Customer Review

89 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best available guide I've found yet, March 10, 2008
This review is from: Earth-Sheltered Houses: How to Build an Affordable... (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series) (Paperback)
An excellent reference for those who are interested in Earth Bermed and Earth Sheltered houses. His attention to detail in the excavation and foundation chapters is worth the price of the book alone. Especially when there is a lack of in depth internet resources available for those wishing to build their own earth sheltered house. Although this book deserves the 5 stars for fulfilling its basic promise, I wish he had devoted some time to discussing plumbing for a simple structure. But overall, he gives this reader 90% of the information necessary to start a small sized earth bermed house.

If you are looking to have an earth roof, you will need to purchase his other book "Timber Framing" where he goes into rich detail the structural engineering requirements of load and tension and compression. With these 2 books, you should be able to complete rough plans for a structural engineer to review and stamp with little or none modifications.

Also, for those searching for energy efficient stoves, I recommend aprovecho.org's institutional rocket stove or Ianto Evans Rocket Stove which are both 300% more efficient than traditional wood stoves.

On a conclusionary note. I priced out timber framing members for the roof section of a square 30'x30' roof and it came out to over $9000 in timber alone ( not including the tongue & groove planking). Compare that to a traditional 8/12 pitch roof somewhere in the $3000 price range for rafters, ridge, and plywood. Put a metal roof on that and you should be good for over 30 years atleast. Sure the earth roof is better for the ecosystem and eye but a regular roof allows placement of rainwater collection, solartubes and solar heaters/panels as well. For the cost conscious, I have come to the conclusion that a traditional roof that is superinsulated along with the earth berming techniques in this book will allow people to have their own energy efficient house for less than they think.
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