Earthship Ironbank: 35 magic people. 5 wonderful weeks. 40+ degrees. 1 bushfire… almost one finished earthship. We’ll knock it off at Easter time. Thank you amazing earthship friends!
I was asked nicely to stop building my earthship (on account of neglecting to follow the proper procedures) so I thought it best to do so… but now, lo and behold, the wheels of bureaucracy churned out a… building permit!
As far as I know this is the first time an earthship has been approved in Australia: I’ve heard of other tyre walled homes in Aus but I think this is the first time a tyre wall with NO footings, and an earthberm has been approved. One thing I’m not allowed to do is irrigate the planter with greywater, nor flush the loo with treated greywater, but I’ll be fighting that (very poor) decision. With waste conservation initiatives it’s one step at a time here in South Australia, the driest State in the driest continent.
Planning to run some workshops in January 2014 to land this one bedroom earthship – stay tuned!
Darn it all, I think my previous post (June) might have got lost in cyberspace! I was just about to write about an interview with Spence Denny today from ABC local radio about Earthship Ironbank. But seems like the news that Earthship Ironbank was approved – back in early July – has not made it to this blog. So just quickly, it has been fully approved with the exception that the indoor greywater garden will have to be irrigated with rainwater rather than greywater. I’m still hoping to use greywater however by declaring a scientific trial of the system, backed by research by a PhD student from UniSA… trying to gather evidence that these systems should be legal in SA (which has the most stringent – I was going to say draconian – laws in Australia). Read More
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!).
I have written an article for ReNew magazine regarding my research on Earthship thermal performance and lifecycle assessment. There is a companion piece to the article which you can read for free here http://renew.org.au/earthships/
Hey people just want to let you know that the next workshop (lJan 26, 2013) will need to more of a look-and-talk-shop as council have been out to have a look at the wall and politely suggested that I stop all construction work until I have Development Approval. The good news is that I recently received Planning Approval from council and am progressing well with the Building Approval.
Other news is;
- the local health authority (SA Health) are not keen on the Earthship greywater system (or toilet flushing with greywater, or growing food in greywater). Hmmmm….. could be a serious bummer. Might have to use fresh rainwater instead
- EPA are supportive of me using car tyres but if using more than 500 tyres per year I need to pay approx $750 in fees for a license to do so. On the up side this entitles me to collect a fee from tyre retailers for taking their old tyres. I’ve spoken to a few and they were all happy with paying me $1 per tyre. So at least this covers the cost of the EPA’s application fee. If you use less than 500 per year you don’t have to pay the application fee to the EPA but you need to let council know and you must have Development approval.
Will keep you posted.
Had a great day pounding tyres and throwing some mud on Sunday. Had a great team of about 12 helpers – thanks all!
Here is a photo showing the front greenhouse wall (which will eventually be bermed) which swings around 180 degrees in an arc to connect up to the western wing wall. Also installed an oversize pipe in the wall so the plumber can connect up the septic tank with some proper plumbing.
I will be speaking briefly at the Adelaide Transitions Film Festival after the screening of Earthship New Solutions movie. Details about that here http://www.transitionsfilmfestival.com/program/
Still awaiting planning approval however the “public notification” period passed uneventfully. This was required due to the planning rules on our “rural environment” zoned block of land. Basically council advertised the project via newspaper and informed the neighbours – there were no objections We keep on rolling.
Had a great day pounding tyres yesterday. Perfect weather. I’m still awaiting planning approval and have started discussions with SA Health regarding the greywater planters. Initial meeting went well. Here is a photo from yesterday.
Another workshop on Sun 30 September. Book here ($15) http://www.trybooking.com/BUTT
Date: Saturday, 21st July, 2012.
Time: 7pm for 7.30pm start.
Venue: Aldgate Memorial Hall, Kingsland Road, Aldgate (Old Aldgate Cinema, behind Aldgate village shopping centre),
Talks hosted by Transition Adelaide Hills
Delicious hot soups, bread, wine available for purchase. Coffee and tea free.
Gold coin donation.