Up in Northern Michigan there is a very exciting project going on. Builder Adam Bearup is building the largest earth shelter ever and it will be completely off the grid. Clocking in at 12,000 sq feet, this “compound” (as I would call it) will consist of many underground domes. According to Adam’s blog, “The underground complex will be buried in some areas under 22 feet of Earth. The exposed south facing walls will be ICF and the out side will be Certainteed Fiber Cement siding in a color that matches the landscape, so as to keep it from standing out where its located and to have an organic feel.” Adam’s journey is being documented by video in never before seen detail. (At least I have seen nothing like it before) The videos are informative and very entertaining. They have become very popular worldwide, each receiving over 15,000 hits.
To call Adam Bearup a builder is an understatement. Adam’s goal is to try all the forms of mainstream green building, a “Green Building Grand Slam” as Adam coins it. He has built many homes with SIPs, ICFs, Advanced Framing and now to complete the “Grand Slam” he is in the middle of constructing a HUGE earth sheltered home. This “Grand Slam” will allow him a unique perspective in figuring cost effectiveness and efficiency of each building type. Adam’s previous work has granted him many awards for his trailblazing work in energy efficiency with homes built from ICF’s and SIPs. It is exciting to see a fresh face working on an earth sheltered home.
The Earth Shelter Project Michigan videos tell a story of a passionate sustainable builder and an even more passionate homeowner. Adam was approach four (4) times to take on this project before he said yes. His videos show him maneuvering through a new (yet old) frontier. Earth shelter building in 2010 is an adventure of experimentation and problem solving. Adam handles the obvious frustrations with grace. The videos are entertaining and informative. Adam even takes the time to show how he solved many of the problems in either design or just plain uniqueness of dealing with a structure full of radius’. Expect many big things to come from Adam Bearup. He is going places!
Updated Aug 20, 2010:
Standing on the top of the domes, looking down at my family.
Looking at the earth tubes before they are buried.
I have 2 boys that I homeschool. My oldest has type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, epilepsy (to name a few), but he is the quietest, sweetest son, even as a teenager. My youngest son has a wicked sense of humor and can never promise to stay out of trouble.
I have a love for sustainable living, especially sustainable building. I want to go back to the basics.