Archives for New York

Ithaca New York Build – Week 3, Day 13

This is the 3rd and final week with the Earthship Biotecture crew from New Mexico and all of the wonderful apprentices.  I’m pretty sad that it will be over in a week… the camaraderie, teamwork, fun times, and the speed of our house being worked on!  I’ll try to enjoy and take in every moment this week!


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Ithaca New York Build – Day 12

Battery box

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Ithaca New York Build – Day 11

A lot is happening inside now, as the roof and berm are finished.  A few people are finishing off the entryway (plastering) and a group of people are concentrating on the back doorway, where we’re having a patio.  Inside, there is still a lot of pipes and tubes for plumbing being placed, and the can walls are rising!

   Another big highlight of today is that the solar panels went up!    


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Ithaca New York Build – Day 10


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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!


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Ithaca New York Build – Day 8

Today we chipped away at more plumbing inside the house, more digging of wall and doorway footers, and finishing screwing the roofing and fastening the flashing to the ventilation boxes.  I was really excited when they started opening the boxes of our greenhouse slanted glass!  Brian, Nick, Osmany, Rob, Smiley and maybe more that I didn’t see carried over and installed all of our exterior glass today!  It looks more and more like a house every day!  


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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!


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Ithaca New York Build – Time-Lapse of Viga Placement

45 Vigas (structural roof beams) were lifted onto the Freeville Earthship on 8/16/12. Made of Ponderosa Pine, each viga weighs upwards of 600 lbs. With one photo every 2 seconds over the span of 2 hours, close to 2000 photos were used at 24fps. Timelapse footage shot with Canon 550d with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens and DSLR Pro Intervalometer software. Choose “HD” to watch in 1080p.

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Earthship Lands in Freeville

Building a Sustainable House The Groton Varsity Football team came out to the DeVoes’ to help build last Saturday. Front Row: Tony Goodsell, Nathan Ossit, Daymin Eldred, Darren Ostrander. Back Row: Michael Perkins, Kyle Chrismer, Tristin Cooper, Zack Ossit. Standing: Courtney and Chad DeVoe

Freeville newlyweds Chad and Courtney DeVoe developed a vision of their dream house about three years ago. A seed was planted to marry this dream with their love of the planet earth after viewing the documentary “Garbage Warrior,” the story of New Mexico architect (or biotect) Michael Reynold’s dedication to designing and advocation of earthships. Courtney recalls,”We both love and appreciate nature. After watching the documentary about earthships called ‘Garbage Warrior,’ we realized how independent and efficient earthships really are. If in the future the power in Ithaca goes out for a month, people will be begging to come stay with us. If our wells are tainted by fracking, people will want our filtered rainwater.   If stores are closed because of some disaster, we will have fresh food growing right in our 100 foot long greenhouse.”

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Ithaca New York Build – Day 6

The crew works on Saturdays with whoever would like to work with them, though the apprentices that haven’t gone home for the weekend aren’t obligated to.  So today we had about 25 people working at once on the ‘ship.  Today Justin, Smiley, Osmany, and Brian placed the cedar window struts into the the greenhouse, while Phil, Doug, Connor, Chad, Tiffany, Kai, John, Shante, and Maria worked on the roof: it got it’s full covering of tar paper, and then some of the 8 inches of insulation, and a gutter!  The ventilation boxes were carried into place, and the VERY heavy battery box is now in it’s location on the front center of the roof.  Jacob, Michael, Kelley, and Beau continued to work on the entryway.  Lou, Frances, and Don worked on the interior plumbing walls and put the solar hot water box in place.  My mom and I worked on bottle bricks for the surrounding of the beautiful circle window in the greenhouse.  We finally have a day off (Sunday), and then it’s back to work Monday with some new as well as returning apprentices!  


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