There’s sustainable housing, and then there’s sustainable housing. The Kinney family in Southern Alberta is living the latter, in what can only be described as the MacGyver of net-zero homes.
Last summer more than 30 volunteers from around the world and a hired crew of 13 people from New Mexico helped the Kinneys build what is known as an ‘earthship’. This self-sustaining, eco-friendly home is the brainchild of Earthship Biotecture Founder and Principal Architect, Mike Reynolds. It is an off-grid living structure made primarily out of recycled materials like empty beer cans, old tires and used glass bottles. Read More
When you tell people you’re building an Earthship, there are two stock responses. First there are the believers. These are the people who’ve watched Garbage Warrior, twice. They want to talk design and permits and timelines. They’re into it. The other stock response is an incredulous repeating of the word back to you with a question mark attached. Earthship? Read More
Herald photo by Ian Martens Workers and volunteers help with the construction of an 1,800-square-foot earthship home, designed to be an off-grid, self-sustaining dwelling, earlier this week at a site along the Little Bow River east of Carmangay. An open house is scheduled Sunday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
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It’s an 1,800-square-foot, three-bedroom home with an unusual floor plan and a sweeping south-facing view toward the Little Bow River out of large glass windows.
Its final cost, estimated at between $350,000 and $400,000, would be comparable to a similar-sized unit in an average Canadian urban community.
But when it’s completed in a few weeks, Glen and Dawn Kinney’s soon-to-be retirement house, located about 70 kilometres from Lethbridge and 30 kilometres east of Carmangay, will basically run itself.
The home, called an earthship for its design, will maintain a consistent temperature of between 19 C and 22 C year-round, with no added heating or cooling, and have a of cost of only about $150 per year for utilities.
The back wall was constructed with more than 800 tires encased in mortar to create thermal mass, while the side walls, with a similar concept, utilized more than 12,000 beer cans. Read More
With the reelection of Barack Obama, Canadians won’t have to fend off an invasion of disgruntled American liberals any time soon. But the Earthship invasion of our neighbor to the north, it seems, is already in full swing.
This deep-green, low-tech brand of building — which originated in UFO-prone New Mexico — makes extensive use of earth-packed tires as building blocks, along with various other forms of refuse and natural materials. It is the brainchild of architect Michael Reynolds, who characterizes it as a “radically sustainable” method of home building. The Earthship method incorporates about 45 percent recycled materials, and relies largely on the sun for heat.
from the Manitoba Earthship Project A friend reminded me recently that our website could use a little updating – and so here I will attempt an update on the highlights from August – September in one post with a promise to improve my posting skills in the future. First let me say that we (Kris & Nicole) have experienced the best and most busy summer of our lives. Building your own Earthship is wild – tons of work, research, planning, debating, checking & double-checking, and crossing of fingers. I would only recommend doing this yourself if everyone who will live in the home is fully committed, on the same page, and ready for some sacrifice.
To build their dream home on a patch of farmland in Southern Ontario, Craig and Connie Cook had to source 1,200 old tires. Packed with dirt, they are the bricks of their “earthship” – an off-the-grid home made of recycled materials, in which the main source of heat is the sun.
Earthships are the brainchild of Michael Reynolds, a New Mexico-based architect and the founder of Earthship Biotecture, a company that designs and builds homes constructed with about 45-per-cent reused materials, including plastic and glass bottles, cans, reclaimed wood, natural plaster and stone, and reclaimed metal from washing machines and refrigerators.
There are dozens of such homes in Canada, where the concept has seen a surge following a 2007 documentary about Reynolds called Garbage Warrior. The movie helped popularize Earthships, which appeal to many for both environmental and economic reasons.
Monday September 24th: New Solutions Canadian Premiere Screening
Palace Theatre, London-Ontario, Canada Tickets: $12 /adult $5/children 12 and under Tickets available through: www.palacetheatre.ca A portion of the ticket sales proceeds will got to Guatemala project.