A Brief History of Earthships

For over four decades the systems that go into what we call Earthships have been evolving.  The progression of this evolution began with at least two decades spent learning enough to make these systems work...period. We spent many years advancing the various aspects of Earthships and learning how to make them work in a reliable and user friendly way.  Although we are always pushing to advance the systems involved in making Earthships, we finally came to a point where we achieved a harmony between the various  elements to create a sustainable home using recycled materials,  that generated its own water and electricity, conserved and reused water creatively, generated it’s own food and heated and cooled itself in a passive manner.  


    The Systems Involved in the Earthship Evolution:

        A structure built from largely recycled materials
        Heating and cooling
        Electrical system
        Water harvest system
        Contained on site sewage treatment system
        Food production

At the point when all of the systems came together in a cohesive way to create a home we realized that they were more expensive than a conventional home. The people who would be interested in buying an Earthship over a conventional home were those who wanted the security of independent utilities no matter what the cost and those seeking an environmentally friendly living option.  Most people, however, would be forced by economics to choose the cheaper, less secure, environmentally hazardous, conventional direction.  

history canon
Canon, an early experiement on the path to achieving the Earthship model.

Right after we overcame the huge challenge of learning enough to make these “earth machines” work for people and the Earth, we had to simplify and streamline them into something that could compete economically with the price of conventional approaches to housing.  No matter how significant the fact that these buildings put people and their relationship to the earth in a very secure situation for the future, most people would still choose a conventional home because it was still easier to obtain in terms of financial cost.  

We then spent another decade on this simplification and streamlining until finally in the early 2000’s, we arrived.  We had developed a fully independent home that provided shelter, utilities and food, that could be built with recycled materials found anywhere in the world and costs much the same as a conventional home.  We could then present our case: the Earthship costs next to nothing to operate while the conventional home for the same price costs a significant amount to operate, not to mention the questionable future availability and viability of the resources required to operate a conventional home.  We had arrived!  

The satisfaction was unfortunately short lived.  The economic housing crisis of 2007 hit and we realized a very significant fact: conventional housing itself was far too expensive all over the developed world for the majority of the population to afford.  Many people in many countries lost their conventional homes and they were in crisis.  

During our developmental period we presented many models of Earthships for the various financial strata but we observed that the majority of the people of Earth could not afford any of the available housing.  We had arrived only to find out that we needed to keep on going.  We were faced with a new challenge.  We needed to simplify even more and develop a sustainable home that was more affordable than conventional homes.  We have to find secure sustenance for people that is not subject to the monster called the economy.  We have to make this sustainable vessel, the Earthship, render the existing system insignificant.

Earthship Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Earthship HQ
Date: 30 November 2015

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Date: 11 January 2016

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Date: 08 February 2016

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Date: 07 March 2016

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Date: 11 July 2016

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Date: 09 August 2016

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Date: 07 November 2016

Earthship HQ
Date: 05 December 2016

EarthRhythm Event in Toronto Nov, 2015

EarthRhythm Event in Toronto Nov, 2015 Michael Reynolds of Earthship Biotecture presents Sustainable Autonomy for Everyone. Earthrhythm November 28, Toronto. Jane Mallett Theatre. modern knowledge.ca     LES STROUD 'SURVIVORMAN' - PRESENTS - 'Survivorman: Reconnecting to the Earth' MICHAEL REYNOLDS - PRESENTS 'Sustainable Autonomy for Everyone' KELLY ELSON - PRESENTS - The Psychic Earth DR. ROBERT SCHOCH - PRESENTS: Earth Rhythms and Cosmic...Read More

A call to arms for the Global Earthship Army

A call to arms for the Global Earthship Army We recognize the current and pressing nature of the Syrian refugee crisis. The German Prime Minister has stated, “If Germany can’t show a friendly face in an emergency situation, then this is not my country.” We are proposing/planning a small city prototype that is the campus of an International Earthship Academy that teaches Syrians (alongside Europeans) how to build a city for themselves while at the same...Read More

Guided Earthship Tours

Guided Earthship Tours In addition to the self guided tour that goes through our Earthship Visitor Center daily, we also have  2 kinds of guided tours. Guided tours are generally reserved for groups of 10 or more, however, we can accommodate a smaller group for a minimum of $100. 1) The Guided tour through our Earthship Visitor Center includes: Admittance to the building which is very similar to a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, packaged...Read More

Earthship Biotecture and the University of New Mexico

Earthship Biotecture and the University of New Mexico Earthship Biotecture has partnered with the University of New Mexico to offer an accredited college class in the Construction Technologies department.  “Introduction to Earthship Biotecture” covers the basics of Earthshjp’s integrated design process and construction methods. This fall we will be offering our third semester of this course.  We hope to develop this partnership into full accreditation for...Read More

Out Of The Blue: Exclusive Behind The Scenes & Earthship Video

Out Of The Blue: Exclusive Behind The Scenes & Earthship Video Take a look inside Earthship, a sustainable and self-contained green building in Taos, New Mexico and check out exclusive behind the scenes photos of our latest collection, Out Of The Blue. One of the biggest factors in planning a shoot is finding a location that complements the story and clothing. For the Out of the Blue homepage we knew New Mexico would be the perfect backdrop; from white sands, to endless...Read More

Cash for Trash on National Geographic

Cash for Trash on National Geographic In more ways than we know, our lives are built on trash. If you stacked up all the world's old junkyard tires, they would reach to the moon and back. So what can we do with them all? How about building houses.  Invented by architect Michael Reynolds of Taos, New Mexico, Earthships are custom-built, off-the-grid houses built from recycled materials, like recycled bottles (pictured), aluminum cans, used tires,...Read More

"The American Dream" Earthships

"The American Dream Project" travelled around the United States on motorcycles visiting towns and communities in search of places where the American Dream is still alive.  In the "Taos: Innovation" episode they visited the Greater World Earthship Community and the Earthship Academy.  They spoke with Earthship Founder Michael Reynolds, Academy advisor Tom Duke and a few of the students.  They also pitched in and...Read More

The "Extraordinary" Mike Reynolds

Mike Reynolds is featured amongst 50 people who fit the category of "extraordinary." By: Peter Horsfield "Sustainable, comfortable and eco-friendly. These are just a few of the words that one can use to describe the architectural wonders called “Earthships” that were designed and constructed by Mike Reynolds, an architect with an environmentalist perspective. Mike’s designs may often be regarded by many...Read More

Earthship-Festival in Köln Holweide

Zur Feier des #earthday war das noch3 Team am Earthship-Festival in Köln Holweide mit gutem Essen und functional Training auch vertreten. #eatclean #traindirty #noch3 #earthday #earthship #easyearthshipcrew #cologne A photo posted by Noch3 Performance Center (@noch3_performance) on Apr 22, 2015 at 12:13pm PDT

About Earthship Biotecture

Earthship construction drawings are designed to meet standard building code requirements so you can get a permit no matter where you are. Earthship Biotecture is beyond LEED Architecture. Earthships are green buildings that meet standard building codes. EarthshipBiotecture is based on the work of principal architect, Michael Reynolds. (see: media resume)

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Contact Us

Main Office and Nightly Rentals
+1 (575) 751-0462
Visitor Center +1 (575) 613-4409

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1041
Taos, NM  87571