An earthship is a type of passive solar house made of natural and recycled materials. Designed and marketed by Earthship Biotecture of Taos, New Mexico, the homes are primarily constructed to work as autonomous buildings and are generally made of earth-filled tires, using thermal mass construction to naturally regulate indoor temperature. They also usually have their own special natural ventilation system. They minimize their reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. Earthships are built to utilize the available local resources, especially energy from the sun. For example, windows on sun-facing walls admit lighting and heating, and the buildings are often horseshoe-shaped to maximize natural light and solar-gain during winter months. The thick, dense inner walls provide thermal mass that naturally regulates the interior temperature during both cold and hot outside temperatures.
The Earthship as it exists today, began to take shape in the 1970s. Mike Reynolds, founder of Earthship Biotecture, a company that specializes in designing and building Earthships, wanted to create a home
- That would do three things; first, it would be sustainable architecture, using material indigenous to the entire planet as well as recycled materials wherever possible.
- Second, the homes would rely on natural energy sources and be independent from the “grid”, therefore being less susceptible to natural disasters and free from the electrical and water lines that Reynolds considered unsightly and wasteful.
- It would be economically feasible for the average person with no specialized construction skills to be able to create.Eventually, Reynolds’ vision took the form of the common U-shaped earth-filled tire homes seen today.
Links,Sources and Inspirations:
- Earthships (day 37 of 100) (laurenzapata.wordpress.com)
- Saving the World, One Earthship at a Time. ~ Nika Durham (elephantjournal.com)
- Escape to Earthship: building a home for the End of Days (theverge.com)
- Earthships Invade Canada (earthtechling.com)
- Earthships Could Transform Philadelphia (sierraclub.typepad.com)
- What are Earthships? What are their benefits? How are they built? (spreadmyvision.wordpress.com)
- Living off the grid. (unlock-your-mind.com)
- What are Earthships? What are their benefits? How are they built? (rejuvenatinggreen.wordpress.com)
- Florida’s first Earthship under construction in Manatee County (mnn.com)