“UniSA invited Reynolds to speak at the University and while here he came up to my house with 25 architecture students from the School and we pounded about 60 tyres in three hours, creating an Earthship wall about a metre high.
“It was amazing to see how quickly the Earthship could progress with so many hands on deck. Since then I’ve been inviting people up to continue its construction. It’s about five metres by five metres, and will be an artist’s studio or a teenage hang- out for my boys when they grow up. The wall is nearly complete now and we’ll start the roof and greenhouse next.”
Freney says that one aim of the Master in Sustainable Design program is to create awareness of material selection and its impacts on the environment. He says this will help to produce designers who create intelligent, thoughtful designs that are sensitive to the needs of the planet as well as a building’s inhabitants, and that creatively using recycled materials is one potential solution.
He is currently researching the environmental impacts of the Earthship’s tyre walls compared to other wall types such as straw bale, rammed earth and more traditional wall types. This research will quantify carbon emissions for the different walls, their thermal performance and the toxic substances that may be produced throughout their life cycle.