More about De Twaalf Ambachten
Green Techniques
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The Nonolet

McMullin & Co
Florence Diemont




Building underground

Semi-underground house

Underground house/Silent Home (Stiltewoning®)
Since 1981, we've been intensely busy with semi-underground building methods, carrying out research, gathering information and, of course, building these type of homes. Living (and working) in a self-built semi-underground home ('underground house', as we call it) means that you enjoy a warm, comfortable and inexpensive home.

The protective layers of earth provide perfect insulation and the warmth of the sun is effectively utilized via a glass facade on the southern side of the house. Self-building is possible as long as you have a good blueprint, and you don't need to have specialist knowledge or skills. In the 1990s, we at De Twaalf Ambachten developed a much improved and quicker method for self-building, using poles as vertical supports. An English-language edition is available under the title, 'Handbook (Semi-) Underground House'.

Building underground

The building of an underground house.

The Green Techniques section offers a blueprint for an underground house that, through the use of a few centrally placed tile stoves with glass and reflection insulation, is extremely energy-efficiently heated. In these loud and congested times, a (semi-) underground structure has another important advantage: Its absorbent character of the earth-ringed walls and earth-covered roof means very little outdoor noise enters the home. Outdoor noise of a 70 decibel (dba) level is dampened to a practically undetectable level of around 32 dba (which is the noise-level of a ticking watch).

Silent homesSilent homes

Sketch drawing and plan for semi-underground (silent) homes
in a recreation area.