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  • Writer's pictureBritney Heerten

Are Underground Buildings In Our Future?

Updated: Jun 10

What if we could be safe from fires, tornadoes, falling trees, and more by moving underground? What if we could expand the amount of homes in our growing population? Is this something that you have thought about?

I decided to look into this to see what has already been done about this already. Even long before our time there were cave dwellers and cliff dwellers that made their homes from natural resources, but how difficult would building an under ground home or bunker actually be? One term for large buildings underground are "Earth Scrapers," because they are built downward in a pyramid shape with multiple levels like a sky scrapper.

The link I have added here will take you to a website that discusses the pros and the cons for underground living. Lets take a look at a few of these:

1. Pro: Energy Conservation. Less exposure to outdoor temperatures.

2. Pro: Protection from natural and man made disasters.

3. Pro: Privacy and protection from burglars.

1. Con: More expensive to build.

2. Con: Condensation issues causing mold and mildew if not properly insulated.

3. Con: Code Compliance

"No code stops you from burying a house, but there is a code that makes it quite miserable: All sleeping spaces must have a window to the outside.

That window must have a clear opening of 5.7 square feet, a minimum dimension of 20 inches, and be no more than 40 inches above the floor. Since every bedroom must have a good-size window that opens to the outside, it’s virtually impossible to bury a bedroom.

Some have been built with large window wells outside the bedroom to allow egress, but in reality that is not very practical."

4. Con: Soil and Gases

"The DOE says that soil type is another critical consideration. They say the best are granular, such as sand and gravel, since they compact well but are permeable and allow water to drain quickly. Cohesive soils, such as clay, and permafrost areas are least suitable for underground construction.

Other factors cited by the DOE include radon, an invisible, odorless radioactive gas produced naturally when uranium in rock decomposes, the groundwater level at a chosen building site, and the selection of an adequate air exchange system."

5. Con: Underground cabling and waste system difficulties. Limited access to spaces that are usually accessed through the basement or attic.

Earth Scraper Plan:

A first-hand experience of owning an underground home:

Well, it seems like there is a lot to learn and work out about the construction of underground facilities before it becomes more widespread. Maybe in the future, we will be able to achieve a successful underground city.

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