The Hockerton Housing Project is the UK’s first (and almost only) earth sheltered housing development. It is a remarkable place, not only because of the five houses which are built into the side of a hill and are almost zero energy but also because of the water collection off the land behind the houses, the treatment of sewage through a wetlands system, the wind generators, and their local transport systems. They do excellent tours around the place and are extending their skills into a wider community.
There are two possible criticisms of this kind of earth sheltered housing:
- the large amount of concrete needed to form the main underground structure
- the limited amount of natural daylight available on the side of the building covered by earth