Hello dear readers, for this week article in "The Talk", I will answer a question from one of you guys. The question was about underground houses, since this is an interesting topic that few people talk about, and after researching the matter, I realize that it would be more fascinating to narrow this article about the advantages of building an underground house in Africa.
Underground houses have been around for thousands of years, nowadays, architects are trying to globalize those amazing structures in order to solve worldwide issues.
Countries such as England, USA, and Russia already have a high percentage of underground houses. Thus countries such as China and Japan also adopted those types of accommodation to solve their high population rate issues (ex: Alice City).
When they are well design, the houses can be a stylish, comfortable, secure, and bright inspiring space to live in. Known for their sustainable benefits, underground houses are highly coveted due to the many advantages they offer:
1- The harmony it creates with its natural environment, the house and the exteriors merge into one. It is an ideal ecologic design thanks to its low impact on nature.
2- The perfect refuge it represents in case of extreme weather. No matter if its cold or warm, underground houses creates a temperature balance within the house due to the properties of the soil.
3- The durability of the structure. Thanks to building materials such as concrete and cinder blocks, the house is stronger and last longer than a regular house. Those structures are viable
4- The house is safer because only one part of the house is on the surface, which means you'll have fewer doors to secure.
5- With its strong isolation properties, the house is a peaceful, quiet and private environment for its inhabitants.
6- One of the best advantages is definitely the major financial saving you will make. From the budget's materials to the maintenance cost of the house's energy. Underground houses will allow you to save money thanks to its design, not a lot of building material are needed in the construction process and the house is energetically efficient which means your bills will be drastically reduced or even none existent if you add solar design.
To illustrate this article, I choose a wonderful project from denieuwegeneratie, the well-known Amsterdam-based architectural practice designed the Dutch Mountain, a wonderful underground house that will easily help me to demonstrate my point. Even tho this project is not in Africa, it is a wonderful example of how Underground houses perform.
According to the architects, “The large glass facade allows the sun to warm the concrete shell. The thermal mass keeps this warmth and cools the house during the summer. The wooden cantilever regulates sun and is the only visible architecture in the landscape. The open structure of the house is filled in with a light set of rooms, giving it the flexibility to grow together with its owners.”
As seen with the Dutch Mountain, underground houses are a great way to save money in the construction process, save money with the electric bills, maximize the space on your land, stay flexible with the spatial arrangement of the house in case of a growing household, and to have a lesser impact on the environment.
In the case of housing management in Africa, it is important to note that most African countries are confronted with housing issues. In fact, the population and the urbanism are growing every year, and shelters are infrequent. According to the worldometers.info, the current population of Africa is 1,299,605,719 as of Monday, November 19, 2018, based on the latest United Nations estimates. As we all know we are facing a global environmental degradation and some African countries suffer from virus such as Ebola.
This type of accommodation can be used as social housing, boumkoeur in time of crises, and more. It will also help inhabitants to save money and to live an ecologic lifestyle.
That's it guys I hope you guys enjoy this post, and I hope to see you next week ♡