As temperatures begin to dip below freezing in Taos, New Mexico, and snow is moving in, we begin to suit up and take the necessary steps to ensure that our living conditions are as efficient as they promise. Although our Global models prove their efficiency in terms of functionality and temperature stabilization, some of our older buildings may need some small tune-ups to keep warm this winter. Here are a few examples that may help for your home too:
Propane levels need to be monitored especially in the winter months as it is used in heating water and cooking in some homes. You can check the gauge on the tank to see the percentage of gas remaining. It is good to keep a back-up tank available.
Nearly three decades have passed since Michael Reynolds built his first “radically sustainable” Earthship dwellings out of cast-off materials such as tires and beer bottles on the high mesas near Taos, New Mexico. His Earthship mantra, however, remains the same: “Live free.” That is, off the grid and without power bills.
Earthships have evolved from simple structures lacking flush toilets into multifloor homes with flat-screen TVs, wi-fi, and greenhouses brimming with crops. And they’ve gone from fringe to 53,000 Facebook fans as a new generation tunes in to Reynolds’s alt-sustainable message. Today, there’s also a school, the Earthship Biotecture Academy, which teaches design principles and philosophy.
Earthships are 100% sustainable homes that are both cheap to build and awesome to live in. They offer amenities like no other sustainable building style you have come across. For the reasons that follow, I believe Earthships can actually change the world. See for yourself!
Dear Earthship Dweller,
I am a PhD student at the University of Adelaide, Australia, School of Architecture. I write to invite you to participate in the Earthship Occupants Questionnaire which investigates a wide range of issues relating to the Earthship and the Earthship lifestyle. In particular, the information collected will help in understanding the thermal comfort levels in Earthships, and how their off-grid systems perform in comparison to conventional utilities systems.
Life Cycle Assessment of Earthship Architecture
PhD research by Martin Freney, PhD Candidate, University of Adelaide
School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design
The aim of my research is to quantify the ecological impacts of Earthships in comparison to other housing types. Of particular interest is the wall construction methods as this is major component of the house and there are many theories (and myths) about which wall construction methods perform best in terms of energy efficiency and embodied energy. Furthermore there, is very little information available regarding the thermal properties of the Earthship’s rammed earth tyre wall.
By Todd Gunter | April 2012 – Vol 9, No 4
TAOS, New Mexico – Twenty three years ago, while riding bicycles through the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, I saw my first sustainable home built with cans and used tires. What I didn’t know then was that these homes were called Earthships, and they were being built all over the world and had been since the early 1970s. Earthships got their start in Taos New Mexico, designed and built by architect Michael Reynolds. Simply put by the earthship creator, the earthship is “a radically sustainable green building made with recycled materials.”
Energy hungry America teaches the world how to build ecological houses.
A dirt cheap and 100 percent ecological house that has all the comforts of an ordinary home, without being connected to the electricity grid, waterworks, sewer system or the natural gas network. It does exist, but in most countries, building one is not allowed.
SCHEMATIC DEVELOPMENT OF SYSTEMS
Ken Ruck | Earthship New York City
(This is a bottom line presentation – support data available on request)
Ventilation | Cooling | Dehumidification
Ventilation and cooling will be achieved using cooling tubes buried from an air entry well in the west yard and running in to various strategic parts of the building. These tubes will provide access to cooler air from deeper in the earth. EXHIBITS N & O
The movment of air thorugh these tubes will be gently provided by gravity operated skylites in the greenhouse roof. The fresh cooler air will move from rooms to greenhouse throught the glass doors and/or transoms over the doors to the greenhouse. Simply open the skylites and the tubes and the sky vents and the warmer air in the greenhouse rises out and gently pulls cooler air through the tubes and through the rooms and out the greenhouse vents. This cools the building and exchanges the air. EXHIBIT P
by Michael Reynolds
WHY IT IS GOING TO BE DIFFICULT FOR HUMANITY TO EVOLVE SIGNIFICANTLY ENOUGH TO SURVIVE A CHANGING PLANET
Bergen Architectural School – BAS – Bergen, Norway – December 7, 2008
We (Earthship Biotecture) were asked to help establish a force to retro fit the old nine story concrete agricultural grain silo building, home of the architectural school in Bergen, Norway. Our objectives were as follows…