Who we are:
The Earthship Biotecture Academy offers extensive training in Earthship design principles, construction methods and philosophy. Academy classes, labs, tours and hands-on construction techniques are led by Michael Reynolds and a staff of top Earthship builders, electricians, plumbers, plant specialists and educators. We are building an Earthship Army and the Academy offers education for those who are excited to learn and live the Earthship philosophy and help expand it globally.
Who you are:
The Academy has trained over 200 students from around the world. Students come from diverse backgrounds, many are architects, municipal planners, artists, teachers, industrial designers, professional builders, community and environmental activists. Applicants must be self-reliant and prepared to work in an intense group environment and take care of themselves physically, financially and emotionally.
Graduation from the Academy:
There is no time limit on completing the path to graduation. Some students pursue their degrees in Earthship Biotecture aggressively, others are content with the knowledge they gain during their Academy Session and do not strive to graduate. Some students both graduates and non-graduates have been hired here at our headquarters and on individual out-of-town and out-of-country Earthship builds. Those who choose to promote Earthships as a career path must graduate in order to host Earthship-sanctioned events.
ACADEMY SESSION: Complete an Academy Session in Taos (95% attendance in the classroom and participation in hands-on work as well as a passing grade on the Final Exam are required).
FIELD STUDIES: Complete 4 Weeks of Hands-on Work on a Sanctioned start-to-finish Earthship Build. These take place two or three times a year in the US and at locations around the world. Priority sign-up is offered to Academy Students with no fee.
INDEPENDENT STUDY: The Independent Study may take place anywhere in the world and may be concrete (launching a demonstration project in China, staging and facilitating a relief project in Haiti) or digital (designing a CAD model of an Earthship city in Turkey, mapping Pockets of Freedom in Australia). Students may propose their Independent Study after they complete the Academy Session and Field Studies requirements. Independent Studies must receive written approval from Academy Staff and are subject to review to qualify for credit.
Taos Academy Sessions
The curriculum for each session is identical and consists of classes, labs, hands-on construction and tours of many Earthship and pre-Earthship buildings. You only need to attend one of the sessions. We have two session lengths to choose from in 2014. Six week sessions consist of five-day weeks (two days a week of classroom instruction and three days a week of hands-on building). Four week sessions are more intensive with six-day weeks (two and a half days of classroom instruction and three and a half days of hands-on building).
2014 Earthship Academy
Session 1: March 10-April 4 FULL
Earthship Academy Global Session
We are pleased to announce the very first Earthship Academy Global Session. The Earthship Academy offers extensive training in Earthship design principles, construction methods and philosophy.
Students typically work on at least two different Earthship construction projects, usually a Global Model Earthship and a Simple Survival Earthship and/or an experimental project like EVE. Instructors divide the class into smaller groups and work on a variety of aspects like tire pounding, can and bottle wall construction, adobe mud pack-out and plaster, carpentry, roofing, glazing and systems. Groups rotate daily or more frequently so each student gets to try each task. Each day there is an introductory overview and end of the day Q&A session held on site.
Classes are typically two hours long each. There is a Final Exam review two days before the Final Exam.
Partial list of Academy classes:
History and Evolution of the Earthship Concept
Thermal/Solar Heating and Cooling
Building with Natural and Recycled Materials
Water Harvesting, Storage and Filtration
Contained Sewage Treatment
How to Read Earthship Construction Drawings
Earthship Finishing Options and Techniques
Food Production in Earthships
Introduction to Aquaponics
Solar and Wind Electric Systems
Basics of Electricity
Earthship Village Ecologies, Test Sites and Colonies
Sustainable Retrofit for Conventional Homes
Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Projects
Project Planning and Staging
Plans and Permitting Process
The Owner/Builder Earthship Experience
The Labs give students a chance to go in-depth with technical aspects of the Earthship systems. With guidance from our Plumbing Specialist, students build a Water Organizing Module and learn about all filters, pumps and valves. Students also build a Power Organizing module and do hands-on basic electrical wiring for lights and switches. During the Earthship Maintenance Lab students learn all aspects of caring for an Earthship building from servicing the batteries for the solar system to cleaning out the grease and particle unit of the gray water system.
Students participate in guided tours of at least 20 different Earthships and pre-Earthship experimental buildings. These tours showcase a variety of Earthship types: Packaged, Modular, Custom, Global and Simple Survival. On many of the visits, the residents of the Earthship are present to answer questions about their homes including modifications they have made and how they have made their lifestyle fit their building.
The Earthship Academy is based at the Greater World Earthship Community which is the world's largest sustainable, approved subdivision and home to the world's first Sustainable Development Testing Site. Classes are held at the Academy Classroom which is housed in a modular Earthship at the entrance to the community. Hands-on building takes place within the community, on the the Test Site and at other locations in the Taos area. One site for 2014 hands-on will be an Earthship for a local family whose home was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.
Optional housing is available during your session through the Earthship Academy at a few locations in the area. We select your location for you but you may choose a shared room, private room or double occupancy private room. Prices range from $400 - $500 for the duration of your session. Should you choose to camp or find your own housing, we can provide a list of recommendations. Please note camping is not available on the campus itself. Also, if you are planning on finding your own housing outside of what we offer we strongly advise having a car as Taos is quite spread out and there is no public transportation.
How to Apply
Please email at let us know you are in the process of registering.
Please fill out the form box with your email address, name, physical address and phone number.
Please download the Earthship Academy Application PDF, fill it in and mail it to us along with your photo and recommendation letters. We will send you an email confirmation when we receive it. We will contact you with the status of your application within one month of receiving it.
If you are applying with a friend, relative or partner please include their name on your application.
P.O. Box 1041
Taos, New Mexico
If you have any questions about the application or the Academy, please email or call us at 575-613-4899.