United States

Earthship village will soon land in Colorado Springs

Earthships aren’t designed to take families out of this world to explore other galaxies. But they are taking off on this planet and will soon land in Colorado Springs.

The Colorado Solar Village is seeking the greenest of the green to form a community of some of the most sustainable homes in existence, Earthships included. The goal, according to developer Dave Hatch, is for the roughly 65-home community to be fully self-reliant for energy.

Hatch is so sold on the idea, he’s offering a free electric car to the first eight buyers to commit.

“Our goal, really, is to bring sustainable housing to everyone in an affordable way,” Hatch said recently.

For now, the 400-acre village is an empty plot of land on France-
ville Coal Mine Road, east of Colorado Springs, but Hatch said he hopes construction will begin in spring. No one has closed on any property yet, but Hatch is confident the idea will catch on.

“I am sure there are 65 people in this county who think this is a pretty neat thing,” he said. “I’m sure of it.”

Hatch said lots are ready for construction, and he plans to put up at least one model home in the spring.

He expects interest will pick up quickly from there.

Lot sizes range from 5 to 
40 acres, starting at $50,000. Home sizes ranging from 800 to 3,000 square feet are expected to cost $200,000 to $600,000, on top of the land purchase. Plans must go through an architectural review before construction.

The project was originally planned as an Earthship-exclusive community, similar to the Earthship village in Taos, N.M., which boasts self-reliant homes partially made with recycled materials such as brightly colored glass bottles that play artistic and structural roles.

But Hatch broadened the types of homes that will be available, an attempt to appeal to more people. So in addition to Earthships, the solar village will include GEOS-designed homes – more conventional-looking but equally solar-reliant – straw-bale and cob design adobe and stucco homes, and other green creations.

There will be another big difference between the Taos community and the one near Colorado Springs. In Taos, Earthships produce their own electricity and harvest rainwater that’s cleaned and recycled for conventional water use, watering indoor and outdoor plants, and flushing toilets.

El Paso County has strict regulations on harvesting rainwater, however, so prospective villagers shouldn’t expect to be self-reliant for H2O.

But as long as water conservation is a prime focus of the development, it will be an asset to the area, said Steve Saint, sustainability coordinator for the Green Cities Coalition.

“Most of the folks in the Green Cities Coalition feel like we really need to address water and food and have a huge effort to shift our dependence on water and food from the outside area to the area itself,” he said.

Since the development is small compared with the total number of homes in El Paso County, the overall impact on energy use will be small, said Kevin Gilford, assistant sustainability director at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. But the village can still serve as an example for greener living.

“The greater impact will be longer term, and that will be that people will realize that there’s another way to build homes,” he said.

Residents of the new village will have to pay a fee for a homeowners association, but Hatch said he is not yet sure what that fee will be.

Roads in the village won’t be paved, and if residents so demand, there could be community gardens and greenhouses, free range chicken and beekeeping facilities, a community barn, an electric car-sharing program and a community house where people can make meals together or hold classes.

That could be key to making it a truly sustainable community, Saint said.

“There needs to be a cultural design as well, so you get not only an eco-village with self-reliant structure, but you also get people who want to build a community together (of people) who want to trade, have potlucks, build chicken coops,” Saint said. “Cultural design would be really important because if it’s just a real estate deal and people are just buying in and selling when the market’s better, that’s not going to work.”

Hatch, who lives in Boulder, said he plans to move to the village once his daughter graduates from high school. He hopes the community will have an educational environment instead of being just another development. He doubts he’d be quite so enthused if he were putting up McMansions, he said.

“Yeah, I’m a businessman,” Hatch said. “But I really get excited about the educational aspect of it.”

Contact Kassondra Cloos: 636-0362

Twitter: @Kassondra Cloos
from gazette.com

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Work continues at Cronk tire house

After more than four years of construction, work continues at the Lorraine, NY home of the Cronk family. The house is made primarily of tires, which collecting heat during the day and release it at night.

The house is a kind of Earthship, a green building initiative that reuses discarded materials. About 7,000 glass wine and liquor bottles have also been used decoratively around the home.

The home has a deadline to be finished by Halloween 2015.

Philadelphia Earthship Workshops

The First-Ever Urban Earthship Is Being Built In West Philly

There’s a vacant lot at 675 N. 41st Street in West Philadelphia that’s about to become something Philadelphia has never seen before–an Earthship.

Earthship PhiladelpiaWhen Thomas L. Miller, the owner of a vacant lot in West Philadelphia, heard a woman on the radio talking about her plan to build an “Earthship” in August of 2013, he was quick to call the radio station and donate his lot to her. The woman was Rashida Ali-Campbell, founder of Yeadon-based nonprofit LoveLovingLove, Inc. Read More

Regenerative Lifestyles Tour & Retreat: September 12-14

September 12th-14th, 2014. Regenerative Lifestyles in collaboration with Earthship Biotecture will be having a weekend retreat and tour at the Greater World Community. Regenerative Lifestyles is a company co-founded by Mike Wird one of Earthship Biotecture’s first academy graduates. Along with the retreat and tour there will also be a night of music at Taos Mesa Brewing with Denver Hiphop group The Soul Pros and special guests. This is the crossroads where biotecture, urban music, art and culture meet. A rare opportunity. See flyer for more info, to register visit. http://denverearthship.com/product-category/tours/

Earthship workshops in Seattle

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.

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Earthships on “New Mexico True TV” this Sunday

Earthship Biotecture will be featured on the upcoming North Central New Mexico episode of “New Mexico True Television” this Sunday at 8:30am on KOB-TV Channel 4.

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Earthship Biotecture Academy Video by John Senften

Earthship Academy student and professional videographer John Senften has just produced a 25 minute video about the Academy session he attended in Taos, New Mexico in the Spring of 2014.

We’d like to thank John and all the wonderful students who appear in the video! It’s a fantastic overview of the program.

EB Academy Works on Local Humanitarian Effort

   

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IMG_5347    Academy 2014 – Session 2

There have been several hits on a Global Model Earthship being built for a Taos family who was displaced after losing their home in Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Last year, we had 35 students and several crew members begin the tire pounding and within a week’s time were able to complete the 9 courses of the main structural tire wall. The Bilal family has been in Taos since that time and have been the focus of our local humanitarian effort.

Since last spring, Earthship Biotecture has donated time and labor working with our interns, Academy students and various high school groups towards enclosing and eventually finishing the Bilal family’s Earthship. Several groups have worked with us over the year to pack out the back tire wall creating more support and preparing for the roof to go on. Read More

Earthship Class for College Credit at UNM Taos

This Spring semester the UNM Green Technologies program will be offering Intro to Earthship Biotecture as one of their electives to fulfill the sustainability credit.  Phil Basehart, who has worked for Earthship Biotecture for over 20 years, will be the lead instructor.  Guest instructors will include Michael Reynolds and Earthship systems specialists from our plumbing and electrical staff.  Students will tour Earthships, take classes on Earthship design principles and spend time on construction sites learning how to pound tires, lay cans and bottles and plaster with adobe.  We are excited to start this partnership with UNM and hope it paves the way for Earthship concepts to enter the curriculum at the college level here in New Mexico and around the country and world.

To sign up online please visit:  www.taos.unm.edu/current-schedule

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