I'm looking to build a house next year, supposed to buy the lot at the end of the summer. I've been going over different house plans and trying to find something that I like. One plan that I like overall in terms of some flexibility for the interior that I want is the following plan

http://www.eplans.com/house-plans/ep...wepl08232.html

But I'm trying to figure out how to get the main level first floor of the house to be as close to ground level as possible and still include a basement. I was hoping to minimize exterior ramps. Obviously I'm going to have an elevator going from the main floor to the upper and basement. (in the foyer) But every house I've seen that has an entrance that's almost ground level has stairs on the inside up to the main level almost like a split. And I'm pretty sure you need to have windows to the basement for emergency access. And the idea of having the windows below ground in like a cut out dug out makes me worry Snow when water building up and then water getting into the window. Which makes me think the only way to manage this house is have some sort of ramp in the front, ramp in the back, and maybe put a short vertical lift inside the garage

Is there any other options? Is it possible to have a main floor at near the ground level and still have a basement? Any thoughts ideas or plans people know about that they could post here would be appreciated trying to brainstorm ideas before actually go talk to a contractor