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Earth home - Modena, WI
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Telomere
N 44° 27.952 W 091° 48.354
15T E 594983 N 4924311
Quick Description: Found this gem while on the road less traveled.
Location: Wisconsin, United States
Date Posted: 10/21/2016 5:16:17 PM
Waymark Code: WMTA2X
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member NW_history_buff
Views: 3

Long Description:
This example shows several classic earth home features - large, south-facing windows for passive heating, full length window blinds for glare control, and a large screen of trees to the north which will create a deep snowbank on the roof for winter insulation.

The architecture style suggests a late 1970s or early 80s design.

Although Gmaps street view shows this embankment house and garage with obvious signs of residency, (note the flag on the pole and the Lincoln Town Car in the drive) we found this in Sept. 2016 to be disused, possibly abandoned. The trees and weeds are encroaching upon the drive and walkway, and grass is pushing up through the concrete. Many of these houses of the period had design flaws - lack of barrier layers between the earth and structure - which, upon any settling of the walls or roof would allow cracking of the concrete shell, freeze/thaw cycles in northern climes would enlarge them, and allow subsequent entry of moisture and pests. The design also made these issues very challenging to correct - when patches failed to fix the symptoms, excavation was required, and the expense convinced some owners to move out.
Modern designs require much better exterior sealing of the perimeter, and drainage systems to prevent water buildup. Extreme northern installations incorporate features to relieve the pressure of the freezing ground on the upper vertical surfaces.
Some of the first examples in Vermont, built in the 1960's with very thick walls and no drainage, actually 'popped out' of their placement, from water and ice pressure after a few winters.

I found photos of this house at (visit link)
Building options: Private home

Visit Instructions:

Please describe your visit, and it would be great if you could post any photos that you have taken. Have fun!

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