If you’ve been reading up on sustainability and going green, then you might have heard of Earthship Biotecture, but do you know what it is? While is sounds like something found in the next Star Wars movie, it is actually one of the most versatile and economical building designs around right now.
These “radically sustainable” buildings are made out of recycled materials and are designed to “take care of you, while still being sustainable, affordable, strong and [meet] your local building codes.” In short: totally awesome.
Earthships are designed around six main principles:
- Thermal/Solar Heating & Cooling—Earthships maintain comfortable temperatures in any climate. Our planet 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.
- Solar & Wind Electricity—Earthships produce their own electricity with a prepackaged photovoltaic and wind power system. This energy is stored in batteries and supplied to the electrical outlets. Earthships can have multiple automated sources of power, including grid-intertie when needed.
- 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.
- Building with Natural & Recycled Materials—Earthships are comprised of indigenous, sustainable materials occurring naturally in the local area.
- Water Harvesting—Earthships catch rain and snow melt and use it four times, but can have city water as backup. Water is heated from the sun, biodiesel and/or natural gas and do not pollute underground water aquifers.
- 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!
Based in Taos, New Mexico, the Earthship Biotecture team travels around the world teaching about sustainable living and building Earthships for people for more than 40 years. Right now, the folks at Earthship are raising funds to build a sustainable community center in Malawi, Africa. Pretty cool, huh?
To learn more about Earthship Biotecture, rent one for the night, attend a seminar about sustainable living or simply sign up for their newsletter, visit their website.
—The EnergyEarth Team
© 2013 Energy Earth LLC. All Rights Reserved.