An Earthship is a house built out of natural and recycled materials — most commonly featuring earth rammed tyres and designed to operate off grid.
The Earthship architecture concept began to take shape in the 1970’s when architect Michael Reynolds wanted to create a home that would do three things. First, it would utilise sustainable architecture, and material indigenous to the local area or recycled materials wherever possible.
Second, the homes would rely on natural energy sources and be independent from the “grid”.
Third, it would be feasible for a person with no specialised construction skills to build.
Since then Earthships have spread across the world, although given the complexity of local building codes they have been relatively slow on the uptake.
What I love about Earthships are the self sustaining model. I have stated right from the beginning I dream of a day when people can have a house that collects its own water, grows its own food and produces its own electricity — and ultimately costs the user nothing.
Earthships are a step in that direction — they collect their own water, the use thermal mass insulation to regulate temperature, they manage their own sewage, and generate electricity through solar panels. One of my favourite parts of Earthships are that they have huge conservatories built into the design to provide fresh oxygen and assist in the water cleansing process, but these plants can also provide fresh food for the inhabitant.
Put simply Earthships might be the ultimate sustainable living option, and whilst I am still in the very early days with this property I am looking at, it certainly has got me dreaming and scheming.