彭蒙惠英语：20110127 MP3在线课程 An image problem
"Most people think it's going to look like a dungeon," said Alice McCorkle, who said her Florida home gets plenty of light through windows on one side. Her husband built the home on the highest point of the property, and its dirt-filled walls regulate temperatures so well that family memberscome over when power goes out during cold snaps.
In Queen's home, the ceiling of a central atrium climbs more than two stories, and a small octagon of windows inside it rises above the peak of the hill. The atrium gets so much light, Queen grows potted plants on its floor. Three other living spaces surround the atrium like petals. Dirt was packed between them, but some areas were left exposed so even though the home is buried beneath a grassy hill, all rooms have windows.
Queen said he's never had an issue with moisture or bugs. The shell of the home is 10 inches of steel-reinforced concrete. A layer of asphalt, then a layer of rubber follow. Finally several feet of dirt coat the rest.
For the most part, life in an earth-sheltered home isn't too different, Queen says. But there are some quirks. Some of the walls are curved so he can't hang paintings (he opts for easels). Cell-phone and wireless Internet signals have trouble penetrating the thick walls. And then there are the wild animals who think it's their home too.
"The quirkiness is fun," Queen said. "I like that no one else has [a home] like it."