Natural Building Blog

Earthbag Building & Other Natural Building Methods

The Earth-Sheltered Solar Canadian

The Earth-Sheltered Solar Canadian Greenhouse

The Earth-Sheltered Solar Canadian Greenhouse


The Earth-Sheltered Solar Canadian Proposed Structure

The Earth-Sheltered Solar Canadian Proposed Structure


Follow the adventure of building an earth-sheltered structure in Canada, six hours north of Winnipeg. In brief, they’re exploring how to optimize Mike Oehler’s earth sheltered concept using earthbags. Their greenhouse was a success (an amazing feat that far north), and now they want to build a larger structure. Their plans remind me of ancient Native American designs in Alaska (minus the glass, of course). So the challenge is how to improve upon the indigenous designs that evolved over centuries.

“It will take a couple of years, but in the end we are going to put up an earth-sheltered solar structure that will serve as a shop, wine lab, and hopefully a diesel distillery, along with a small apartment. It will be built in the same fashion in which we built our underground greenhouse, except that it will have a dirt roof, and an atrium between its front wall and a retaining wall uphill. This week we slowly started clearing trees from this area…an hour in the morning and an hour of cleaning up. When this is done I shall survey the plot. Then we will call in a track hoe which will excavate the hole for us.”

Source: The Earth-Sheltered Solar Canadian

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3 Responses to “The Earth-Sheltered Solar Canadian”

  1. Charlie says:

    What happened to the Earth Sheltered Solar Canadian blog? I’ve been checking it off and on for a few months hoping it would be back, but no luck. I had been hoping to contact the author this spring as I live in the same climate and planned on starting a similar project. Did he change sites perhaps?

  2. Owen Geiger says:

    Earth sheltered is the way to go, especially in harsh, cold climates like Canada. I’m surprised more people don’t build along these lines. Maybe oil prices need to go up higher so people aren’t so wasteful?

    I’ll never forget the Native American museum exhibit of a pit house in Anchorage, Alaska. I couldn’t stop staring at it. People lived in structures like this for thousands of years without causing hardly any pollution. This lifestyle really captures my imagination.

  3. Hideo Goyer says:

    It’s a marvel and too bad our society didn’t evolve infrastructure in a way more in tune with the landscape, such as this.

    In fact, this single photograph has given me an idea for a long-term illustration and design project to create fictional cities in place of real ones which exist in harmony with the original landscape, minimally visible, organic architecture and preserving the original majesty of whatever particular Biome they would have replaced in reality.

    Thanks for pointing me to this post, it is inspirational on more than just one level. :-D

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