The home, which is near Vulcan, Alta., is built with large south-facing windows angled to collect sunlight and heat. It has solar panels to generate electricity and cisterns to collect rain and snow melt that will be filtered for drinking water, as well as a self-contained sewage system.
"This building does everything for itself. It doesn't need an infrastructure,” says Michael Reynolds, a New Mexico-based architect and founder of Earthship Biotecture.
“It does have a take-charge-of-your-life element to it."
The company has built three houses in Canada, but says there are about a dozen other Earthship-type homes built here.
"Canadians do tend to say, 'Well, what about our severe climate?' Well we developed this building at 2,500 metres, 7,500 feet in New Mexico, in the mountains,” said Reynolds.
“People think that their climate is going to tax this concept, but in fact, this concept was tested in a climate worse than this."
Reynolds may not be familiar with how relentless and bone-chilling a Canadian prairie winter can be, but the Kinneys are. They've ensured their Earthship design has plenty of insulation and a wood stove.
Still, Dawn Kinney admits she has had some reservations.
"I'm just hoping I'm not too cold in the winter. And I'm hoping everything works, because the plumber who specializes in this is a long ways away, you know, things like that. But I'm fairly confident. I'm a believer."
read more at cbcnews
Alberta family building 'earthship' to get off the grid without sacrificing luxury
‘These buildings are a machine that takes care of humans’
By Annalise Klingbeil, Calgary Herald