Earthship Biotecture – Radical Approach to Sustainable Design

Earthship Biotecture - Radical Approach to Sustainable Design

Under the guidance of ‘garbage warrior’ Mike Reynolds, Earthship Biotecture is a radical, and often experimental, approach to sustainable design. Jo Leeder headed to the Earthship Biotecture seminar in Melbourne to learn more about Reynolds and his vision for self-sufficient housing.

Some assumed it had something to do with space: ”A spaceship with a garden and seeds in it, which travels to other planets to improve biodiversity,” or the science fiction-inspired guess, “a mothership in space?”

Others envisaged more earthly, yet still loftily ambitious structures: ”A self-sufficient ecological ship that floats along the sea!”, ”a floating Eden Project?”, and even the bleak vision of “a biome greenhouse thing they build in the desert and stick people in for 18 months to see if they survive?” Thankfully, no.

A couple got a little closer to the reality: ”Buildings made from old tyres and plastic bags,” and “a super-sustainable house.”

In essence, an Earthship is an autonomous, waste-free house constructed from recycled everyday materials. Recycled tyres filled with mud or earth and plastered over with cement form the core structure, with non-load bearing internal walls constructed from recycled bottles or cans. The external walls are thick to act as a thermal mass to regulate the internal temperature, while a glazed frontage takes advantage of passive solar gain and lets natural light in. Energy is generated via sun and wind power, while an on-site sewage treatment plant also feeds into the food production area – both of which are contained within the walls of the building. The Earthships’ built form, which is drawn from its internal systems and technologies, is usually long and thin, although a domed-shape Earthship has become popular in areas stricken by natural disasters. image/article from : read more >>


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