I live in the Pioneer Valley of Western MA, and I'm looking to build my first home in as eco-friendly a way as possible. When I was a tour guide at a historical site, we used to show people huts that had been built into the side of a hill for insulation, and it made so much sense to me that I'm now really interested in building into a hill or into the ground as a form of geothermal cooling and heating.
Is this a complete pipe dream or a marginally good idea, and if it's the latter, any suggestions on where I would start with something like this? I'm good at carrying heavy things and working a radial arm saw, but that's about the extent of my expertise. I don't yet own the land (working on that; there are several possibilities out here), and my income is pretty modest.