Earthship Blogs

green buildingsVaulted Global

“. . . the Earthship is the epitome of sustainable design and construction. No part of sustainable living has been ignored in this ingenious building.”

Successful Workshop – Build in New Zealand.

Christchurch has been through a hard time, do doubt. Its been over 2 years since the worst quake, which threw the city into chaos and its residents into turmoil.

Its now March 2013 and a lot of the roads are still terrible, the whole central city is still closed down, there are blocks that used to be hubs that are gravel car parks and thousands of houses are red stickered and stand empty.

 Mike Reynolds took an interest in the Christchurch situation, and came to visit us in NZ for 6 days in mid March. Half of Mike’s time was filled up with public seminars to Christchurch residents, and he also managed to fit in a meeting with the Christchurch City Council, a talk to architecture students, a retro fit talk and 2 media interviews.



3 day practical workshop lead by Micheal Reynolds from Earthship Biotecture

Over 6 days in Christchurch this March, Michael Reynolds will bring his 40 years of Sustainable Architecture experience to the table to present alternative structural designs to Christchurch residents.

His trip will include a 3 day practical workshop, 3 evening seminars, a lecture for architecture students, an onsite retrofit talk in North Canterbury as well as other meetings with organizations.

Full details for the 3 day Practical Workshop


Wednesday 13th Thursday 14th & Friday 15 March 2013 8.30– 4.30 daily followed by Q&A


Tussock Hill Vineyard, 210 Huntsbury Ave, Huntsbury Hill, Christchurch


Vermont Earthship Apprentice Learning Opportunity

October 22-November 2, 2012.

Earthship Biotecture is looking for apprentices to join a small Earthship Crew to help finish a two-bedroom, two-bathroom new Vaulted Global Model Earthship in Vermont October 20 through November 2.

Work with veteran Earthship Builders learning the basic concepts of Earthships as well as advanced finish techniques.

Apprentices work on a voluntary basis and are responsible for their own transportation and lodging.  Camping will be available on site.

We will accept 10 apprentices on a first come, first served basis.

 The minimum time commitment is one week.


Ithaca New York Build – Day 9

We’re now at Day 9 out of the 18 workdays we’ll have the crew and apprentices.  Halfway!  Yet we are about a week ahead of schedule because everyone here is working so hard, so well together, and really knows what they’re doing.  Plus Chad and I work until after 9:00pm making sure everything is ready for the next workday.  The house looks so cool when you drive by us, and all of the little exterior details are getting finished before everybody moves inside!  Today the interior glass went in, more parts of the roof boxes were flashed, the wing tire walls were packed out, the thermal wrap met the roof, and the outside of the stem wall got insulated.  The back two doorways were added, and we started the bottle work around these.  Kelley finished the bottle work around that front circular window, and it looks so beautiful.  Inside, more footers were dug, and the other two bedrooms were strung up.  Chad and Lou bought a lot of plumbing parts at Lowes again today.  I ended the afternoon with a trip to Chateau Dusseauin Locke, NY, because my new friend Levi said there were a lot of bottles there they could give me.  I think I left with around 600!  Thanks Levi and Robert!


battery charging station!



Ithaca New York Build – Week 2, Day 7

Today began week 2 with the crew from New Mexico.  Michael Reynolds had to leave Sunday for some family business, but crew member Taylor and his girlfriend Stephanie came in his place!  We also welcomed several new apprentices as well as several returners.

     Today all of the cedar planks went up on the greenhouse wall, so the next step should be the glass!  Chad and Lou, our plumber, went to Lowes together this morning to figure out what kinds of parts we’d need with our plans for placement of bathroom sinks and toilets and showers.  Meanwhile, some more trenches were dug today for the blackwater travel, as well as our back door airlock.  A lot happened on the roof today!  They first finished installing the double-layer of 4-inch insulation boards, and then screwed in 1×4 purlins with 12 inch screws reaching all the way through to the vigas!  Toward the bottom of the slanted roof we placed a few strands of pex tubing that the solar hot water tank will pump hot water through in the winter to aid in snow melt for water catchment.  After this task, we began the final layer of the roof: the metal!    At the end of the day, my sister surprised us and showed up with an anniversary cake, brownies, my favorite ice cream, and champagne!  Thanks Cait, it was a really special celebration!  Then we went out to eat with a gift card my mom insisted we use tonight, despite how much is on our minds in the middle of this build!  Of course that was followed by a trip to Lowes for screws and spray-foam insulation, and two stops to a couple restaurant/bars to check out their bottle recycling situation (we are now in need of clear wine bottles!)


My car last night filled with bags and bags of much-needed cans!



Ithaca New York Build – Day 5

Day 5 of week 1… some of the apprentices are leaving and some new ones are just arriving, and some are staying here 2-3 weeks.  Despite the afternoon rain, we got pretty far on the vaulted entryway (and Kelley placed the bottle bricks above the door!), finished nailing the boards on the vigas, dug the last greywater planter cell (to hold our indoor orange tree!), and began to put the trusses up in the greenhouse.  For those of you who helped during week 1, we are forever grateful and had such a fun time with you!  Stop by any time to see the finished product!  



Ithaca New York Build – Day 2

Day 2 with the crew and apprentices was another success.  Our town inspector came at 9am (we passed!) and the cement truck came around 10am to dump 14.5 cubic yards into our bond beam form, buttress forms, and the footer.  We also did some pack-out with the leftover cement.  After lunch (my mom served us baked ziti, caesar salad, watermelon, italian bread and butter, and brownies), a couple groups worked on finishing the tires in our wing walls, while another group chipped away and dug out the rest of our greywater planter cell.  The crew and more apprentices started bolting in the wooden forms that will hold the glass between our greenhouse and interior space.  And a very exciting part… Mike set up our doorway!

This beam will be a pillar in the house.


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