Earthships around the World

The Phoenix at 5300 sft is one of the largest and most exquisite Earthship with its own jungle, food garden, fish pond, birds, waterfall and chicken coop

Inspired by The Hut module, Earthship Brighton was the first one in UK built as a Community Centre for use by Stanmer Organics

Recognized as the best-performing Earthship, The Corner Cottage features a second greenhouse along the entire front face

The Solaria was inspired by The Hut model with two rooms connected by an angled greenhouse. Custom tile and mosaic work was done by the second owner

An Earthship is a type of passive solar house that is made of both natural and upcycled materials such as earth-packed tires, pioneered by the architect Michael Reynolds. It is made up of rammed earth and tires. The tires are stacked (staggered) like bricks. Each tire has earth pounded into them until firmly packed. Once the tires are packed, they are very difficult to move and form quite a dense wall. The walls are load bearing and provide thermal mass which is an important attribute to any energy efficient house.

An Earthship addresses six principles or human needs:

  1. Thermal/solar heating and cooling
  2. Solar and wind electricity
  3. Contained sewage treatment
  4. Building with natural and recycled materials
  5. Water harvesting, and
  6. Food production.

Earthships are intended to be “off-the-grid ready” homes, with minimal reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. They are constructed to use available natural resources, especially energy from the sun and rain water. They are designed with thermal mass construction and natural cross ventilation to regulate indoor temperature. The design is intentionally simple, for example single-storey, so that people with little building knowledge can construct one.

The buildings are often horseshoe-shaped due to the difficulty of creating sharp 90 degree angles with rammed tires. In Reynolds’s prototype at Taos, the opening of the horseshoe faces 10-15 degrees east of south to maximize natural light and solar-gain during the winter months, with windows on sun-facing walls admitting light and heat.

We will add details soon here of our plans for the Earthship Shelter.

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