Archives for June 2012

Free Tennessee Workshop by Earthship Academy Student

Friday at 9:00am until Tuesday at 12:00pm in CDT
Gallatin, TN
 
Learn to build one of the most affordable and sustainable types of housing on earth; a two U version of the Simple Survival Model Earthship. Includes techniques in tire wall construction, solar electricity, passive solar heating and cooling, rainwater collection, greywater botanical cells, can and bottle walls and much more!

There is space for camping with solar bag showers and toilet facilities, but if you can only come out for a weekend or a day feel free.

 

This is Action

Lets move the Movement.

 

Vote for this video at the Topanga Film Festival.

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Ecological Impact of Earthships

Life Cycle Assessment of Earthship Architecture

PhD research by Martin Freney, PhD Candidate, University of Adelaide
School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design

Aim

The aim of my research is to quantify the ecological impacts of Earthships in comparison to other housing types. Of particular interest is the wall construction methods as this is major component of the house and there are many theories (and myths) about which wall construction methods perform best in terms of energy efficiency and embodied energy. Furthermore there, is very little information available regarding the thermal properties of the Earthship’s rammed earth tyre wall.

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Earthship presentation Tour summary May/June 2012

Hey Earthship Australia supporters.

 

After a fairly gruelling month or two of presenting I just wanted to post up a few things I’ve learnt since I began talking up Eartships in Australia.  As a recent graduate I have never claimed to be an ‘expert’ on these things or totally knowledgeable of the processes of running an entire build from start to finish but I am looking to start the process here in Australia for those unable to travel across to experience the wonders in Taos.  (Though I do really urge those who Ive met in the last few weeks who have thought about doing the academy, to get over there is really a life changing experience and Id hope you can get there someway soemhow, like all aussies Ive noticed, we are resourceful when it comes to travelling).

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Bomber, bro!

Well… week 3 is in the books.  It was a very productive week for the Academy.  On top of the construction work we accomplished this week, we also had our first set of labs.  In the labs, we got to build the WOM (water organizing module) and POM (power organizing module) from scratch with the help of Earthship crew specialists guiding us along the way.  

Personally, I found the labs to be very informative.  I learn best from hands-on-work, not just lectures, so I got a lot out of them.  The POM we constructed in class is very similar to the ones Earthship takes to Haiti etc.  It’s small, portable, and used to keep some basic gadgets charged and a few lights running.  They’re perfect for disaster relief help.  It’s definitely not something meant to support an average American house (the topic of power consumption is a whole other convo).  I liked that we started on a “mini” POM because they are a great beginner’s guide.  We were taught some basic wiring of an LED lightbulb to a housing box, and then to a battery.  Eventually, we hooked up a small solar panel and connected it to the batteries through an inverter.  I never really understood how electricity works, and I still don’t know squat, but the lab spurred a real interest in me.  It’s amazing how interesting things become once you understand a few basics.  2 months ago I would have rather watched the LOTR trilogy on repeat (and I hate LOTR), rather than talk about electrical systems.  Now, I’m thinkin’ bout buying some needle nose pliers!  HaHa.  While on the topic, the WOM lab was bad ass too.  We were given a box of jumbled up plumbing pieces, filters, and pumps, and were told to build the entire WOM without any notes or photos; we had to build it from memory based off the class we had earlier in the week.  We went to work, and surprisingly, after a couple of hints from instructor Lou, we got it.  There are a lot of intelligent, industrious students at the Academy (myself not included) and I’m continually amazed at what we can accomplish as a group.  

On the construction front, the site really transformed a lot this week.  The stem wall carpentry work was finished mid-week which allowed us to put the vegas in place.  Vegas are wood logs layed Noth/South that start the beginning of the roof.  We were all relieved to see the vegas go up, as they offer some shade to cover us as we work under the hot sun.  And the sun was kickin’ this week.  I got a nice lil’ tramp stamp sun burn while I was shoveling.  It’s a good look for a pasty white guy.  Nevertheless, by adding some roof onto the house, it gives the sense of accomplishment and provides a good visual in letting us know we’re kicking some serious ass.  It felt great to drink a beer during Q&A with the crew after work Friday underneath some shade.  Granted, it was a Bud Light Platinum… but hey?  Free beer is free beer.  Fun Earthship factoid: The crew loves to describe anything that is structurally sound, or built like a brick shit-house as “bomber”.  Therefore, the vegas we put up this week are “bomber”.  I wanna start using the word to describe my morning egg scrambles.    

Tonight, a new brewery in town is having it’s grand opening.  I think a lot of the Earthship family is lookin’ to cut loose after such a busy week.  Along with the usual weekly happenings, several different film crew came to HQ.  Al Jazeera English filmed a lot of the Academy.  We’re excited to see what they produce for their Earthrise program.

Take-aways from this week:  

Learning the water and power systems of Earthships are crucial to understanding the whole concept. If one can learn that, it’s downhill from there.  

Working in $30 Wal-Mart boots is not sustainable.  My feet are gettin’ tore up from the (sub) floor up. Good shoes are crucial.  Get them.  

For all the ladies who are looking to volumize your limp, straight hair, get out here and start building. I’m covered head to toe in dirt after work everyday and it is totally giving me rock-star surfer hair.  So that’s a plus.  I know now how Mike gets his wild hair looking so “bomber”.

Peace 

Bomber, bro!

Well… week 3 is in the books.  It was a very productive week for the Academy.  On top of the construction work we accomplished this week, we also had our first set of labs.  In the labs, we got to build the WOM (water organizing module) and POM (power organizing module) from scratch with the help of Earthship crew specialists guiding us along the way.  

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Academy week 3 Valves

My first blog post is starting a little late.  I’ll do my best to catch you guys up to date.  It’s week 3 and we’ve already progressed a ton in terms of classroom education, our build in the Greater World Community (they call it GDub), and the friendships within the Academy and crew.  Heeeerewego!  

I gotta say it was a tough day (Ice Cube style). We had class in the morning and construction work in the afternoon.  It got a lil’ toasty out on the mesa.

 Class today was on the WOM, which stands for Water Organizing Module.  Lou, the company’s WOM specialist and plumber, taught the class.  He reminded me of the character “D-Day” from Animal House who drives the death-mobile in the parade; which means he was a solid dude who knew his stuff.  And he had a man ‘stache.  The WOM is what organizes and filters water from the cisterns and then routes it to different parts of the house.  It consists of 4 filters, a pump, a pressure gauge, and lots of valves.  What’s nice about the WOM is that it can be pre-fabbed and trucked to the site for easy installation.  Lou taught us how each component works and reminded us every few minutes how important valves are to a plumber.  The dude loves valves.  I wasn’t gonna argue with the man.  Valves at key points on the module make it easier to service.    

We broke for lunch at noon.  I made some nasty salad that got all wilty on me.  You’d think it could handle the 90 degree heat sitting in my car?  I’m really contemplating just living off of beef jerky at lunch.  The heat only seems to turn it into a Michelin star dish.  Plus, there’s really good jerky in Taos.

After lunch, we went to work on the 1 bedroom global Earthship the Academy is building from the ground up.  After just 2 1/2 weeks, 30 students, 1 1/2 foreman, and a couple crew, we’ve done some serious damage.  We have the tire wall built, the bond beam laid, and much of the load-bearing front wall finished.  I say it was a tough day cause it was really hot in Taos, and I, along with many others, had the task of shovelling out the living room to get it at the proper level with the load-bearing footer.  Shovelling ain’t no joke!  I’m gonna have the Jose Canseco forearms I’ve always wanted… finally!  I can finally retire my Marcy Wedge to the back of the closet.

Got back home to the castle (where 13 of us live) and promptly had a Deschutes Pale Ale.  Earned every ounce. Then had a communal dinner with the roommates.  

Take-aways from today… The WOM is plug and play (which is awesome), I wish I went to plumbing school, and all gyms should have max-capacity filled wheelbarrow machines for the legs, forearms, and traps.                         

Academy week 3 Valves

My first blog post is starting a little late.  I’ll do my best to catch you guys up to date.  It’s week 3 and we’ve already progressed a ton in terms of classroom education, our build in the Greater World Community (they call it GDub), and the friendships within the Academy and crew.  Heeeerewego!  

I gotta say it was a tough day (Ice Cube style). We had class in the morning and construction work in the afternoon.  It got a lil’ toasty out on the mesa.

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Eco Gite Retreat – What a Grand Design!

By Liam Browne

Imagine no household bills forever. Well that’s the reality couple Daren and Adrianne created with their eco house in the picturesque countryside of Brittany, France. For the price of a terrace in Stockport they designed and hand built Groundhouse, with the help of friends, volunteers and local craftsmen it was completed in 2006. For those of you who watch Grand Designs, it was the house made of tyres and in the words of Kevin McCloud, Groundhouse is ‘ecologically sensitive and treads lightly on the planet’. Daren’s reasons for wanting to build the house are cited as being the fact that ‘people have lost touch with providing shelter for themselves. Property has become a commodity for someone else’s profit with little concern for working with nature to reduce impact and living costs’. He also says that in the UK the concentration of land is owned by the few which drives prices up, citing this as the main reason for building in France.

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Living Your House

Ever since I watched the first Pippi Longstocking movie I knew that I loved a house that is not normal.

She lives in a villa that in English is called ‘Villa Villekulla’, not just an awesome house on the outside, but just as fresh and authentic on the inside.

The furniture is unique, all with wonderfull playfull but natural -lovingly made – details, all made for actual using.
And the way that Pippi makes use of the house was great too; sliding down bannisters, climbing the roof, horse on the porch, monkey as companion.

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