No basements?

reilleyp

Active member
Dec 12, 2006
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Seems like there are very few basements in the DR. I understand that you cannot build them near sea level due to the higher water table. However, why are there very few basements in the higher areas? They are cooler since they are underground, and they provide protection during hurricanes. Since labor is cheap, they could be dug inexpensively. So why no basements?
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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Seems like there are very few basements in the DR. I understand that you cannot build them near sea level due to the higher water table. However, why are there very few basements in the higher areas? They are cooler since they are underground, and they provide protection during hurricanes. Since labor is cheap, they could be dug inexpensively. So why no basements?
they dig septics.........

A house near us is built high off the ground.... a quasi basement, but not underground..... just under the house.

You could easily build 'hurricane hidey hole' if thats what you want..... I have a cave !

Florida has very few basements........... and the base is a floating concrete pad... in So FL, anyway
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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depends on the equipment....
my first effort was w/ a jackhammer

The second time I had a big backhoe with a jackhammer attached ---BIG!

used 5 gals of diesel/hour... that + the cost of the machine & operator was quite a number... $1,000Us/day

but the output was phenomenal.... well worth it....
it smashed then backhoed to debris

I did a driveway , the house pad and more ...... took a few days but would have been way more by hand.
 
Aug 6, 2006
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why have a basement when you can build wide.
A basement would be cooler. That would be one reason.

Basements are not part of the Spanish building tradition. Only major structures like office buildings have basements.

Some houses in Barcelona have basements, I have heard, but that is in Calalu?a, and is after a French tradition. The French have basements, it is where they keep their wine collection.

Mexico City is built on a lake and there are earthquakes, so Mexicans do not normally have basements.
 

chic

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Nov 20, 2013
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come on it costd money for a basement...much cheaper to build flat...my last apt had one apt one the Basement (side of hill) and it was nice and cool ...to dig in d.r. is expensive...side of a hill it is an added apt...
 

chic

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Nov 20, 2013
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A basement would be cooler. That would be one reason.

Basements are not part of the Spanish building tradition. Only major structures like office buildings have basements.

Some houses in Barcelona have basements, I have heard, but that is in Calalu?a, and is after a French tradition. The French have basements, it is where they keep their wine collection.

Mexico City is built on a lake and there are earthquakes, so Mexicans do not normally have basements.
suicide rate is lower also in these areas no jumping out of basement windows.....
 

ju10prd

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Nov 19, 2014
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Basement?? What this country needs is a regulation to build cisterns first and store rainwater.

Secondly there is no benefit if you want a cooler environment and think it is down below in a basement. Too many issues such as damp to consider. Use the money saved and build concrete/block mass into your superstructure. Concrete mass absorbs heat and controls its transmission inwards and outwards. If you want stable temperatures in your house through design, ensure you have concrete mass and you will save big time on cooling.

Built a house designed by a super A grade Architect (Singapore based) in the Leewards, had cisterns but for the living area used a lot of concrete and block and was 'leeward' facing and result was absolutely no need for cooling.

A common form of 'eco build' is to build with hollow slabs and pass the air to be conditioned through those slabs to maintain stable air temperatures with minimal heating and cooling.
 

zoomzx11

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Jan 21, 2006
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the humidity here is brutal. I cannot imagine what it would be like in a basement. Besides concrete is like leggos. Just add a room or whatever you need. I love concrete houses. Cant burn, live on a hill cannot flood and torndo proof. Earthquake is another matter.
 
Aug 6, 2006
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When I lived in a house with a basement, the basement was always 15?F cooler than the rest of the house in western Missouri, a medium humidity place.

The two houses in which we lived also had attics. The attic was at least 30?F hotter in the summer, often over 120?F.

I have seen some really cool houses online made from old tires filled with dirt and half buried into a hillside with solar panels on the South side that were allegedly cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
 

ctrob

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Nov 9, 2006
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Use the money saved and build concrete/block mass into your superstructure. Concrete mass absorbs heat and controls its transmission inwards and outwards. If you want stable temperatures in your house through design, ensure you have concrete mass and you will save big time on cooling..
Mass is good, but it's always better to not let the heat ever enter that mass. Proper exterior insulation, landscaping and overhangs are necessary. Then the cooler mass of the conc/tile floor will go a long way in cutting down on AC costs. No architects needed, just common sense. But few people follow it and just pay for the AC.