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Posted by nicksanspam on September 15, 2004, 3:09 pm

No. Toby's numbers are nonsense, as usual.


Posted by Anthony Matonak on September 15, 2004, 3:56 pm
N. Thornton wrote:

It would be silly to choose a building technology/method/style
simply because someone on usenet told you to. A better method
might be to look at actual cost estimates and compare them.
I've been told that an above ground super-insulated house can be
less expensive to build than an underground home and yet still
cost the same to heat and cool.


Posted by Auntie Em on September 16, 2004, 3:31 am
Well, if you can come up with a URL or other reference for this I
would love to read it.  I cannot imagine that this is accurate.  I
have not been able to locate a quote for a stick built house, even
roughed in, which is less than $0 a foot, coupling that with the cost
of "super insulation", it would seem impossible to be able to build it
for less than an earth sheltered, or even adobe home.


Be careful what you wish for....

Posted by Anthony Matonak on September 16, 2004, 6:40 am
 Auntie Em wrote:

What? You want me to do your homework for you? :)

All I can say is that I read it in a book somewhere and I don't have
the references in front of me at this moment. I do recall posting
the reference previously (probably some years ago) so it might still
survive in an archive somewhere. As I recall, it was in one of those
"How to build an underground house" style books.

How many quotes for earth sheltered homes have you looked at?

Most websites describing the cost of underground homes mention that
the price is likely to be higher (as much as 20%) than above ground
construction. It takes more effort, care, earth moving, waterproofing,
attention to drainage, structural support, etc. for an underground
structure. This costs money. You will also likely need insulation
to keep water from condensing on the walls and floor.

"Super insulation" simply means more of it. It doesn't have to be
extremely expensive. For instance, strawbales are fairly good as
insulation. They are also fairly inexpensive, especially if you
bale (even grow) the straw yourself. Strawbale homes are even more
inexpensive to build if you do the labor yourself. Since the method
of building with bales is fairly simple and relatively quick, it's
well within the reach of most peoples ability.

Another alternative is papercrete. The materials are inexpensive
(sometimes the paper is free) and the technology simple. It lends
itself to owner-building and therefore can be very inexpensive.

Since there are a great many things which affect both the price
and performance of a house, there is no "one size fits all" answer.
You'll just have to compare designs yourself and determine which
one meets your needs best.


Posted by News on September 16, 2004, 7:41 am

Have you costed a SIP panel home with superinsulation thrown in as part of
the structure? These virtually eliminate the invidious thermal bridging.

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