folks, Rick Ohanian, designer/builder in the State of Texas and Earth Home
"Master" here. *(That's me on the left showing my
two future architects how it's done) I'd like to introduce you
to myself and my company, "Home Sweet Earth Home".
We are designers and builders of fine earth sheltered homes since
I am 43 years old and a registered
designer/builder in the State of Texas with an avid professional interest
in earth sheltered housing and energy efficient design. In
1977, fresh-out of architectural school, I joined a group called
Solar Earth Energy, Inc. (SEE) and represented them in Cincinnati.
The earth sheltered home movement was in its first few years then
and it was very exciting.
While with SEE I met a concrete contractor
from Springfield, Ohio, Mr. David P. Hamilton, Jr. and together
we formed Shelterra Earth Homes and designed and built a few in
1979 and 1980. In those same years, we also built two full-scale
earth sheltered home models at the Ohio State Fair. Perhaps
those of you in Ohio may remember them. During those few years
Dave and I revolutionized the contractor-built earth sheltered home
industry by developing many details of architecture and construction
that are now standard in the industry. We were also invited
to participate in may professional seminars and symposiums such
as the Mother Earth News gatherings and "Earth Shelter II"
offered by the University of Minnesota Underground Space Center.
Our papers and presentations are recorded in their proceedings journals
if you are interested.
Unfortunately, we were forced to disband
the company for three reasons: 1) interest rates under the
Carter Administration had reached 22%, 2) the news media began to
discuss earth homes and energy-efficiency less and less each year
and 3) unfortunately, most of the people who contacted us proved
to be sort of "information junkies" that we never heard
from again, once we sent them our original materials.
We are hopeful that this is not the
case in the 90's and beyond. We hope there are more of you
out there now that wish to design and build, rather than just collect
information. I said good-bye to earth sheltered design for
20 years and worked for architectural firms in Dallas, Texas, Cincinnati
and Columbus, Ohio on various traditional "above ground"
structures such as hotels (Embassy Suites Hotels to be exact) and
other regular projects such as warehouse and office buildings.
However, there seems to be a rekindled
amount of interest on the Internet with regard to earth sheltered
housing, so we have decided to get back into the business and help
our prospective homeowners and other clients, however we can, in
their design and construction plans.
Dave, the builder, is still around,
and I, personally, am not without considerable expertise as during
our times together I won two national design awards:
1) An "Entering Professionals"
Award, a $5,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for
my work in the field of Earth Sheltered and Underground Housing,
2) A $22,000 "Passive Solar Design
and Commercialization Grant" from the DOE's Mid American Solar
Energy Complex (MASEC).
So I hope you enjoy our site and will
contact us for all of your earth sheltered home design and construction
plans. (We also do commercial projects that desire to go earth
sheltered or exhibit a degree of energy efficiency.) So give
us a call or email us at your earliest convenience.