Earthships - Self-Heating, Self-Cooling Shelters

An Earthship, in many ways can make the ultimate green home. Earthships are are a very robust bulidng style that have been designed to be completely self sufficient.

Although a labour intensive technology, we like that they are self-heating and self-cooling, while also resilient enough to survive earthquakes, hurricanes and floods.

For Survivalists it is reassuring that an Earthship will still be standing when other structures have not survived a catastrophic event. For the rest of us we are just pleased that an Earthship is so effecient that it can essentially do it all!

That is what makes an Earthship a "super shelter"!

Earthship can provide "food security". Interior greenhouses for food production and cold-rooms for food storage are incorporated into these structures.

We have modified the original earthship concept so now our Earthships are designed to meet most if not all the physical needs of a family, providing rain water harvesting, solar hot-water, green electricity from solar and wind, food production in the greenhouse, and storage in cold-rooms.

Because they largely meet all these needs, the operating cost for these kinds of structures are minimal. Which for many is one of the largest reasons to build and Earthship.

In terms of sustainable construciton they are truly an exceptional solution. We have used Earthships in many of our village designs for six very good reasons.

Here are the prinipals behind Earthship shelter design and construction:

1) Thermal/Solar Heating & Cooling Earthships maintain comfortable temperatures in any climate. The planet Earth is a thermally stabilizing mass that delivers temperature without wire or pipes. The sun is a nuclear power plant that also delivers without wires or pipes.

2) Solar & Wind Electricity Earthships produce their own electricity with a prepackaged photovoltaic / wind power system. This energy is stored in batteries and supplied to your electrical outlets. Earthships can have multiple sources of power, all automated, including grid-intertie.

3) Contained Sewage Treatment Earthships contain use and reuse all household sewage in indoor and outdoor treatment cells resulting in food production and landscaping with no pollution of aquifers. Toilets flush with greywater that does not smell.

4) Building with Natural & Recycled Materials House as Assemblage of by-products: A sustainable home must make use of indigenous materials, those occurring naturally in the local area.

5) Water Harvesting Earthships catch water from the sky (rain & snow melt) and use it four times. Water is heated from the sun, biodiesel and/or natural gas. Earthships can have city water as backup. Earthships do not pollute underground water aquifers.

6) Food Production Earthship wetlands, the planters that hold hundreds of gallons of water from sinks and the shower are a great place for raising some of the fresh produce you’d like to have in the winter, but find expensive or bland tasting from the supermarket.

Many Earthworks Eco Villages have excellent sites for Earthships so they should be definetly considered as one building option..

Earthworks ensures each site will be a community of mindfully designed and environmentally integrated accommodations for both members and volunteers.

Take a look at some of the Intentional Communities we have designed.

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