Underground Buildings Save Energy

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 5, Pg. 80-85

Document Type: Feature article

Errata: (See full record)


While properly designed underground buildings use less energy for heating and cooling, that's not always the reason they're underground. For example, San Francisco's voters demanded a convention center be underground so as not to become a barrier — adding $20,000,000 to construction costs. And in Washington, D.C., Georgetown University had no place to build a new recreation facility but under the football field. Buildings covered with earth, though not necessarily underground, can also save energy. Boise, Idaho's Amity School is expected to use about 70% less energy than its above-ground counterpart. These case histories and others — an underground library at the University of Michigan and a new state office building in California — illustrate some aspects of underground construction, energy conservation and the preservation of open space.

Subject Headings: Underground construction | Underground structures | Energy efficiency | Building design | Commercial buildings | Public buildings | Colleges and universities | Recreational facilities | Idaho | United States

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