Green living Shire

Bermed Homes: Not just for Hobbits Anymore!

Bermed homes have been around for centuries and were first constructed by the Vikings. A bermed home is one which is completely or partially buried under 4 feet or more of earth. This means that the home is below the frost line and therefore at a cosy 13 to 14 degrees Celsius. The advantages of this form of housing are legion:

  • Energy efficiency; bermed homes require less cooling and heating
  • The grassed areas on the roof make for a wonderful garden and mean you can utilize land for more than one function
  • Added protection from adverse weather, fires and winds mean lower insurance premiums
  • Improved air quality
  • Reduced noise

Bermed homes are neither dark nor damp as skylights admit natural light and moisture is prevented through secure building envelopes. Bermed homes are enjoying unprecedented popularity as homeowners strive to make homes more energy efficient.

Green home

Picture courtesy Simon Dale

Simon Dale built his ‘hobbit home’ for only $5,000. He describes it: “This building is one part of a low-impact or permaculture approach to life. This sort of life is about living in harmony with both the natural world and ourselves, doing things simply and using appropriate levels of technology. These sort of low cost, natural buildings have a place not only in their own sustainability, but also in their potential to provide affordable housing which allows people access to land and the opportunity to lead more simple, sustainable lives.”

You can see a gallery of pictures of the building of Simon’s home here:

The Shire Picture courtesy of Ben Tate

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Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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