Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Passive Solar Cooling in the Desert - Page 7

register ::  Login Password  :: Lost Password?
Posted by James Baber on September 16, 2004, 9:13 pm
Jim Baber wrote:
   Along these lines there is a home here in Fresno that was 'built / dug' as
the case may be, that is actually on the U. S. Registry of Historic buildings.
It was created by an Italian immigrant in the early part of the 20th century.
You can find it (The Forestiere Underground Gardens) in Fresno on West Shaw Ave.
just 1/2 mi. East of highway 99.

   I have actually been in this home because, one of this gentleman's
descendants is a friend.  There are tours through it on a call ahead basis and
it is definitely an unusual place well worth seeing and enjoying even on one of
Fresno's hottest days.  There is no cooling, other than the transpiration from
some of the fruit trees he had growing inside this house some 20-30 feet below
ground. and yet it is comfortable even when at the surface it is well over 100F.

   See it, quite different!

N. Thornton wrote:

The Forestiere house was dug by hand, with minor assistance from a mule drawn
Fresno scraper over many years.  It even contained a garage for his Model T
below ground.

This summer the Fresno Average hourly temperature for the past 94 days has been
80.3 degrees F, and  the average high temp at 5 PM (usually hottest time of day)
has been 97.3 degrees F.  He wasn't so dumb was he?

Jim Baber

(see my 10kW grid tied solar system at "www.baber.org")

1350 W Mesa Ave.
Fresno CA, 93711
(559) 435-9068
(559) 905-2204 cell

Email jim@NOJUNKbaber.org

Posted by Auntie Em on September 18, 2004, 3:38 am


When I was a little kid the house was open to the public (didn't need
an appointment), and my folks and I took the tour.  I can remember
that, even as a small child (shall we say 5?) I recall being
mesmerized by the place - especially the trees that had been grafted
to bear a whole bunch of different kinds of fruit off of one tree!  It
was great.

Be careful what you wish for....

Posted by Toby Anderson on September 16, 2004, 3:43 pm
 Anthony Matonak Wrote:

I agree.

The following website has some actual costs for a 10ft deep
underground 30' x 60' 'quotset' style house, built in Montana in 1997
(The roof has only 1ft of dirt on it.


"The excavation costs have totaled about $500, 12 yards of concrete
for the footer cost about $500, the building itself (American Steel
Marketing, phone 407-852-5409) was priced at $600. We probably have
another $5,000 in plumbing, water storage, septic tank, wiring and
electrical fixtures (including track lights and fifty outlets),
appliances, interior walls, and travel expense. Drilling and
installing the 300 well cost $0,000. "

Not counting the well, this adds up to:
3500+1500 + 8600+35000 = $0,000
For their 30x60= 1800sqft house, this equates to:
$0,000/1800sqft = $2/sqft

The quonset hut itself cost: 8600/30x60 = $/sqft. The article also
claims that 'now' quantset huts cost about "9.00 per sq ft (18 ga,
25ft span).. "

The only insulation they used was:

"Foam insulation 3/4" thick was sprayed on the inside"

How well does it cool in the summer (they don't have an air
conditioning system)?

"In summer its interior temperature has never gone above 80 degrees,
even when it has been 110 degrees outside the door. "


Posted by Auntie Em on September 18, 2004, 3:40 am

Even though that represents a HUGE difference in temperature, I
couldn't be comfortable in a house that was 80 degrees.  I would be
sweating like a pig and grumpy as hell.

Besides, don't quonset huts RUST?  I have sure seen a lot of rusty
ones in my lifetime.

Be careful what you wish for....

This Thread
Bookmark this thread:
  • Subject
  • Author
  • Date
please rate this thread