the house is
flush or nearly flush with the ground. This provides protection from wind and an escape from noise
pollution. The design likewise offers you with a lot of area to get creative with landscaping. Most people
will put in exotic landscaping to take advantage of the situation. Japanese gardens, small forests and so
forth have been utilized to striking effect.



One area where you should be careful with an underground house is drainage. Pumps should be
sufficient to eliminate just about everything, but you need to plan for it at the outset. You do not want
to be sitting in a really expensive pool after that first rain.
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