Earthship Queensland Update – July 2013

Greetings Earthship supporters,
Well we have just returned from a successful 2 week workshop to get more done on final finishing of the 2 U survival pod in on the discovery coast in Queensland, Australia.

The project was run as a volunteer participation workshop, similar to the projects run in many countries overseas by Earthship Biotecture, which involved a workshop program which provided aseries of talks, films and discussions surrounding living self-sufficiently and engaging with the broader themes of Earthship Biotecture including a smaller-scale living mindset, community development and inclusion and thinking smarter in terms of resource consumption and use of materials.  Earthship living is not simply a dwelling but involves a series of processes which include shared learning experiences and spreading knowledge for others to learn and teach the methodology and the philosophy behind Biotecture to foster the establishment of more Earthships across the country.   Bob and Shelley were clear that they desired to create a home and an experience based on a loving intention and opened their lives and property to all to share in their way of life.

Following on from the hard worked first workshop in February this year, which saw the bulk of the hard work done on getting the Earthship up, we returned with a new crew and 20 new interns and 6 returnees from the previous workshop to get more of the internal fitout close to lock-up stage.  Unlike the previous workshop the weather allowed for full days working in the glorious sunshine with all hands on deck working on 2 major components, the bottle walls and rendering the 2 large vaults with clay.  The first week was spent finishing the roof to stop any leakage coming into the vaults, packing out the internal tyres with a sawment material (sawdust, cement) and beginning the 6 major bottle wall features for the interior and exterior face walls on the south, east and west sides of the greenhouse.  Such large bottle walls had definitely not been contemplated in my experience before and it was a test of our skills to ensure their structural and aesthetic qualities, the results speak for themselves.

The second week saw a second coat of clay render go up on the vaults and attempts at a final finsih clay plaster were begun but the drying time of the vaults did not allow a finished coat.  Similarly, time ran out for the final plaster finish for all but 1 of the bottle walls.  The grey water planter in the front of the greenhouse was finished with a 2ft can wall put up and the sides rendered and finished ready for soil to be put in and get some plants growing in coming months.  The plumbing and electricity work was finished by our resident genius Paul and the Earthship was left with power in all rooms and the water tank hooked up and ready to be filled from the next rains coming off the roof.  The outside berms were finished with the vapour barrier continued along each of the external walls to stop any water from entering the structure.  Rear vent windows were also fitted out in the last days to ensure convection and a cool breeze could flow from the cooling tubes in the bottom of the vaults up through the greenhouse and out through the highest points.  Though the awesome second hand front doors were not fitted when we left the Earthship is now much closer to finished stage with work continuing in coming months with volunteers staying behind to finish the work.  Big thanks to Shelley, Bob and tayt for their awesome hosting and hard work to help us help them see the first Earthship constructed in Australia.  For more details on the experience you can also go to Aaron’s blog and Harry’s photos and an article here and stay tuned for more details.

Earthship Australia in partnership with Earthship Biotecture New Mexico are collaborating to build fully certified Earthships in Australia which will demonstrate successful alternative methods of green building, living and thinking for the community.  The coming projects, taking many forms, will demonstrate innovative sustainable design and off-the-grid solutions through Earthship’s environmentally sustainable principles that can generate new solutions and dialogue with regards to the housing crisis and water and energy issues for Australia.

For further queries regarding planning and conducting Earthship workshops across Australia contact Rachel Goldlust rachgoldlust@gmail.com and see http://rachelgoldlustearthshipaustralia.weebly.com or Duuvy at Terraeden Biotecture contact.terraeden@gmail.com http://www.levityfoundation.com/terraeden.html

For all official plans, diagrams, quotes and assistance pertaining to Earthship Biotecture see www.earthship.com

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Big warm special thanks to Bob and Shelley for hosting us on their amazing land and looking after us so well, thanks to the team leaders Rosa, Paul, Campbell, the mega site organiser Dani and all the returnees and to the volunteers a big thanks for all your efforts and good vibes, it made for a really exciting, satisfying and awesome learning experience for us all, hope you spread the word and we get to do it more often across the country.

If you want to visit or go and work on the project please contact me here

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