Earth homes are gaining popularity. And they’ll become more relevant as we turn to Eco-friendly building alternatives.
Rammed earth homes offer freedom of design and look. And some excellent examples follow an organic aesthetic. The impressive structures become one with the land and the environment in ingenious ways. We’re excited to share these projects with you today, and we hope they can inspire you.
Where Are Earth Homes for Sale?
You can buy earth houses in various parts of the world, from Central America to Europe and Mexico to Australia.
You can also purchase them in several states in the U.S., like California, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico.
There isn’t a strong housing market for earth homes yet. But, Eco-homes and recyclable materials have become increasingly popular in real estate.
It’s also common to build your own earth-sheltered home out of shipping containers, recycled materials, or rammed earth.
Are Underground Homes for Sale?
It’s uncommon to see underground homes for sale, but it does happen. You might be comparing an underground home to a bunker, but they are different.
Most underground homes aren’t completely underground (aka earth bermed homes) and work in harmony with the Earth.
These homes often get built by the home owner and aren’t considered ‘in demand.’ But while there’s not a current housing marketing for underground homes, they could become of interest in the future.
The Different Types of Earth Homes
If you look beyond four-walled homes, you’ll see that you can build an earth friendly home out of various materials.
And when it comes to earth-sheltered homes, you can let your imagination run wild. They provide sustainable dwellings that withstand the weather elements better than most homes.
There are four main types of earth homes you can build.
- Earth-covered homes – Homes that typically have living roofs or roofs with soil and living vegetation. But the house is not underground or covered by soil.
- In-Hill homes – The hillside covers three walls and the roof, as the house is in the slopes or hills. The homes are typically southern-facing, so the exposed wall can absorb as much light as possible.
- Bermed earth-sheltered home – This is one of the more common earth homes you’ll see. The earth partially covers the walls and roof, leaving part of the home exposed above ground.
- Underground homes – These homes are below ground level and typically have an open atrium or courtyard for light and air exposure.
Earth Home Projects
Homes made from the earth are environmentally friendly, sustainable, and durable. Many of the earth-sheltered homes are modern and artistically designed. From rammed earth dwellings to earth-covered homes, these projects are excellent examples of earth homes.
Green Magic – Earth Sheltered Homes
The whole concept of living in a hobbit home is impressive and makes many people super excited to experience a dream come true. It’s easier than ever to rely on prefabricated structures to complete the project easier and faster. These right here are Green Magic Homes. They get made from prefabricated panels with walls of reinforced soil. The components can be easily screwed together, making these hobbit homes even more enticing. They look like a part of the landscape when covered in dirt and grass.
Modern Earth Homes
This house also uses the earth as a construction material. It’s an above-ground structure. Architect Tatiana Bilbao designed it to serve as a beautiful summer house. It’s a place where you can come to relax and unwind, admire the views and feel one with nature. The house is low maintenance and means to connect nature with its environment. And provide a modern lifestyle.
The Earth House
The Earth House is a project by earthLAB Studio in Merida, Mexico. The project aims to bring harmony between the past and the present with the beautiful vernacular and the building. It distances itself from any specific trends by creating its own style. The heart of the house is a space with rammed earth walls and a vaulted ceiling covered in bricks. This area sets the ambiance for the entire home.
Earth Homes for Employees
Luigi Rosselli Architects created housing for seasonal employees with a fantastic design.They made a series of 12 underground, enclosed rooms connected by a rammed-earth wall with a zig-zag shape. Not only does it look very cool from a distance, but this strategy allows the spaces to remain cool during the summer. And it provides a retreat for the cowboys during the mustering season.
The Cave is a villa designed by studio Greenfield to serve as a hub for the researchers and staff in the Maderas del Carmen natural park in Mexico. They built it with rammed earth walls and used the rugged stone as the frame to give it a natural, simple look. These construction and design techniques help the building blend in with the natural landscape. It’s a space for socializing and relaxing. And, interestingly, it doesn’t have any bedrooms.
Earth Home in Ecuador
This earth home is a residence built on a eucalyptus plantation in Ecuador. Over time, the soil has eroded because of the air climate and harsh conditions.
The architects at Rama Estudio found inspiration in this environment and chose simple materials to build the house. They gave it rammed earth walls and timber beams. And they used traditional building techniques to add authenticity to the design. They also used local materials, including wood, cane, and bamboo, to complete the project.
This is Branch, a small shelter that architecture student Conor Denison designed and built during his final year at Frank Lloyd Wright’s School of Architecture in Scottsdale.
The task was to create a sleeping pavilion in the desert inspired by Wright’s Taliesin West house. This small structure that measures 100 square feet across got built in response. It’s made entirely of rammed earth, which is excellent for the desert climate because it provides thermal insulation and is solid and versatile.
The Valley of the Fairies
The Valley of the Fairies is a magical little retreat near Sibiu, Romania. It has gorgeous views of the mountain range and beautiful landscape.
But the most amazing thing is the actual little houses. They have lovely designs with undulating roofs and organic shapes that seem like a real fairy tale world. Built using only natural materials, the walls get made from a mixture of clay, wood, sand, stone, and hay using ancient building techniques.
Earth House Estate Lttenstrasse
There’s also a place in Dietikon, Switzerland that looks out of this world. It’s called the earth House Estate Lttenstrasse, and it’s a project completed by studio Vetsch Architektur. It consists of several structures that look very much like hobbit houses.
These earth homes are beneath the ground and almost completely hidden. These organically-shaped facades reveal their entrances, but the rest is out of sight. The layer of soil surrounding them provides incredible insulation at all times, allowing these underground homes to be energy-efficient. They’re all arranged around a small artificial lake.
Earth Homes FAQ
What is Earth Building Material?
Earth is a basic building material that’s been around for thousands of years. It’s easy to work with and anyone can use it to construct walls, roofs, and floors.
Buildings made from earth are incredibly durable and have low environmental impact.
What Are the Types of Earth Construction?
Earth construction varies depending on the available resources, the climate, and culture.
Sustainable earth building materials include:
- Cob – A mass of materials consisting of sand, subsoil, and un-chopped straw kneaded into stiff raw loaves that dry as hard as concrete.
- Rammed earth – Moist earth gets layered into a temporary frame and then compacted by tamping it.
- Light straw clay – A combination of cob, rammed earth, and clay coated straw.
- Wattle and daub – An ancient technique that weaves thin branches (the wattle) together to support the mud plaster (the daub).
- Earth bags – Burlap or plastic bags get filled with moist soil and stacked to form a wall. Then they get compressed with a simple hand tool.
- Earth bricks – Similar to cob, they’re made from earth and straw. They’re placed into molds to form bricks and blocks and then dried in the sun.
- Earth floors – Once the site is ready and will ensure drainage, layers of earth and a substrate of gravel, pumice, and sand create the floor.
- Earth plaster and finishes – Created from clay or lime, they allow the walls to breathe and prevent moisture buildup.
What is Soil Earth Construction?
Soil construction is the development of buildings and building materials using soil. The most notable achievements in soil construction are concrete, fired clay bricks and rammed earth.
Modern technology has led to advancements in soil construction by using mechanical methods and processes using automated equipment.
Which Type of Soil is Used for Construction?
Various materials from the earth get used for creating homes and buildings. Most construction requires a combination of earth elements to create durable, weatherproof dwellings.
For home construction, the best soil to use is loam. Loam consists of sand, silt, and clay making it evenly balanced and can hold water.
Soils that contain more rock and compacted sand are more stable and more likely to prevent material corrosion.
What is a Rammed Earth Wall?
Rammed earth walls get constructed by ramming a mixture of materials. Traditionally, people used a wooden poll to ram the mix. But with modern technology, mechanical arms now ram the earth into walls.
A small amount of cement often gets added to the rammed walls to provide extra stability. Complex structures may require extra stability, unlike simple structures.
Are Earth Homes The Future?
Experts are looking for natural materials for future homes. And homeowners are searching for alternative real estate. Earth homes could be the future if you’re looking for an energy efficient and weather resistant home.