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UNDERGROUND: NO LONGER A NEGATIVE CONOTATION

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Growing up in Minnesota most my life, I have unconsciously accepted the fact that mother nature can be brutal. Extreme cold temperatures mid-winter and hot sticky summer days complete the yearly cycle of four seasons. Of course, you can't forget the occasional tornado that pops up now and again. More often than not, this varying climate elicites many aggravated responses from those who must endure its treachery. It's not unheard of to run the air conditioner one week and crank the heater up the next. But is this really the best response to such a strong opposition between our climate and the enclosures we occupy? Maybe not.

It seems ever the fad to build houses and commercial buildings higher and higher into the clouds. I wonder why this obsession with going up, when a more common sense approach to building could be found in building down. Building structures underground has many benefits, including controlling an otherwise variant climate and providing safety from the force of life threatening winds frequently found in this northern state of the U.S. True, underground building may not be for everyone or for every place, particularly in areas prone to earthquakes and flooding. But in other areas where these are not an issue, underground building may be a resolution to the oppositions of hot and cold temperatures and windy climates. As homes and buildings are destroyed in tornados each spring, and houses consume unreal amounts of gas, electricity, and petroleum, perhaps we re-evaluate which is really better, up or down?

A classical example of such architecture already in play can be found by the residence of
Bill Lishman. Photos below represent how any underground world may be uniquely aesthetically pleasing, yet functional in terms of resisting the forces of mother nature. Go to the following link for more pictures and information on his home: http://www.williamlishman.com/underground.htm
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Additional photos used in this blog were taken from the following links:
www.photoshopsupport.com/.../14-photoshop-snow.html
http://www.espartha.com/blog?p=162
http://www.cstx.gov/home/index.asp?page=1984