As I am conducting research for my Feng Shui book, I have been coming across some really interesting Feng Shui tidbits. In this case I went back to the most basic question, Where did Feng Shui first originate from?
It's important to note, exact historical records for when Chinese Feng Shui was officially established is still a bit murky. Based on research published in 2006 by Hong-Key Yoon, an associate professor at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, he theorized the first Geomancers were cave-dwellers in the Loess Plateau of China’s north in search of ideal cave sites to call home. To read Professor Yoon’s research in greater detail you can purchase his book: The Culture of Feng Shui in Korea
What’s fascinating is the yáodòng (cave-homes) still exist today. In 2012, The Los Angeles Times reported “more than 30 million Chinese people living in caves, many of them in Shaanxi province where the Loess plateau, with its distinctive cliffs of yellow, porous soil, makes digging easy and cave dwelling a reasonable option.”
More and more scientists and researches have become interested in cave-homes as they offer an example as possible sustainable homes for future developments. “The earth that surrounds the indoor space serves as an effective insulator keeping the inside of the structure warm in cold seasons and cool in hot seasons. Consequently, very little heating is required in winter, and in summer, it is as cool as an air-conditioned room” Of course today's architects would like to include some modern modifications while also needing to be very mindful of other factors when building into the earth.
Source - Advantages and Disadvantages of Earth-Sheltered Homes". U.S. Department of Energy. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
In regard to real estate value, is there an actual market for cave-homes? Yes, there is! “The thriving market around Yanan means a cave with three rooms and a bathroom (a total of 750 square feet) can be advertised for sale at $46,000. A simple one-room cave without plumbing rents for $30 a month, with some people relying on outhouses or potties that they empty outside. Many caves, however, are not for sale or rent because they are handed down from one generation to another, though for just how many generations, people often can't say.” Source - The LA Times, 2012