Architecture

Not your average Hobbit hole: Make Architects' zero carbon underground house

Planning has been granted for a unique zero-carbon underground house in the U.K.
Planning has been granted for a unique zero-carbon underground house in the U.K.
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A series of teardrop shaped outdoor areas give the building its floral flavor when viewed from above
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A series of teardrop shaped outdoor areas give the building its floral flavor when viewed from above
The design incorporates a range of renewable energy elements
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The design incorporates a range of renewable energy elements
The building blends into the surrounding meadows
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The building blends into the surrounding meadows
The environmentally-friendly subterranean house design by Make Architects
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The environmentally-friendly subterranean house design by Make Architects
The environmentally-friendly subterranean house design by Make Architects
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The environmentally-friendly subterranean house design by Make Architects
Planning has been granted for a unique zero-carbon underground house in the U.K.
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Planning has been granted for a unique zero-carbon underground house in the U.K.

There's more to environmentally-friendly architecture than solar-panels and thermal mass, it's also about designing buildings that are not at-odds with their surroundings - particularly if the building is in the middle of a picturesque landscape. This example form Make Architects ticks both boxes - it uses on-site renewable energy to achieve a zero-carbon design and blends almost seamlessly into the landscape by ignoring convention and, like the residents of The Shire, going underground.

Billed as the first zero-carbon property in the North West of England, Make says that planning has now been granted by by Bolton Council for the 8,000ft², flower-shaped underground house.

The design was commissioned by English footballer, Gary Neville, who has been "heavily involved in the design process from the outset and is passionate about preserving the natural beauty of this area."

The single-level, four bedroom property is embedded into a hillside and ringed by a series of teardrop shaped outdoor areas which give the building its floral flavor when viewed from above. This approach enables the dwelling to blend into the surrounding meadows, minimizing the impact on the natural landscape and surrounding views.

The design incorporates a range of renewable energy elements
The design incorporates a range of renewable energy elements

The design incorporates a range of renewable energy elements including a ground source heat pump, photovoltaic panels and a wind turbine. Make says that this add-up to a building that will consume less energy than it generates.

The ability to source building materials locally has also been taken into consideration in formulating the design. Work is expected to commence later this year.

Source: Make Architects via World Architecture News.

16 comments
Loving It All
Building underground should get additional attention, given this Spring\'s experiences with tornadoes. In fact, you\'d think there would be a natural synergy between building underground and the manufactured home industry. Install prefab housing underground and suddenly it\'s no longer a death-trap!
ron.earth
teletubbies...
Todd Dunning
Perfect realization of Liberal dreams. Humans relegated into holes so as not to upset Gaia with our bacteria-like presence.
Daliya Robson
Please check out sustainable conrete domes and pass around that information. Its not new but its a good thing to avoid damges from earthquakes tornadoes hurricanes floods and nuclear damage.I thnk the building inudustry should stop making paper plastic houses they are not healthy.
jrup
Troglodytes forever! I agree with \'Loving It All\' - we should take a page from our pioneers who built of adobe and turf covered dwellings. Imagine the forests, transport costs and materials we\'d save! I\'ve done just about all I can with my recycled 70 year old house, but if I could start over it would be underground! Well done iSigma, Inc.!
joe.huard
This design is fine for heat and tornadoes, but not all areas will accommodate a home underground because of chance of flood.
Paul Liversuch
....when can I move in! (:>)
Facebook User
Maybe this will satisfy the yearnings of atavistic protection and security from the architect, as well happens since Cappadocia and chineses cavern\'s era, passing by Christian Müller, who surely was inspired by its country\'s cheese too. However, we all know the cost of support of underground structures and the great need of sunlight in all environments for a good home. The ecological appeal of the project is not enough to justify such type of construction, at least curious and claustrophobic. Perhaps one day, on account of human overcrowding, we will even have to go back to the origins and make of hills and mountains, a big Swiss cheese. Will be this the architect\'s choice?
Florin Nicoara
@ Todd Dunning Insecure much?
knemchak
Love it, but before you call it a \'zero carbon\' house, show the \'carbon footprint\' of the construction process. Going to need a lot of \'carbon spewing\' bulldozers and backhoes.