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Lattenstrasse estate in Dietikon by Peter Vetsch.

Earth sheltered homes are built halfway into the ground. Their architecture follows the natural bends and flows in the earth around it. Some of its walls are made of actual dirt.

Some, like The Fun Times, say this form of housing reduces a person’s carbon footprint. The home conserves energy by maintaining a median yearly temp of 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

But is the trouble of building an unconventional house like this worth it? Here is a compiled list of the pros and cons:


  • Lower median temperature than the average home – better for comfortable living and energy costs.
  • Less materials to maintain outside the house.
  • Solitude and quiet because of remote location of the home.
  • Safer during storms like tornadoes and hurricanes.


  • Solitude means less interaction with people.
  • Construction is more difficult. For example, builders need to control the flow of water while the house is being built.
  • Heavy rains mean difficulty. Builders must take careful care to avoid floodplains, and heavy rains could mean leakages in the home.
  • May have less sunlight than the average home.

Of course, there are many more examples of advantages and disadvantages building into the earth, but this is the gist. With careful planning, this form of a home can be very good. If you feel like making the extra effort and have the means to do so, do it!

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