earth-sheltered home topography
On a predominantly flat site, a fully or semi-recessed design is possible, usually limited to one level below grade. A flat site may be used for a two-level earth-covered design, but a great deal of fill may be required depending, of course, on the specific design. A sloping site offers the opportunity to set an earth-covered space into the hillside. However, the orientation of the window wall is then determined by the direction of the hillside. It is generally more desirable to work with a site sloping downward to the south, but it may be necessary to compromise maximum solar exposure on some sites. Also, a relatively steeply sloping site is more easily adaptable to a design with two levels of earth-covered space. There are some significant energy savings with a two-level design.
Related category• EARTH-SHELTERED BUILDINGS
Source: Earth sheltered housing design, University of Minnesota
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