The Groundfridge: the best solution for off-grid food storage


Nowadays people have become overly dependent on modern appliances and would probably find it hard to imagine that they can refrigerate food and beverages without any electrical power. Floris Schoonderbeek is a designer and entrepreneur originally from the Netherlands. He developed the Groundfridge which is an underground storage unit under his brand Weltevree. This brand also sells outdoor products such as ovens, hot tubs, and furniture.

There is an article published in The Contemporist website which gives more details about the spherically-shaped cooling unit. The whole design was inspired by the root cellar, being isolated underground, where the groundwater provides a cooling effect. The underground storage is insulated with 3.5 foot layer of excavated soil, keeping the constant annual temperature between 10 and 12Β° C. Basically, it’s the perfect environment to store food and beverages, keeping them fresh and healthy on the wooden shelves. Another advantage is related to its volume, which is equal to twenty conventional fridges. Actually, the Groundfridge has been nominated for the Dutch Design Award in 2015, a confirmation of its quality and usefulness.

Check out the video bellow to find more about this awesome design.








  • Roy Sims on said:

    Are these available in the USA and price? This is a great product. I was thinking could double as storm shelter

    • Probably not that well, it will adapt the temperature of the surrounding soil, so in the tropics, where the soil is warmer and never significantly chills in the winter you might not get much cooling.A little I suppose but again it all depends on the temperature of the soil at depth.

    • John on said:

      Use a posthole digger to dig down five or six feet, put a thermometer with an electrical readout attached to an insulated wire, refill the hole with soil, tamp it down, perhaps water it, and observe what happens. My hunch is that it will work. Got any caves nearby? Might get clues from those.

    • Russell on said:

      I live in the tropics, specifically in the Philippines. This will work just fine. Root cellars work just as well in the tropics as they do in temperate climates.

  • Megann Zeigler on said:

    We are moving off grid in the next few months and would love to see what you have available for us to put on our site.

    • Martina Biondo on said:

      Oh my…How does one do this successfully? You must own land, I presume. Any suggestions for a single person to do this on their own? Hope all is going well for you and yours.

  • Nichol on said:

    These are interesting. But I think there needs to be more consideration as to the temperature if people are buying this… I don’t belive it would truly get to the appropriate food storage temperature… which is usually between 1 and 4 oC.. no higher than 4.

  • mariposaman on said:

    Good, as a substitute for a root cellar, and it would depend on ground temperature if adequate as a fridge, which should be around 4 degrees celcius. The problem with this design would be the buildup of ethylene gas which is given off by ripening produce and encourages ripening and sprouting of other produce, and root cellars are ventalated lacking in this design. Also the designer is forgetting that some countries have several feet of snow in the winter, which would make opening of the door difficult if not impossible, and would allow rain and snow into the enclosure, or even ice to form around the door, freezing it solid shut.

    It would make an interesting tornado shelter, maybe it would gain more sales as one of these, with secondary use as a storage container.

  • The door on this structure will determine if it is good enough for use as a storm shelter. My only issue with the Groundfridge is that it is basically a room with only one exit. Would only purchase if a second exit was available for it.

  • Louise Billings on said:

    I’m concerned about what it is made from. All the cellars I have ever seen where made from brick, with wooden steps, and wooden cellars doors. I am concerned about the planet and the biodegradable ability of the materials of this product. How we care for the planet is of utmost importance.

  • Etnarolf on said:

    It could still work in tropical places, where the temperature is a bit warmer by installing it a little bit deeper (under ground), and above it at ground level, plant lots of medium size fruit trees to help in maintaining cooler temperature of surrounding. Sort of a little bit of “design change”.

  • They do sale these in the USA. I have a storm shelter. It was formed in two pieces made of fiberglass. The stairs go down to the bottom and a seat is formed in the fiberglass all the way around. The top and bottom pieces are sealed and bolted together then the outside is sprayed with about a inch of insulation that hardens like styrofoam. Don’t remember how much it cost but it has been very useful when the storms toll thru Ga.

  • Marlene on said:

    Great product especially for South Africa where we have had problems with electricity supply in the past.Any local suppliers?

  • I just built something like this by myself and it took a long time. Now this thing exists and I just finished building my underground mini shelter 5 weeks before finding this!

  • Lawrence Sutherland on said:

    Please send me some info about this. In a year or two, I’ll be moving to NC and will be going off-grid.

  • Jean Dupuis on said:

    I am going to be building aTiny house going almost all the way off grid and was wondering if you may be selling in Canada?


  • Jon Olsen on said:


    wake up people, this si something most people can make themselves, there are many variations of polymers or concretes or fiberglass solutions availiable all over the world, and with a little study into the exact material you opt to use, this can be a great family or neigbourhood get together and build it project.

    just imagine a few neigbours getting together for a barbecue and a few beers, digging out one a weekend and pouring the polymere to have it set and cover it the next weekend, then move the party o another neigbours yard and repeat it untill ya all have one πŸ™‚

    offcourse the benefit is not only the feeling of i made it myself, but also getting to know your neigbours, and over the weeks of building your cluster of groundcellars you accumulate knowledge and experience enabling you to sell it as a service to people in the area who are unwilling or unable to do the learning and getting to know eachother experience.

  • Will back in the day like way back their was no electricity and a refrigerator it was either kept out or kept in a underground with or with not ice

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