Greening your home: Build yourself an Earthship

earthship eco home

The concept of ‘earthship architecture’ took shape in the 1970s soon after the birth of the modern environmental movement.

Michael Reynolds pioneered earthship houses by applying first principles to the architecture of domestic dwellings. Homes needed to do three things: first, they needed to use sustainable architecture, and building materials indigenous to the local area or recycled materials wherever possible; second, the homes would be self-sufficient by relying on natural energy sources ; thirdly, they could be constructed by someone with no formal building experience. These principle evolved into the U-shaped earth-filled car tyre homes seen today.

A typical earthship home uses over 1,000 upcycled car tyres filled with compacted soil and covered in earth rendering. Windows are created by embedding upcycled glass bottles into the walls.

Build your own earthship

The Brighton Permaculture Trust runs a host of eco building courses including one on the construction of earthships.

We will go through how a building can use the sun instead of central heating and how to build in natural, passive ventilation. We’ll look at how it is possible to live off-grid. This includes how you can harvest and recycle water and an outline of the relative merits of micro-renewable technologies like solar, biomass, wind and hydro. We will look at what you need to think about when sourcing environmentally-friendly materials and how to avoid the most damaging materials.

Mischa Hewitt will discuss the practicalities of turning the dream into a reality: getting planning permission, building control and finances. You’ll get hands-on practical experience in ramming car tyres that make up the walls of an Earthship, earth rendering, and making a glass bottle brick wall. Lastly, you’ll see how all these elements come together in case studies of Earthship France (built by Kevan and Gillian Trott) and Earthship Brighton.

This course will build on the good work of Mike Reynolds and focus on adapting Earthships to the British climate.

ETA home insurance

Greening your home: Ethical Home Insurance

The Good Shopping Guide has named The ETA as Britain’s most ethical choice for the third year running.

Unlike many home insurance providers, our quote process is quick and simple. Just tell us the basics about you and your home, and we will provide a clear, no-obligation quote in under two minutes. Get a quote now

We also won’t ask for your contact details, which means we won’t bombard you with a telephone calls, emails or letters just because you’ve asked for a quote.

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