We are building an Earth Bermed home. This consists of connected barrel vaults that are 24′ wide and 12′ high. The South, East and West arched openings will be filled up with as much glass as we can afford. The entrance vault on the North side of the house is 12′ x 9′. There will also be a cupola above the kitchen that will let in additional light and ventilation.
(We will NOT be living in a dark dingy cave!)
The structure is made from thin-shelled reinforced concrete that will be covered mostly with earth. This creates a super strong, super insulated, nearly indestructible structure. The company advertises that you can park a bulldozer on the roof with no ill effect.
The picture below was taken in April 2016
Did the company use steel rebar in your homes shell? I am interested in using basalt rebar for a similar project using a barrel vault. Seems like using basalt would work great for thin shell stuff but I haven’t found a engineer that will spec it.
We used steel rebar in our shell and a combination of fiberglass rebar and basalt roving in the East & West retaining wall. Had I known about it, I would have tried to go with Basalt rebar for the structure. There is a guy in Salem, Oregon who will be using Basalt rebar in his Formworks earth sheltered home. I think he is buying a container load directly from China.
Wow! Looks like a lot of work but I am sure it will be amazing when it is finished. My husband and I want to build a bermed home as well but are not sure where to start. We know exactly what we want, where we want it, etc. but as far as hiring someone to do it… we are clueless. None of the homebuilders we know would ever consider building an underground home. How did you find your contractor? We are in the Salem, Oregon area.
What company did you work with for the shell?
Hello, We did the design, Formworks Building in Colorado, (formworksbuilding.com) did the engineering, formal blueprints and shipped all the engineered steel. RK Concrete did the footings and monolithic slab.(After we laid out most of the forms) We (and some friends) put up all the steel and rebar and the forms for the shell. We had the shotcrete done by a Eugene company.