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Earth Sheltered Housing; Design Concepts for Urban Ground-scrapers

The history of human housing portrays Earth sheltered homes as dwellings originally developed for shelter, warmth and security for the earliest human dwellers. These buildings which originated as subterranean dugouts have evolved into modern housing options over the years. Physical attributes of earth sheltered houses signifies a retreat from surrounding elements into secluded spaces bordered by earth-mass as building covering. Further studies reveal its thermal efficiency between seasons and energy conservation properties due to its thermal mass application. A review of typologies identifies various techniques of its design and construction across the globe. This paper looks at the existing construction typologies of earth sheltered housing from the traditional to modern applications. Four unique subterranean applications were studied which represented the major construction typologies. It further investigates the uniqueness in the design concepts of earth sheltered housing as models for future earth-contact housing needs based on the energy conservation and thermal performance of this category of housing. Earth contact characteristics of these types of houses makes for potential energy conservation in single unit earth sheltered homes; however, large scale concepts consequently possess the potentials for optimization of thermal and energy performance. Hence communal type concepts are presented as ideas for urban scale application of Earth sheltered housing.

Earth Shelters, Building with Earth, Earth Homes, Underground Building, Ground Scrappers, Thermal Mass

APA Style

Jideofor Akubue. (2021). Earth Sheltered Housing; Design Concepts for Urban Ground-scrapers. International Journal of Architecture, Arts and Applications, 7(1), 1-7.

ACS Style

Jideofor Akubue. Earth Sheltered Housing; Design Concepts for Urban Ground-scrapers. Int. J. Archit. Arts Appl. 2021, 7(1), 1-7. doi: 10.11648/j.ijaaa.20210701.11

AMA Style

Jideofor Akubue. Earth Sheltered Housing; Design Concepts for Urban Ground-scrapers. Int J Archit Arts Appl. 2021;7(1):1-7. doi: 10.11648/j.ijaaa.20210701.11

Copyright © 2021 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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