Homeowner uses “one of the oldest forms of construction” to build an incredibly fire-resistant home that can withstand the next major fire.


A homeowner demonstrates that the best defense against extreme weather might be Mother Earth herself.

Jacob Margolis of LAist sharing photos and video footage of an incredible fire-resistant home built into the side of an excavated hillside in Topanga Canyon, an unincorporated community in Los Angeles.

The only part of the structure visible from the outside is the white stucco facade, with the rest of the house underground, but the interior appears spacious and comfortable.

Stuntman Eddie Conna said Margolis on The Big Burn podcast said he gave the canyon house the go-ahead after experiencing a fire at his hollow-dome home in Chatsworth, another Los Angeles community at risk for fire.

“I mean, there was a part of me that said you’ll be fine, because three sides of the house are buried and the exposure to a fire is minimal,” Conna said, adding that he J I first liked the idea because the insulation provided by the thick concrete shell of the house reduce your utility bills.

“It started with energy efficiency. Then, as I did more research, I thought, ‘Oh, geez, I’m building something that’s also fire-resistant,'” he said. said.

Conna explained that the house took 13 years to build and he believes the unique design is one of the reasons, as it created permitting and construction issues.

Interestingly, while the design may seem novel by today’s standards, earth sheltering – the method of constructing underground protective shelters – is “one of the most common forms of construction oldest known, dating back to 15,000 BCE, according to the Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation.

Margolis wrote that a concrete house in Washington state was “the closest comparable situation” to the Topanga Canyon structure in Conna, since the building survived a 2015 wildfire.

Conna’s house, which he sold to another owner, is reportedly yet to be tested.

As wildfires have increased in severity and frequency due to rising global temperatures, many people have begun to rely on ancient wisdom to adapt, with indigenous prevention techniques, blocks of earth construction and straw, some of the tools that are successful.

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