Photo 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.