Our primitive ancestors knew centuries ago that caves provided them excellent shelter. Now we are noticing reasons why they also make great green homes.
- With natural insulation in cave walls, interiors can be maintained between 65 and 70 degrees year round with no heat or cooling.
- The primary structure is all natural materials.
- Many have springs with excellent drinking water so there is no need for an outside water source.
- Water can be pulled from the air with dehumidifiers and used as greywater for things like flushing toilets and watering lawns.
- They are naturally quiet so have no need of sound proofing insulation.
- They are healthy with no man-made toxic chemicals.
- Woodlands do not have to be destroyed to construct them so they have a small carbon footprint.
- They usually cost less than conventional housing. The main drawback is they are not everywhere and are difficult to find, especially in some states.
Fortunately, the northern part of Greenville County, South Carolina does have plenty of natural rock formations. There should be a good possibility of locating some property there where a cave home could be constructed. It might need to be below rock cliffs, not as convenient or green as finding a natural cave but still better than a stick frame box with shingle roof.
To locate caves, check with northern Greenville County realtors at sites like LandWatch, Carolina Land Company, and Table Rock Realty and ask them to help you find a property. Look for land with rock formations and walk it. Ask people in the area like hunters, hikers, farmers, fishermen, power and telephone linemen. Watch for red soil from iron silt, streams that disappear underground, in winter for melted snow around cave entrances where inside air is warmer.
If a cave is part of a large piece of land where the property taxes would be too much of a financial burden, acreage can be put in conservation easement. This is a contract between the owner and a land trust organization where the owner relinquishes development rights for some or all of the property, but usually retains title to the property and the right of exclusive use and enjoyment of it. Some of the organizations for Upstate South Carolina are The Nature Conservancy, Upstate Forever, Naturaland Trust and Friends of Reedy River. In the Polk County, North Carolina area there is the Pacolet Land Conservancy.
Some cave homes do come up for sale like The Cave House in Bisbee, Arizona that has 2,980 square feet, 37 scenic acres at 5,300 feet above sea level, guesthouse, workshop, shed, carport, hot tub, separate office and library, natural creek with swimming pools, rock patios, sunroom, wildlife. But the price tag of this luxury home is $1.5 million. Watch the attached video.
If you do not mind moving to Spain, there are lots of cave homes for sale in Andalucia near Granada for prices from 26,000 euros to 176,000 euros. One euro is currently about 1.30 US dollars. Also for sale at $4.5 million is the Beckham Creek Cave Lodge in Parthenon, Arkansas which can be rented. It was built in the Ozarks by Celestial Seasonings founder John Hay as an end-of-the-world safehouse in a natural cave. It has all modern amenities, gourmet kitchen, five unique bedrooms and a natural indoor waterfall. United Country has a video of it on their listing site.
If you just want to tour a cave near Greenville, South Carolina and see if you get claustrophobic, take the three hour exciting guided tour inside Worley’s Cave on private land near Bluff City, Tennessee, about an hour from Asheville, with USA Raft and Mountain Adventures fo $50 plus
tax per person. It is rumored to have been quite the party scene during prohibition.
Read the article on Daniel Suelo who has lived with no money for over ten years in caves in Moab, Utah. He doesn’t own them. Believing that money is an illusion, he just travels around staying in them. But if you want to build your own green home in a cave, money is required.