We're giving away a copy of this book to one commenter below, so make sure to comment with a valid email before midnight on Friday, July 24, 2009.*
Chelsea Green was kind enough to provide a copy of The Earth-Sheltered House: An Architect's Sketchbook by Malcolm Wells, and I'm glad they did. The book is full of his sketches with handwritten notes — it feels like I'm reading something that's handwritten just for me. Wells tells it like it is with his own voice. He drew me in, and before I knew it, I was already on the last page.
Within the pages of The Earth-Sheltered House, Wells invites you to think about underground buildings, although he nudges that it's not as simple as covering a building with dirt. But if done properly, an underground building will be silent, bright, dry, sunny, long-lasting, easy to maintain, easy to heat and cool, and fire-safe.
Wells explains how structures can be restorative and powered by harnessing the sun's rays. I'm sure architects all across the country have had a chance to read and be influenced by his ideas, but if you haven't, I recommend sitting down with this treasure of a book. This newly revised edition was just published in May 2009, and I think you'll enjoy it.
[+] The Earth-Sheltered House on Amazon.
*If you're interested in the book, drop a comment by midnight MST on Friday, July, 24, 2009. Say where you're from if you don't know what to say. By leaving a comment, you agree to the terms and conditions relating to book giveaways on Jetson Green. Shipping only within U.S.