Underground condos?

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by John J. Bannan, Jul 5, 2007.

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  1. John J. Bannan Registered Senior Member

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    Why don't we build homes underground? Seems like there would be virtually unlimited space and regulated temperatures to save on home heating/cooling costs.
     
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  3. Nickelodeon Banned Banned

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    Because we like windows.
     
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  5. scorpius a realist Valued Senior Member

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    how do you figure there would be unlimited space??
    ,youre still limited by the size of your lot,land

    simply by using more insulation and better material/design,you can have very efficient house.
    heres one better idea
    www.thermapan.com
    www.ibpanels.com
     
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  7. PreverseBeing Registered Member

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    Living underground seems like a pretty good idea...untill a fire starts a few hundred meters below sea level.
    1. Fire requires oxygen to burn, then converts it to carbon dioxide. You can't open windows underground, and a large fire would use more money on ventilation than constructing an above-ground structure (you would most likley need some sort of jet engine). A large enough fire would quickly take in all the oxygen, and suffocate everybody.
    2. Firemen can fire their hoses up tall buildigns, but you can ovbiously see that they cannot fire into the ground and expect it to put out a fire 200 meters underground.
    3. Evacuation is HARD, in a normal conventional building, you can jump out and hope you live, or reach the roof and hope for a helicopter to save you. But underground, the only way is up...and if you have an extremely large complex underground, quite a few people would cram on to the starcases.
     
  8. darksidZz Valued Senior Member

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    No no : shakes head : it's easy. People can just build a damn, then when the fire begins break it
     
  9. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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  10. scorpius a realist Valued Senior Member

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    using fire resistant materials would be simplest solution,
    heck all houses should be built out of concrete or fireproof plaster such as Geobond(tm) www.geobond.net
    also you want el cheapo house,how about using old tires filled with dirt
    www.earthship.com
     
  11. zanket Human Valued Senior Member

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    Nice!

    My ideal house would be just a one-level basement on a small plot. I bet a thousand people in my area would jump at the chance to own a house like that, if it was significantly less per square foot (and why wouldn't it be?). But apparently the powers that be do not allow cheap effective housing. The Low Impact Woodland home could not be legally built where I live.
     
  12. PreverseBeing Registered Member

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    I doupt that you can convince EVERYBODY in an underground residental complex to have 100% of their condo made from fire-proof materials. For one, I don't think anybody here would want a concrete floor. Unless if you love the cold-feelings when you blend a concrete floor with a metal table..
     
  13. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    It's actually a very good idea in many places, but not everywhere. For one thing, if you happen to live on low-lying or level ground (all around), insulating against cold can be be quite a problem. That's because of ground water being in contact with the exterior. Pretty good conditions for the summer but tough to put up with during the winter - especially a wet one.

    What I've seen more than anything else is bermed houses. They are set into a hillside and have lots of glass on the south-facing side to capture sunlight in the winter. Most have retractable shades (like an extendable roof) to avoid the summer sun. Except for that one exposed side, everything else is under several feet of dirt. No problems with the water table that way and fairly easy to insulate and heating/cooling costs are minimized.
     
  14. original sine Registered Senior Member

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    There would probably be little exposure to sunlight or a natural air flow. The structure would be prone to water damage and flooding. It would also be dangerous for residents as the inability to exit from anywhere other than the top floor would result in problems for emergencies, including fires, structural collapse, or urgent medical care. Perhaps there are some technologies can assist in resolving such problems, like drainage or sprinkler systems... I doubt that I would want to live there.
     
  15. PreverseBeing Registered Member

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    I agree with original, an underground condo is a bad idea.
     
  16. John J. Bannan Registered Senior Member

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    The obstacles to building underground aren't that large. Sykscrappers already have several below ground levels. Don't build underground where there is a high water table. Use spinkler systems to put out fires.
     
  17. PreverseBeing Registered Member

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    High water tables aren't the only things that effects this. If the rain was extremely dense, and if the soil held extra water, the underground complex would be basically submerged in water. And if water sprinklers were THAT good, why do we have a fire department. Fixing hoses in condos is a bad idea, the residents wouldn't like 3-year old foul water being sprayed on them.
     
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