What is an iceberg home? Unassuming at first glance, iceberg homes are designed and built with the majority of living space underground. Father and son duo, John and Jeff Gunson, share their experiences and process of building homes with multiple underground floors.
‘The concept was created in London. The houses are too small for the value of what these people have paid for them, and you can’t change the facade of a building and you can’t raise the height. So, because of heritage restrictions they dug down into the ground and increased the size of the square footage of the house. In the City of Vancouver there is no reference in the bylaws to how many square feet you can add below grade.’ John Gunson, Euro Canadian Contracting
Co-hosts Mike and Jennifer-Lee find out that faced with limited land and soaring real estate prices, homeowners are digging deeper for solutions.
‘For the lower half of the house, that’s underground, there is better thermal insulation and a more regulated temperature. It doesn’t see high temperature differentials from hot to cold as the above grade would. Being underground though, heat from equipment generally creates an issue, therefore, you have to implement air conditioning to make the space more livable.’ Jeff Gunson, Euro Canadian Contracting