PHOTOS: Earth-Sheltered Formworks Farmhouse Rises in California’s Central Valley

by , 07/28/13

Eatwell Farm, Formworks Building, earth-sheltered house, earth-bermed house, green roofPhoto by Mark Andrew Boyer

Earth-bermed homes are found throughout the hills of Northern California, but they’re much less common in the flat farmland of the Central Valley. So it’s somewhat surprising to see the Walkers’ dome-shaped home poking out next to a small pile of hay bales on their organic CSA farm. The home is much more energy efficient than a typical frame house, and because it’s covered in plants, it doesn’t require much in the way of exterior maintenance, except maybe for occasional trimming.

Formworks Building is a Durango, CO-based company that designs eco-friendly homes and structures around the country. The company claims to have built more earth-sheltered homes than any other builder in the world. Formworks sells kits of structural components that can be erected and completed without any previous building experience. “This system was designed to be built by anyone, anywhere in the world,” the company explains on its website. The homes are much more energy efficient and durable than a typical house, and they cost about as much to build as a wood frame house.

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  1. Dale Pearcey November 20, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Amy- Please visit for information on the home designer, Formworks Building. You can also visit there Face Book site at

  2. talk2matty July 29, 2013 at 7:34 am

    My mother lived in a turf house on til she was 15. And was so glad to get out of it and in to a well lite house. That she talked offen abut the experience. 1100 years was to long, and thoe some have a romantic opinion to day. The people that lived in them hade frosen coredors and dimolishd them fast. The only ones surviving where the best and the bigest houses.

    Have a lovely day full of sunshine.

  3. Amy Doohan July 28, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Hi.I’m very interested in your structures and what price ranges and models are available?
    I live in upstate NY, near lake Ontario. Residential and farming community. Will have to check out your website, but if there is anything anyone can tell me, pass it on please.

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