The Earthship is the epitome of sustainable design and construction. It is the most Versatile and Economical sustainable green building design in the world.
Here are some of its core Design Principles:-
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 & melted snow) 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 unfresh tasting from the supermarket.
This Earthship concept was the brainchild of Michael Reynolds, who’s written numerous books around this topic. Near Taos, new Mexico, is where his Earthship business started. Now full of communities associated with earthships. The normal earthship style incorporates greatly bermed, passive solar structure. The primary retaining walls are constructed with used tires, filled with earth and stacked upwards like stones. The interior surface in the tires is actually then spread with adobe or even cement so the tires do not normally show. Mike in addition has pioneered the application of empty aluminium cans mortared directly into lightweight, curvable partitions. Earthships generally employ numerous ecological methods, like water catchment in the roof, recycling of greywater, composting toilets, indoor garden, etc. While much of the work to build is easy to do, it is very labour intensive. Furthermore, the lumber framing required isn’t straighforward. Many of the earlier designs usually overheat, especially in the summer, due to the slanted glass to the south. There are many earthships, whilst some are unattractive and some are elegent. Engineered plans are are also offered that will meet the requirement of demanding construction inspectors, as these are already built in many areas.