Photobucket

Author Topic: Earth-bermed house success!  (Read 1380 times)

Offline Ian-FW

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
  • Karma: 20
    • Forgotten Weapons
Earth-bermed house success!
« on: November 26, 2012, 11:23:03 PM »
Well, after a couple years in progress, my earth bermed house is finally actually earth bermed! I did the major construction back in 2009, and have been working on the interior slowly since. I made some attempts at backfilling it, but finally decided to hire the job out to a local guy this fall. He has now finished covering the house (which is a reinforced concrete dome, and string enough for far more backfill than I'm using) with about 2 feet of dirt at the very top:



I finally got to test it out this past weekend, and it works! Right now, the door and windows are pretty drafty, the chimney is an open hole in the ceiling, and there are no heat sources inside (incandescent bulbs, appliances, etc). Still, our overnight lows were in the high 20s, and when I checked the temperature at dawn it was at 53. Huzzah! Once I seal it up a bit more and add things (like a fridge) that produce waste heat, it should be quite pleasant without any supplemental heating being necessary. The theory said this would happen, but I didn't 100% believe it until now.  ;D
Forgotten Weapons  - Your source for rare, exotic, and prototype firearms.
 
Bad times came and bad times went, and left us here alive
Desert folks have histories of learning to survive.
The troubles took the cities, and the rich farmlands beside
But they skipped our land as barren waste, so here we all abide.

-- Leslie Fish, "Route 40"

Online Nicodemus

  • HooHa Man! AKA Docs Whipping Boy
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7973
  • Karma: 169
  • Wake up and smell the cat food n your bank account
Re: Earth-bermed house success!
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 11:41:30 PM »
That is awesome, Ian! Great work!

I can't wait to get the full tour.


Offline Zip

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 49
  • Karma: 3
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Earth-bermed house success!
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2012, 07:13:49 AM »
Great job Ian!  Please post pictures of the interior.

Offline endurance

  • Dances With Newfies
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7176
  • Karma: 337
Re: Earth-bermed house success!
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2012, 07:37:50 AM »
 :popcorn:
"There are things that you don't question when your home always smells like baking bread."  From The Hunger Games

“No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”   James Madison

Offline CharlesH

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 472
  • Karma: 9
  • Hope is a method...
Re: Earth-bermed house success!
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2012, 07:49:08 AM »
Very nice!  I live in a half-bermed house (the whole house bermed to about 1/2 it's height.  I love it, but your complete berm left me wanting to do even more!  You will love the energy savings.  You may still want a bit more heat than that provided from ineffiencies from other appliances, but you won't need much as long as the people living there don't mind it a bit chillier than a "normal" house.  Charles
Remember when you leave this earth, you take nothing that you have received – only what you have given: a heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage. - St. Francis of Assisi

Offline Ian-FW

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
  • Karma: 20
    • Forgotten Weapons
Re: Earth-bermed house success!
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2012, 08:03:00 AM »
Well, the interior isn't much to look at, yet. I have the inside walls framed and mostly sheeted, and the plumbing and electrical all hooked up. But it's all still pretty raw looking. The next series of steps is to finish stucco'ing the inside of the dome a nice bright white (helps light the inside, and it's a low-maintenance finish), then level and tile the floor, finish the framed walls with tongue-and-groove cedar (no drywall for me, thank you), and finally construct and install the furniture, which will be mostly built in. Here's a sample of the current status:

Forgotten Weapons  - Your source for rare, exotic, and prototype firearms.
 
Bad times came and bad times went, and left us here alive
Desert folks have histories of learning to survive.
The troubles took the cities, and the rich farmlands beside
But they skipped our land as barren waste, so here we all abide.

-- Leslie Fish, "Route 40"

Offline Mr. Bill

  • Like a hot cocoa mojito
  • Administrator
  • Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 9753
  • Karma: 636
  • Trained Attack Sheepdog/Troll hunter
    • Website maintenance services by Mr. Bill
Re: Earth-bermed house success!
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2012, 01:35:40 PM »
Very cool, Ian!  Congratulations on the progress!

Offline cmxterra

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1459
  • Karma: 72
  • Bugging out in style.
Re: Earth-bermed house success!
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2012, 03:16:19 PM »
awesome job!
concordia discors

Oderint dum metuat

Offline TexGuy

  • Sometimes posts while drunk.
  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 284
  • Karma: 11
Re: Earth-bermed house success!
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2012, 03:38:38 PM »
I have a few questions. 

It's that a cement floor? I ask because cement floors from my experience have a cooling effect on the house (depending on the setup).

Also, I see a wall not far into the inside, did you take the temp between there and the windows or behind the wall?

Does that top window open? If so, how does it open? At the top? Comes to the inside/ goes to the outside?

Hope you don't mind the questions.

Nice job btw

Offline backwoods_engineer

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 761
  • Karma: 28
  • A geeky American country boy with an AR-15 slung o
    • Backwoods Engineer's Blog
Re: Earth-bermed house success!
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2012, 04:32:26 PM »
Excellent, Ian.  Very inspirational.  Keep us up to date?

Offline Ian-FW

  • Survivor
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
  • Karma: 20
    • Forgotten Weapons
Re: Earth-bermed house success!
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2012, 06:05:25 AM »
TexGuy,

Yes, the floor is concrete, over a layer of 2" hard foam insulation. Since I am in the high desert, it is important to keep the house cool in the summer as well as warm in the winter. In fact, keeping it cool is more important, because supplemental heating is a lot simpler than supplemental cooling (as Jack has noted several times).

My thermometer is on the opposite side of the wall you can see, so it's not being hit by direct sunlight.

The top window does not open, although that's a design flaw that I do regret. I may change it out to a window that will open later on.
Forgotten Weapons  - Your source for rare, exotic, and prototype firearms.
 
Bad times came and bad times went, and left us here alive
Desert folks have histories of learning to survive.
The troubles took the cities, and the rich farmlands beside
But they skipped our land as barren waste, so here we all abide.

-- Leslie Fish, "Route 40"

Offline gundog

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 304
  • Karma: 15
  • It's the dog....not the gun.
Re: Earth-bermed house success!
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2012, 06:50:24 AM »
Very nice. I have built several houses over the years and I appreciate how much work it takes.
Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.
Lao Tzu