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Earthship or similar underground dwelling in hot climate

 
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Hi Everyone

Looking to build underground because of the hot temperatures in our country Cyprus. The dwelling will be built on a North facing slope. Our climate is Hot and Humid. Im looking at any construction design as long as its cheap to build, sustainable, keeps a constant temperature in summer and winter.

Ideas will be appreciated.

Thanks
 
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Location: nimbin, australia
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hey there yen

if you are building in a hot and humid climate, there are different qualities you are working with which require different execution.

for 1 - airflow. in humid climates you need to keep the moisture moving. when moisture is stagnant, it can breed and form mould. this can be a problem with these homes in humid climates. think of things like cross ventilation and natural, breathable walls.

2 - if you have heat all year round, you dont really need to worry about harvesting as much solar as possible. as a matter of fact you would want to focussing on shading your home. a decent veranda can take a nice chunk of heat out of your comfort zone as well as provide an area that encourages air flow.

3 - rainfall. most likely in that climate you will have high rainfall so design it so it encourages the movement of water and get creative with that.

here is an example of one we are building at the moment in australia. we are taking the earthship concept and applying it to the sub-tropics - http://terraeden.org/bam-right-in-the-kisser-session-one-recap-12/
 
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Location: Asheville NC
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Yen, I offer some differing viewpoints for your build concepts. If you are building underground, you probably dont want your walls to "breathe", whatever that means. Ive never seen an agreed upon definition of that term.

Usually people talking about "breathing walls" are referring to permeability and sometimes people are talking about airflow. You definitely dont want uncontrolled humid air flowing through your walls whether they are above or below ground. You probably dont want your underground walls to be very permeable either.

If youre climate is as humid as the southeast US (it seems drier), I would build as airtight as possible, provide a means of dehumidification and provide outdoor air introduction with some type of ventilation system.

Building underground is appealing because you can reduce the temps on the exterior side of your wall. I personally feel that underground building is risky and expensive and usually makes the most sense on sloping sites as you can provide drainage and daylight which helps reduce the risks.
 
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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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check with divvy jester, her can build what I describe...

Hot and Humid climate require retreat from the heat of the sun. Into the slope of the hill works, with rammed earth tire walls to receive the roof and form the walls which merge into the slope of the hill. A double front face (greenhouse), vertical windows with and wide overhang will work for the front of the building facing the equator. Plenty of skylights in the roof, small operable windows low in the front face, high operable windows in the inner front face, skylights above the main rooms. Cooling tubes for each room as well. These combinations of 'features' will allow your building to stay at a nice and comfortable constant temperature with no fossil fuels. You will also get an very large greywater planter to grow a lot of food. For more details, please see: earthship360.com



 
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