This is Florian from Earthship Seattle. I’m very excited to announce the first actual build to happen in Seattle!

We are inviting the community for a series of workshops where you will get to practice Earthship construction, led by a group of Earthship Academy students.

The land owner, Roxanne, is very much aligned with Earthship Seattle’s vision of raising awareness about Earthships and tackling the obstacles that stand between people in Washington state and their Earthship dream. She also intends to use it as a teaching tool for local students, so they can explore innovative ways to think about recycling and housing.

This project has just emerged on the horizon and it is really exciting to see all the interest, questions and comments that we have received on Facebook during the first 24 hours.

Now’s the time to answer all your questions around this exciting project.


This project will be a small tool shed built with some of the Earthship principles. For this first build, we are going to focus extensively on: building with recycled & natural materials; DIY; sourcing free, local materials, in the purest Earthship philosophy.

The thermal mass aspect as well as water collection will be partially implemented. Energy production, food production and sewage treatment will not be implemented.

But we hope that this project will inspire others to champion future projects where all of the 6 Earthship principles will be implemented. Earthships are coming to Seattle, one step at a time!

We are very happy to be working with Roxanne, as her project will be a great help to all Washington residents who hope to someday have their own Earthship.

With this project, we will:

  • grow the expertise of our community in Earthship building techniques;
  • have a structure that people can see and learn from;
  • test some of the Earthship aspects in our climate;
  • have a precedent that permit officers could see and experience, encouraging them to grant permits for bigger projects;
  • grow our community of friendly Earthship enthusiasts in the Seattle area.



This build will be a small U-shaped room. The main wall will be made of tires. There will be a backfill of dirt, which will be insulated with phone books wrapped in plastic. The floor will also be insulated in the same way. The roof will use some beams for the structure, with a wood decking on top, then a plastic vapor barrier and insulation, and then a metal roof, with metal salvaged from old appliances. The front face will use cob, reclaimed glass for windows, plastic bottles filled with trash inside the cob wall, and glass bottles for aesthetics.

Click here to see the construction drawings.



Construction will mostly happen over 3 consecutive weekends. The workshops will start at 9 am. They will end after 4 pm (we might keep going until 7 or 8 pm with whoever can stay longer, if it makes sense). Lunch will be provided during the main events.


Phase 1 will consist in building the main tire wall as well as the thermal wrap behind it, and will take place over the weekend of September 6th and 7th.

Phase 2 will consist in building the entire roof and will take place over the weekend of September 13th and 14th.

Phase 3 will consist in building the front wall, door and windows, and will take place over the weekend of September 20th and 21st.

Even though the main events will happen over weekends, we will need volunteers on most other days, either to complete what we started during the weekend, or to prepare for the following weekend.


We hope to end with a big party for Earthship Seattle’s 2-year anniversary!


Tentative schedule:


Planning phase: 8/26 -> 9/5


Phase 1:

preparation: 9/2 -> 9/5

main event: 9/6 -> 9/7

completion: 9/8 -> 9/12


Phase 2:

preparation: 9/8 -> 9/12

main event: 9/13 -> 9/14

completion: 9/15 -> 9/19


Phase 3:

preparation: 9/15 -> 9/19

main event: 9/20 -> 9/21

completion: 9/22 -> 9/26



The workshops will be led by Earthship Academy students and/or experienced volunteers: Florian Becquereau, Rachel Payne, Heather Kline, Jon Gosch, and others. <list to be expanded>

There will always be at least one of them available to answer questions and teach Earthship building techniques.



Space is limited to about 20 volunteers per Phase. Due to the small size of the build site, only up to 10 people might be working at any given time. That’s more time to relax, socialize and ask questions. Yay!

To sign up, send an email to with “trash studio” in the subject line.


Provide the following information:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • City of residence
  • Which Phase you are signing up for (you can sign up for more than one Phase if you wish).
  • Your availability for said Phase: whether you are available to help for the preparation of the Phase, whether you can attend both days of the main event or just one day, whether you are available to help with the completion of the Phase (see Timeline for details).
  • What you can contribute from our wishlist for tools and materials (click here). Please contribute with tools or materials for each Phase that you want to participate in. If you can’t contribute tools or materials, a monetary donation would be welcome (suggestion of $20-50 on a sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds).
  • What team you’d like to be in: building (that’s what most people will be doing), documenting (photos, videos, blog articles, short documentaries….), cooking (Roxanne might welcome some help; you can either contribute food or help cooking). Even if you can’t attend the events, helping us with tools or materials is a great way to be part of this project.
  • Some more info about you, including a few words about your past experiences with building/volunteering/sustainability, etc. (no experience necessary).


Please make sure to communicate with us about which tools or materials you can contribute before bringing them to the site. There is very little space, so we can only store what we can use, and we might not be able to store items for Phase 2 until Phase 1 is completed. If you want to lend tools and get them back later, we’ll try our best to accommodate, but since there will be a lot of volunteers rotating on the build, we cannot promise that your tool won’t be broken or lost.


What to bring

Please look at our material and tool wishlist and let us know (ie. by email) if you can help with any of that. Otherwise, please consider making a donation (suggested amount is $20-50 on a sliding scale). We are trying to keep the costs down to a minimum. To this end, we are heavily focusing on using reclaimed materials, and on having the community actively participate in the build. We’d love to keep money out of the equation entirely. Please help us toward this goal!


If you’re going to volunteer in the construction:

Wear clothes and shoes that you don’t mind ruining.

Bring a water bottle.

Bring a pair of working gloves.


No drugs or alcohol on site!


Access to the site

The site is in walking distance from the Columbia City Light Rail station. There is no parking at the site. So, you’re on your own for parking. Please consider using public transportation. As this is a private residence, the address will be sent only to volunteers who are properly registered.


Contact us

The best way to reach us is to send an email to Roxanne (Project Owner) or Florian (Project Manager) will get back to you. You can also contact us via Earthship Seattle’s Facebook page or Meetup group, or via this specific project’s Facebook page.