1. Earthquake engineering
  2. Listen to the Webcast Space mission looking for Earth-like planets again and tick the correct answer.

This is an interview with Peter Carpenter who is a designer of earth homes. He speaks about the advantages of earth houses and technical issues of their construction.

IWhat is an earth home?

P An earth home is any house which is built in part underground. Often earth houses are built into a hillside with earth on three sides and on the roof, in the northern hemisphere, we usually build them with the fourth side facing south to obtain the maximum light and heat.

I What are the advantages?

P Forget any idea that earth houses are cold, dark, and damp. That's a cellar, not an earth house. Earth homes are well-insulated. They're warm in winter and cool in summer. They're durable too. They're less exposed to the elementsand can last for hundreds of years. Another big plus is that they make much less impact on the environment. They're less visible than ordinary homes so the landscape isn't spoilt and energy costs are very low. They'reverylow-maintenance. You don't have to paint them. You don't have to worry about roof repairs.

I What are the technical issues in building them?

P First of all, you can't build an earth house just anywhere. You must have planning permission, even though it's underground. The commonest construction method is to excavate a hillside and build a structure into the hill. The roof has to be strong enough to bear the weight of soilon top and the walls must support the roof and resist the pressureof earth around the building so concrete, bricks, and masonry are often used. Waterproofing is important. You have to prevent moisture seeping into the structure from the walls and roof and through the floor. Lighting and ventilation are also important. You can include roof panels to introduce natural light to all parts of the building and to permit ventilation. Earth houses are usually very well insulated. The soil cover reduces any seasonal variation in temperature and in construction the whole building is lined with insulating materials so there's very little heat loss in winter. In summer, there's considerable heat gain through the south-facing windows.




1. to be built into a hillside [ə ˈhɪlˌsaɪd] Often earth houses are built into a hillside. , .
2. to obtain /gain light and heat [tə əbˈteɪn /ɡeɪn laɪt ənd hiːt] One side of an earth house usually faces south to obtainthemaximum light and heat.   , .
3. advantage [ədˈvɑːntɪdʒ] Earth homes have some advantages. , .
4. damp [dæmp] Earth houses arent damp. , .
5. a cellar[ˈselə] It is a mistake to think that an earth house is a cellar. , .
6. to be well-insulated[tə bi welˈɪnsjʊleɪtɪd] Earth homes are well-insulated.   .
7. to be durable[tə bi ˈdjʊərəbl] Earth homes are durable. .
8. to be exposed to the elements [tə bi ɪkˈspəʊzd tə ˈelɪmənts]   Earth homes are less exposed to the elements.   .  
9. to make impact on smth [tə meɪk ˈɪmpækt ɒn ˈsʌmθɪŋ] Another big plus is that they make much less impact onthe environment. , -   , .
10. visible[ˈvɪzəbl] Earth homes are less visible than ordinary ones. , , .
11. to spoil the landscape [tə spɔɪl ˈlæn(d)ˌskeɪp] Earth homes don't spoil the landscape.   .
12. energy costs[ˈenədʒi kɒsts] It is a great advantage that energy costsare very low. , .
13. to be low-maintenance[tə bi ləʊ ˈmeɪntənəns] Earth homes areverylow-maintenance.   .
14. roof repairs [ruːf rɪˈpeəz] You don't have to worry about roof repairs. .  
15. technical issues[ˈteknɪkəl ˈɪʃuːz] There are technical issues in building earth homes. .
16. planning permission[ˈplænɪŋ pəˈmɪʃən] You must have planning permission before starting the construction.   , , .
17. to excavate a hillside[tə ˈekskəveɪt əˈhɪlˌsaɪd] After a hillside is excavated, a structure is built into the hill. , , , .
18. to bear the weight of soil[tə beə ðə weɪt əv sɔɪl] The roof has to be strong enough to bear the weight of soil on top.   , , .
19. to resist the pressure of smth [tə rɪˈzɪst ðə ˈpreʃə əv ˈsʌmθɪŋ] The walls must support the roof and resist the pressure of earth around the building. -   .
20. masonry[ˈmeɪsənrɪ] Masonry is often used to make the walls strong. , .  
21. waterproofing[ˈwɔːtəˌpruːfɪŋ] Waterproofingis very important to protect a house from damp. a .
22. to prevent moisture [tə prɪˈvent ˈmɔɪstʃə] Waterproofing is (supposed) to prevent moisture seeping into the structure.   .
23. to seep into the structure from smh [tə siːp ˈɪntə ðə ˈstrʌktʃə frɒm ˈsʌmθɪŋ]   Moisture can seep into the structure from the walls and roof and through the floor. , -     , .
24. to introduce natural light [tə ˌɪntrəˈdjuːs ˈnætʃərəl laɪt]   Roof panels can introduce natural lightto all parts of the building.   .
25. to permit ventilation[tə pəˈmɪt ˌventɪˈleɪʃn] We have to permit ventilation to make our houses comfortable to live in.   , .
26. to reduce variation in temperature [tə rɪˈdjuːs ˌveərɪˈeɪʃən ɪn ˈtemprɪtʃə] The soil coverreduces variation in temperature.   .
27. to be lined with insulating materials [tə bi laɪnd wɪð ˈɪnsjʊleɪtɪŋ məˈtɪəriəls] The whole building is lined with insulating materialsto reduceheat loss in winter.   , .
28. to gain heat through south-facing windows [tə ɡeɪn hiːt θruː saʊθ ˈfeɪsɪŋ ˈwɪndəʊs] One of the ways to cut energy costs is togain heat through south-facing windows. ,   , .




1. Answer the questions


1. What is an earth home?

2. How are earth houses built?

3. How warm are earth houses?

4. How is maximum heat and light obtained in the northern hemisphere ?

5. How long do earth houses last?

6. What impact do earth houses make on the environment?

7. How much does it cost to maintain earth houses?

8. What are the technical issues?

9. What is the commonest construction method?

10. What must the walls and the roof be like?

11. Why is waterproofing important?

12. Why are roof panels included into the structure?

13. Why is the whole building lined with insulating materials?

14. How is heat gained in summer?


2. Read the statements and say whether they are true (T) or false (F). Correct the false ones


1. Earth houses are built on a hillside.

2. Earth houses are cold, dark, and damp.

3. The houses are much exposed to the elements.

4. The houses can last for hundreds of years.

5. Earth houses dont spoil the environment.

6. Energy costs are very high.

7. You have to paint them and repair the roof on a regular basis.

8. You can build an earth house just anywhere.

9. The roof does not have to be strong enough.

10. The walls must resist the pressure of earth around the building.

11. Waterproofing is not very important.

12. Roof panels introduce natural light and permit ventilation.

13. The soil cover cant reduce seasonal variation in temperature.

14. In summer considerable heat is gained through roof panels.

3. Choose the correct word or word combination


1. Earth houses ... in part underground.

a. are lined b. are built c. are included

2. Earth houses are well-....

e. used b. excavated c. insulated

3. The houses are ....

a. durable b. damp c. visible

4. Earth houses can ... for hundreds of years.

a. support b. resist c. last

5. Earth houses dont ... the landscape.

a. include b. spoil c. expose

6. Energy ... are very low.

a. costs b. losses c. impacts

7. The roof has to be strong enough ... the weight of soil on top.

a. to reduce b. to repair c. to bear

8. The walls must ... the pressure of earth around the building.

a. prevent b. resist c. line

9. Waterproofing is supposed to prevent ....

a. maintenance b. ventilation c. moisture

10. can introduce natural light and permit ventilation.

a. roof repairs b. roof panels c. roof sides

11. You cant build an earth house just anywhere, so you must have ....

a. technical issues b. construction methods c. planning permission

12. The whole building is to be lined with ... to reduce variation in temperature.

a. insulating materials b. masonry c. concrete


4. Complete the sentences


1. An earth house is ...

2. Forget any idea that ...

3. They are warm ...

4. They are less exposed to ...

5. They are less visible than ...

6. You dont have to ...

7. The commonest construction method ...

8. The roof has to be ...

9. You have to prevent ...

10. You can include roof panels to ...

11. Earth houses are ...

12. The soil cover reduces ...



1. Match the words and expressions with their Russian equivalents


1to make impact on smth a
2to resist the pressure of smth b
3to prevent moisture c
4to spoil landscape d
5to reduce variation in temperature e
6energy costs f -
7to obtain light and heat g
8planning permission h
9to be well-insulated i , -
10technical issues j


2. Match the words with their definitions



1advantage ato flow into or out of something through small holes, usually when this should not happen
2 durable ba force pressing on someone or something
3 visible cto hold the weight of someone or of something such as a building or structure so that they do not move or fall
4 masonry dan area of land that is beautiful to look at or that has a particular type of appearance
5 maintenance ea good feature or quality that something has
6 to bear fthe bricks or stones that make a building, wall, or other structure
7 pressure gable to stay in good condition for a long time and after being used a lot
8 to support hwork that is done to keep something such as a building, machine, or piece of equipment repaired and in good condition
9 landscape iable to be seen
10to seep jto support the weight of something



3. Put the words in the correct word order


1. Houses / often / hillside / earth / a / built / into / are / .

2. Homes / well / are / very / usually / insulated / earth / .

3. Summer / are / warm / in / winter / in / cool / and / they / .

4. Hundreds / for / years / of / last / can / earth / houses / .

5. Environment / less / make / on / much / the / they / .

6. Landscape / so / homes / the / isnt / ordinary / than / spoilt / visible / theyre / less / .

7. Repairs / have / worry / to / about / not / roof / do / you / .

8. Earth / anywhere / just / an / house / built / cant / you / .

9. Soil / bear / weight / the / enough / of / to / strong / roof / to / the / be / has / .

10. Pressure / resists / of / earth / must / around / building / the / the / walls / the / .

11. Structure / have / you / to / moisture / into / seeping / the / prevent / .

12. Ventilation / are / also / lighting / and / important / .

13. Variation / any / seasonal / in / reduces / temperature / cover / the / soil / .

14. Low-maintenance / energy / and / costs / are / low / very / very / are / they / .

4. Give the English equivalents


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, 酅....




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, -




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5. Prove the following statements


3. Earth homes have a lot of advantages.

4. There are technical issues in building earth houses.


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2. . ..

3. , 腅


4. ................................................


5. ..............................................................


6. .......................

7. ...


8. 򅅅..


9. 充...


10. ....................................................................


11. 腅...


12. , ..


13. , ..


14. .


15. , , 녅.


16. () ..


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1. Interview


Work in pairs and prepare an interview

Student A is an interviewer who wants to know about future homes

Student B is a designer who has a lot of experience in earth homes construction



2. Speak about green buildings




Skyscraper Construction
Preview Answer the questions. 1. Do you think skyscraper construction is necessary nowadays? 2. Why do people give skyscrapers different names? 3. What famous skyscrapers do you know?




Listen to the text

Read and translate the text


: 2015-04-16; : 8;

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