Earthship Blogs

Earthship Ironbank BnB Update

I mentioned previously that the Earthship BnB is on hold until I have full approval (hence the chookship). At this stage I have planning approval but still need building approval… Thankfully the structural engineer has made good progress and has agreed to tyre walls with no footings (yeah!) and has been very reasonable about various other oddities. So I’m stoked. I hope to have the final set of drawings this week or next. 

CFS (country fire service) have given the BnB the thumbs up and downgraded the BAL (bushfire attack level) on account of the earth-sheltered (bermed) design (yeah!). 



The energy assessor has managed to squeak the BnB through at 6 stars which is the bare minimum in SA. Why I hear you ask: because AccuRate and most other energy modelling software can’t deal with stuff like air transfer between the greenhouse and the living space, nor can it deal with the massive thermal mass contained in the berm. Lame software if you ask me – certainly not designed with earthships in mind. Once built I am planning to log the indoor temperatures and use this data to calculate what the true star rating is. More like 9 or 10 stars I reckon. 

The private building certifier is also loving the plans.

The ONLY hitch so far has been with SA Health who are super duper paranoid about the greywater system, growing food in greywater and flushing toilet with greywater but the fine is only $400 so what the heck!? I am planning to hook up automatic rainwater irrigation for the planter anyhow so it doesn’t die when the BnB is vacant so this may help create the illusion that it is not running on greywater. Which it won’t be of course 😉 So the wastewater system is approved but not the greywater branch of it. I am hoping that this summer we can build the roof and greenhouse and in the mean time finish off the walls.

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