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Category: cordwood

CASE STUDY : Troglodium

An owner/designer-built home, this beautiful example of cordwood construction brings a more naturalistic approach to construction.

CASE STUDY : Log-End Cave

An unusual Cordwood underground home

LINK : A simple look at cordwood construction (External Link)

LINK : Recommended reading, ‘Earth sheltered housing design’ (External Link)

LINK : Helpful underground building links (External Link)

6 types of underground homes

There are a number of different routes a potential underground home builder can take. In the underground spectrum, there are several different types seen in the majority of the house examples.  These range from simple man-made or natural caves with a front facade, to fully underground concrete labrynths. If there’s one thing to say about underground homes, it’s that they are rarely alike – and traditionally untraditional.


1. Relatively normal front-facing, embedded in hillside
2. Earthen roof, but with openings on either side (a land bridge).
3. Earthen roof, with light embankments but most sides exposed
4. Cordwood with Earthen Roof
5. Completely Embedded, with minimal surface access and skylights/ventilation shafts
6. Completely Embedded, but with either center or side atrium or open fully to sky

This seems to cover the majority of the underground home examples I’ve seen during the design process. There are, however, quite a few freak exceptions simply due to the creative nature of such a practical but unconventional design style in america. Many of the underground homes, whether shaped like large shells or clams, or in the form of an earthship, have an immense artistic presence while serving as eco-friendly housing.