Posted by JWmHarmon on January 24, 2003 at 12:40:50:
In Reply to: Re: what r we constructing posted by Gary R on January 24, 2003 at 07:21:21:
In some locations the water table is only a few inches underground. It would not be practical to construct underground dwellings in such places. New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, comes to mind here. Some places are already below sea level in other places and are protected by dikes.
As you point out there are some advantages of using earth sheltered structures. There are also some problems associated with them. Great care must be taken so that they remain waterproof over the life of the structure. Repairs on an underground structure are quite expensive. Moisture control and inhibiting the growth of mold are other problems.
These problems can be overcome with adequate design and construction.
Another problem is radon gas in some areas. The USA Department of Energy site http://www.eren.doe.gov/erec/factsheets/earth.html states that "Radon is an invisible and odorless radioactive gas produced naturally when uranium in rock decomposes. It is found in the soil and in outdoor air in harmless amounts, but can reach dangerous levels when trapped. Radon levels are another factor to consider in locating your home. Areas with high concentrations of radon can be hazardous, although there are methods that can reduce radon buildup in both conventional and earth-sheltered dwellings."
The site linked below will provide some interesting points for discussion.
Free 3D Models