The Earthship combines 6 sustainable design principles.
Below you will find each principle as well as how we utilize each in our Earthship. There are many different Earthship designs, and each one is specific to its own location and needs. The expression of each principle in our project is only an example of how to integrate each one. For more information, visit the Earthship Biotecture website.
1. Thermal / Solar Heating and Cooling
Underneath our fine cob walls are recycled car tires rammed with earth. This feature absorbs solar heat energy during the day-time and releases it as thermal heat energy at night. The house is designed with ventilation chambers at the end of each room and at the top of the greenhouse, creating a cooling stream of air when desired. With this system, we have no need for conventional heating or cooling methods.
3. Contained Sewage Treatment
2. Solar and Wind Energy
The Northern face of the house is equipped with solar panels to charge our batteries. This keeps the house water pump system powered, while also bringing the sun's energy to wall sockets. Some Earthships also integrate wind power.
4. Building with Natural and Recycled Materials
The Earthship contains and re-uses greywater to grow food and flush toilets. It is then held in contained outdoor reservoirs where it breaks down without polluting the water table.
5. Water Harvesting
The roof catches and stores rainwater, which is then passed through filters and used four times to reduce overall water use. A solar heater on the roof satisfies most of our hot water needs, while we have a backup gas heating tank when necessary.
Old car tires, plastic and glass bottles, cans, and mud are all built into the desgin of the house.
6. Food Production
Our integrated greywater system delivers water to plant roots in the front greenhouse area, allowing us to grow food all year long. The outdoor blackwater system waters our fruit trees.