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Ecological Impact of Earthships

Life Cycle Assessment of Earthship Architecture

PhD research by Martin Freney, PhD Candidate, University of Adelaide
School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design


The aim of my research is to quantify the ecological impacts of Earthships in comparison to other housing types. Of particular interest is the wall construction methods as this is major component of the house and there are many theories (and myths) about which wall construction methods perform best in terms of energy efficiency and embodied energy. Furthermore there, is very little information available regarding the thermal properties of the Earthship’s rammed earth tyre wall.

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Heat your house with car tyres and earth

Earthship_in_the_snowEnergy hungry America teaches the world how to build ecological houses.

A dirt cheap and 100 percent ecological house that has all the comforts of an ordinary home, without being connected to the electricity grid, waterworks, sewer system or the natural gas network. It does exist, but in most countries, building one is not allowed.

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Creating beauty and shelter from trash

Innovative architects and companies are turning discarded items such as bottles, tires and jeans into earth-friendly building materials. And the results are anything but ugly.

By Leah L. Culler of MSN Real Estate

Can you build a house from beer cans? That’s the question that inspired Michael Reynolds to start constructing homes from trash in 1969.

More than 40 years later, his “Earthship” home design is used all over the world — and it’s just one example of how designers are reusing materials to build homes. An Earthship is a self-sustaining home that requires little heating or cooling and generates its own electricity and water. Earthships use readily available waste materials, including used tires and glass bottles. But it all started with beer cans — and a couple of journalists. (Bing: What do “Earthship” homes look like?)

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A peek into Earthship Biotecture

by Jonah Reynolds |

Do you adapt a design to suit the location or suburb or is it purely for new open parcels of stand alone land?

We have been doing this for over 40 years and have experienced most every situation when the goal is providing shelter that is absolutely sustainable. We have learned a lot from the world, from nature and from humanity and its methods of business. Therefore we have created standard designs over the decades and now offer the Global Model Earthship. This model is a standard design, all figured out and is the result of over 40 years of research and development. This model will work in any climate on the planet. That is something we must offer, as a business and as part of our research.

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Hace más de treinta años, Mike Reynolds, un joven arquitecto recién licenciado vio en televisión un reportaje sobre las ingentes cantidades de basura que se generaban en las ciudades norteamericanas. Le impactaron, sobre todo, las imágenes de latas de bebidas tiradas en los parques. Eran los tiempos en los que el verbo “reciclar” no existía más que en el vocabulario de los pioneros activistas del ecologismo pero Reynolds se quedó con la copla y empezó a darle vueltas a la idea de utilizar esos materiales de deshecho para construir casas.

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