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  1. #1

    Default Why do we live in houses?

    I wonder why we still live in houses, what would be the merits or demerits of underground settlements and would it be possible for someone to decide to build an underground home by themselves?

    The cold war bomb shelters and Fall Out games are the only real examples of these things existing in the human imagination but I wonder would it be anymore or less difficult to maintain, I imagine that flooding could be a problem but what do you all think?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    @Lark
    Do you ever watch Grand Design? They show some pretty spectacular houses.

    This one had a main floor underground, http://www.propertydrum.com/custom/%...ns%20final.jpg
    I know its not the same as you are asking but the idea kind of repels me somewhat. Why live completely underground, lack of fresh air and sunlight, it makes me shiver.

    I'd be happy with a log cabin in the sticks.

    Edit .. How does this take your fancy?
    http://aspire2enquire.typepad.com/.a...5eb4970b-500wi
    It's a Swiss cottage apparently
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
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    Senior Member Jack427's Avatar
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    Living underground without having the necessary funds for building and upkeep would be awful, plus you need the manpower. If you take a shovel and some wood support beams, then you still risk the tunnel collapsing on top of you. And even then you have to take the type of soil into account.

    We live in houses because it is convenient, easier to maintain, can be built almost anywhere, easier access, and it is also cheaper. I bet there are more reasons.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saslou View Post
    Do you ever watch Grand Design? They show some pretty spectacular houses.

    This one had a main floor underground, http://www.propertydrum.com/custom/%...ns%20final.jpg
    I know its not the same as you are asking but the idea kind of repels me somewhat. Why live completely underground, lack of fresh air and sunlight, it makes me shiver.

    I'd be happy with a log cabin in the sticks.
    Its something which has always appealled to me, not that I dont like sunlight or fresh air and I think its possible to have both with a home underground, I saw a TV documentary when I was a kid of someone whose underground house had large light catching "windows" in its roof, that is to say that the skylights in the bedrooms where at ground level, although in a way he was living in a house which was in a hill side or in a hill rather than beneath ground level.

    I've done caving and potholing in the past and just like the subterreanian world.

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    Senior Member Tiger Owl's Avatar
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    The biggest demerits for underground settlements are cost, upkeep, damage due to groundwater, earthquake, collapse, etc. Much more expensive to construct and maintain than above ground structures. If something does happen to make them structurally weak, they are much more expensive and dangerous to repair or rebuild. Also, when speaking of settlements as apposed to a single-family home, there are fewer places with adequate ground quality and water table levels to support a subterranean structure of that size. Building safe underground structures is a major undertaking with many hidden dangers in construction and must be done by experienced crews with specialized equipment, vs. relatively inexpensive building materials for stick-built homes on slab or basement foundations. You must also consider the physiological and psychological effects of being underground surrounded by concrete and earth for any long period of time. Any structural failure or natural disaster is more likely to result in an expensive and dangerous full-scale rescue whereas many people above ground would escape calamity by exiting their home before the impending collapse occurs.

    ...I haven't given much thought to it.
    INTJ 5w4 sx/sp 584 ILI-Ni

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    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Its something which has always appealled to me, not that I dont like sunlight or fresh air and I think its possible to have both with a home underground, I saw a TV documentary when I was a kid of someone whose underground house had large light catching "windows" in its roof, that is to say that the skylights in the bedrooms where at ground level, although in a way he was living in a house which was in a hill side or in a hill rather than beneath ground level.

    I've done caving and potholing in the past and just like the subterreanian world.
    The idea of caving and potholing sounds cool but the idea of being in a confined space may just make me hyperventilate and panic.

    How about this?
    http://christianaborbut.files.wordpr...0/11/hotel.jpg

    Now this i could live in well just the bedroom .. Technically could you still get sea sick?
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

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    Senior Member Tiger Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Its something which has always appealled to me, not that I dont like sunlight or fresh air and I think its possible to have both with a home underground, I saw a TV documentary when I was a kid of someone whose underground house had large light catching "windows" in its roof, that is to say that the skylights in the bedrooms where at ground level, although in a way he was living in a house which was in a hill side or in a hill rather than beneath ground level.

    I've done caving and potholing in the past and just like the subterreanian world.
    I too really enjoy being underground. There are some very interesting lighting techniques one can employ, such as fiber optic sunlights that will bring sunlight unchanged down to the below ground levels. However, if you are considering a structure that is hardened against attack or disaster, lighting and ventilation become more expensive and limited.
    INTJ 5w4 sx/sp 584 ILI-Ni

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    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I wonder why we still live in houses,...
    Cost effectiveness coupled with convenience and a dash of tradition. Digging holes in the ground can be pretty costly.

    I currently reside in Mexico. Right across the U.S. border to San Diego, where I work. I was amazed at how many houses in Mexico are made out of cinder block (95%+ Yes I pulled that number out of my keister, might wanna wash it). It's down right annoying frankly. They are inefficient in many ways to houses made of wood. When it's hot outside, it's hotter inside, and the same goes for the cold not to mention severe limitations on aesthetics. In Mexico, wood is not just more expensive but quite a bit more expensive than cinder block. Which is odd considering their proximity (via land no less) to two large wood exporting countries like the U.S. & Canada. The reason? Mexico is very protectionist and levies hefty tarrifs on wood imports. Mexico uses enviromental/safety concerns (some would call them loopholes) to get around NAFTA, just like the U.S. & Canada do, i.e. Mexicans can't drive their commercial trucks in the U.S. Talk about inefficient!!! *twitch*

    Did you know it is illegal to import avocados into Mexico from the U.S.? Some sorta invasive species thing, a weevil of some sort. True story.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #9
    Tier 1 Member LunaLuminosity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Its something which has always appealled to me, not that I dont like sunlight or fresh air and I think its possible to have both with a home underground, I saw a TV documentary when I was a kid of someone whose underground house had large light catching "windows" in its roof, that is to say that the skylights in the bedrooms where at ground level, although in a way he was living in a house which was in a hill side or in a hill rather than beneath ground level.

    I've done caving and potholing in the past and just like the subterreanian world.
    That is really cool yeah an underground house would only work for me if it had windows going to the outside. Other than that there are going to be less people available who know how to make a house this way I don't see much of a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saslou View Post
    The idea of caving and potholing sounds cool but the idea of being in a confined space may just make me hyperventilate and panic.

    How about this?
    http://christianaborbut.files.wordpr...0/11/hotel.jpg

    Now this i could live in well just the bedroom .. Technically could you still get sea sick?
    Underwater living ftw. I would totally like to see an underwater city someday....

    Quote Originally Posted by earthtrekker1775 View Post
    The biggest demerits for underground settlements are cost, upkeep, damage due to groundwater, earthquake, collapse, etc. Much more expensive to construct and maintain than above ground structures. If something does happen to make them structurally weak, they are much more expensive and dangerous to repair or rebuild. Also, when speaking of settlements as apposed to a single-family home, their are fewer places with adequate ground quality and water table levels to support a subterranean structure of that size. Building safe underground structures is a major undertaking with many hidden dangers in construction and must be done by experienced crews with specialized equipment, vs. relatively inexpensive building materials for stick-built homes on slab or basement foundations. You must also consider the physiological and psychological effects of being underground surrounded by concrete and earth for any long period of time. Any structural failure or natural disaster is more likely to result in an expensive and dangerous full-scale rescue whereas many people above ground would escape calamity by exiting their home before the impending collapse occurs.

    ...I haven't given much thought to it.
    Sure you haven't, "earthtrekker"

  10. #10
    Tier 1 Member LunaLuminosity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpankyMcFly View Post
    Did you know it is illegal to import avocados into Mexico from the U.S.? Some sorta invasive species thing, a weevil of some sort. True story.
    They were for a long time. I think they are allowed with restrictions now. I'm almost surprised they are even allowed in California now with the fruit fortress we have going...

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