So we're tempted to say "underground house". The problem with this is that folks get all wiggy about it - they know about existing underground house failures or they don't want to live in a basement, or they think of living in caves ...
So I've been saying "PSP structure". And then when people ask me to explain that, I then talk about "underground, but not crappy underground like most underground ..."
And now I realize that the key element has a lot more to do with a freakishly inexpensive roof. After all, it's really just a pole structure. Those have been around a looooong time. Then, you can have a freaky cheap roof, if your soil can run downhill to nothing but soil.
To better facilitate this style of roof, it behooves the designer to sink the building into the ground a bit.
Both these posts are quite right. Steve is right that I am thinking of such housing as Earth Integrated Housing or Earth Integrated Buildings. That phrase came to me during a conversation with Paul who is absolutely right that underground housing has a negative connotation with many people, and for good reason: many are dark dank places that have light coming into rooms from only one direction, and a number of rooms altogether that have no windows at all. Ugh! Most laymen (and professional architects too) are stuck with the First Thought House, one of the Foolish Four concepts, and haven't been able to work their way through. We've developed here in Idaho thirteen other design features that can give an earth integrated house -- even if it is totally beneath the surface -- windows from all four directions in each and every room. That's too many windows, but each important room should have windows from at least two directions for natural light, views, sunlight and ventilation. More info at my site www.undergroundhousing.com
This is the first time in my life I've ever posted on a forum. You folks have just gotten my apple. No, wait a minute....my orange...or is it my banana,,,,no, no, for gods sake not my banana....maybe it's my plum. -- Mike Oehler