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CASE STUDY : sundown house

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Another great case study from the “earth sheltered housing design” book by the University of Minnesota’s underground space center (1979), the sundown house has a very appropriate for it’s name – natural lighting. This home, unique even by underground home standards, features large tracts of windows , and consists of two separate structures with individual entrances. The house makes liberal use of sloping angles, with a traditional green roof. A good portion of the main house structure is only surrounded partially by earth,  apparently up to just a few couple of feet in some places.

Underground Home Details

Name: sundown house
Location: Sea Ranch,CA
Square Footage: 1200 + 400
Construction Materials: reinforced concrete blocks, wood rafters, plywood, styrofoam
Earth Cover: 6" with native grass
Architect: David Wright, Environmental Architect, PO box 49, Sea Ranch CA 95497 (in 1978, unverified)
Heating and Cooling: 95% passive solar, and naturally induced ventilation with forced backup (noted as installed but not needed)
Year Built 1976
Waterproofing: n/a
Insulation: styrofoam
Where you can find more info: BOOK: "earth sheltered housing design" book by the University of Minnesota's underground space center (1978)
Citation Source(s): "Earth sheltered housing design : guidelines, examples, and references" by The underground space center, university of minnesota. 1978
Home Status(s): unknown