Last weekend, on the very last day of the weekend long Belize Chocolate Festival, we took a shuttle bus down the mile long path to the Lubaantun Maya Site in the Toledo District of Belize. Huge trees and greenery was pretty much all we were seeing until just before the ruins – this sign.
Ummm. Earthship Belize. And the view of an odd adobe-like structure behind some brush. What the heck is that? There is a sign…it must be open to the public. Maybe. Surely there could not be attack dogs. There is a sign!
We kept going (we were on a shuttle bus) but I made note to check this out on our exit… Read More
Belize’s first Earthship lies within sight of the Maya ruins of Lubaantun in the south of the country, creating a wonderful juxtaposition between ruined civilization and new ecological design
Renegade architect Mike Reynolds and his crew began construction in March 2012. Commissioned by an ex-pat British family, the building is situated on a huge piece of land with a cacao farm, an important and popular crop in this part of the world.
Richard and Alisa arrived in Belize two years ago having lived in Scotland, Spain, and Mexico with their three children. Now settled with three dogs, three cats, and an army of chickens most of the building work is being done by locals employed from the nearby village of San Pedro Colombia. The Maya crew headed by Cessaerio were taught the ropes by Mike and his team and there are plans to use the tyres and bottle brick approach to create a rain water catchment system for the village school. Read More
The Earthship crew has completed the 3-week build that donated a home to a family in Comalapa, Guatemala for the second time around. Working with Long Way Home, a non-profit organization in Comalapa working to build sustainable schools, we were able to raise the appropriate amount of money as well as gather volunteers and organize to allow this project to take place. We are thankful for all who participated and donated to this project.
The house is on its way to full enclosure and completion as the Earthship crew will be leaving Guatemala early Saturday. With two workdays left, we are in a good place to leave Long Way Home foreman, Romeo Apen, to do the finishes to his liking on his new home.
It is the final week of construction in Comalapa and the building is moving toward finishes.
Lou and his group are working on the black water cells. The front of the house is trenched appropriately and the septic has been piped into the botanical cells. Today, the trenches were lined with plastic and then filled with big rock, gravel – to be filled with dirt.
Over the course of 2 weeks, Earthship Biotecture and Long Way Home have been working on the 3-U Survival Pod Earthship for Long Way Home foreman, Romeo. The progress has been impressive with all of the volunteers working and the crew managing its team accordingly. Groups were broken up into ten in order to keep the process structured and efficient. Much to report from the last update earlier this week.
The vaults have been plastered and the parapets have been built and leveled with plastic trash bottles. With a line of people, dirt was moved to bury around the vaults in order to create the thermal mass. Pummus was them bucketed up the line to insulate the thermal mass.
Building has been framed for the greenhouse and cement work is continuing. Third coat was done on the vaults and the trash bottle parapets are being raised. The planters were dug and septic lid has been put onto the flush toilet on the east side of the building. Plumbing for the shower and toilet and grey and black water cells were done by Lou and his team.
Continue with cementing the vault and creating the parapet behind the house. Can walls are going up and trash and glass bottle walls are being formed . The framing of the south facing windows is about half way completed. The structure is beginning to be enclosed and looking more and more like a home every day.
Business as usual today for the Earthship/Long Way Home crew with 60+ volunteers. The third vault is on, bond beams are poured and cement is being hauled up the hill by an assembly line of people throughout the whole workday. Plaster work has begun on the east vault. The grey water planters have been dug out as well as the ‘outlaw’ septic. The cisterns will be moved to another location on the site because they cannot be buried behind the building and their new space has not yet been determined.
Today is the first day with all of our volunteers on the jobsite and with everyone’s combined help, the process moved along quite a bit. Already, the site is changing shape and beginning to look more structured. The groups were broken up and worked to pound tires, create the trench for the septic, bend and cut rebar for the vault, and even build an onsite outhouse. The day was a labor-intensive day and a great learning experience for everyone on the jobsite.