Earthship Blogs

Los Angeles Times Earthship Guide

May 18, 1997 | Associated Press

A brief look at the building, operation and cost of Earthships:

Construction: Used tires are packed with dirt and stacked on steel reinforcing rods to form exteriors. Aluminum cans are tucked between the tires and the entire walls are coated with mixed mud and straw. Interior walls are made of cement and glass bottles.

Water: Water is collected from rainfall on the roof, stored in 3,000-gallon cisterns and passed through filters before coming out to sinks and showers. The water then drains through an interior garden, is pumped back through toilets and then flushes (as sewage) into outdoor gardens that leach out waste.

Electricity: Power is generated by rooftop solar panels and windmills. Electricity is captured in batteries that must have water added to them about once a month. An Earthship office can run six computers, fax machines, copiers and more with solar- and wind-generated power. Homeowners say cloudy days mean less power, and they time their vacuuming accordingly.

 

Heating and Cooling: Earthships use thermal mass to maintain a constant temperature. In the winter, the tire walls store heat, and the south-facing windows capture solar energy to keep the house warm. A wood stove provides additional heat. In the summer, the high sun angle keeps the rooms in shadow while cool earth walls absorb heat from the rooms. During the night they release heat again. Ventilation tubes running from outside into the floors add to the cooling effect.

Telephones: Urban Earthships can be wired into telephone systems. Remote Earthships use cellular or radio-controlled telephones.

Durability: Earthships have survived forest fires, earthquakes and windstorms. The oldest Earthship, built about 20 years ago, is still in good working order. Operating systems continue to be perfected as alternative energy technology advances.

Cost:

* A book describing the process: $25.

* A set of architectural drawings: $2,000.

* A small, basic house–the “Nest”–constructed by experienced Earthship builders in two weeks: $35,000.

* Most Earthships: $75 a square foot–or about $130,000 for a moderately sized home–not including the property.

* A 6-foot-by-8-foot systems package including batteries, gauges, pressure tanks and circuit breakers to make an Earthship operate: $15,000.

Contact: Solar Survival Architecture, P.O. Box 1041, Taos, N.M. 87529.

Comments

comments

Recent Posts

Te Puke’s earthship build

Te Puke’s earthship build

Te Puke's Fruit of the Pacific charitable trust is spearheading a two-week project to teach Ni Vanua[read more]
'It’s a funky off-grid house:' Take a tour of Alberta's first official earthship

'It’s a funky off-grid house:' Take a tour of Alberta's first official earthship

LETHBRIDGE COUNTY — In the dead of winter, in the middle of the southern Alberta prairies, the Kinne[read more]
No thumbnail available

"Why Everyone Should Consider Living in an Earthship"

New blog post on Expanded Consciousness explains why you should consider living in an Earthship. [read more]
Breve biografía de Michael Reynolds

Breve biografía de Michael Reynolds

Michael Reynolds es un líder mundial en energías renovables y arquitectura sostenible desde hace 45 [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 junky[read more]
No thumbnail available

"The American Dream" Earthships

"The American Dream Project" travelled around the United States on motorcycles visiting towns and co[read more]
No thumbnail available

The "Extraordinary" Mike Reynolds

Mike Reynolds is featured amongst 50 people who fit the category of "extraordinary." By: Peter Ho[read more]
No thumbnail available

Earthship-Festival in Köln Holweide

Zur Feier des #earthday war das noch3 Team am Earthship-Festival in Köln Holweide mit gutem Es[read more]
Who is Phil?

Who is Phil?

After graduating from Miami of Ohio University with a BED degree, Phil met up with Michael Reynolds [read more]
Shares