Since that day I have conducted about 10 workshops, teaching people the basics of tyre wall building. Everyone learns real fast because it is so simple. Hard work though and many hands make light work - thanks everyone for your help!
Recently we installed some rain water tanks ('cisterns' in Earthship speak) in the berm during the backfilling of the wall. I am doing a bit of an experiment to see if regular poly tanks will stand up to the pressures of the berm as specialised tanks – designed for burial – are expensive, small, and hard to come by. Prior to backfilling we also installed a french drain (100mm ag pipe and gravel drain) and damp proof membrane (0.3mm Fortecon – heavy duty stuff) due to the high rainfall in this area and the sloped site that we are on.
This Easter we will start making bottle bricks and get the mud 'pack out' done on the wall: the tyres will start to disappear. Will also start on the greenhouse tyre wall. 24 people coming to help out and learn. I’m stoked!
Originally I thought that we would never get approval for our Earthship (but that didn’t stop me) due to council laws that prohibit multiple “dwellings” on the one title of land (we have 4 acres). But I have since found out that our small Earthship will not be classified as a “dwelling” and so I am now drawing up plans in consultation with Mike, to submit to council.
I have also drawn up plans for friends in Cherryville SA and we have submitted them to council... Adelaide Hills council wanted more info about the tyre wall, so we now have a letter from a local structural engineer that endorses the tyre wall construction methods and dispels any concerns regarding issues such as bushfire risk, water leachate, off-gassing, and the lack of concrete footings for the tyre wall. It is great to have found an enlightened engineer who is willing to get behind Earthships! This is very encouraging for Earthships in Australia. And of course Daryl Taylor’s Earthship project in Kinglake VIC almost has its building approval. Once this happens the flood gates will open and Earthships will be landing all over Oz.
The Earthship.com website is evolving rapidly with the capability network like minded people to share information and experiences. I hope you take the time to find out how the Earthship “Global Network” operates and make use of it!
I will be posting some photos, videos, etc soon... stay tuned!