What are Earthship Homes?

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Earthship HouseEarthships are a type of sustainable and environmentally friendly home that is increasing in popularity, especially among those that wish to live a self-sufficient lifestyle.

These cool little homes are constructed using natural and recycled materials like rammed earth, recycled cans and old tires, making them a cheaper and more sustainable style of building.

Earthships are also built to generate their own power, harvest water, treat and contain sewage and are heated and cooled without using any kind of fuel.

They’re basically, mini self-contained eco-communities.

These funky little homes, can provide you with everything you need to live a self-sufficient lifestyle. From shower water that feeds an indoor garden system to a building style that guarantees your home will always be a comfortable 70 degrees, without ever having to turn on a furnace or air conditioning unit, Earthships are changing the way people construct their homes.

From growing your own food to harvesting rain water, these weird looking homes are changing the way people live.

Additional Earthship Information & Resources

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17 Responses to " What are Earthship Homes? " Please share your thoughts...

  1. Todd says:

    I think a picture you posted is not showing there is a big white box under this text of the post…

    -Todd

    • Morning Glory says:

      What about colder climates like Canada…And in places like Washington state where it doesn’t have much sunshine in winter or summer. How will those people get power? It says you have water for showers but doesn’t say that it is heated water..I can’t imagine taking a cold shower for the rest of my life.

      • Dubs says:

        I did some research on earthships and they have built them in virtually every climate in the world (with slight modifications for each). They have to have improved cooling in temperate and especially tropical climates, and improved solar gain in colder climates. Due to the way they are constructed, even in areas with fewer sunny days, they can store the heat in the “solar mass” to be used on days when there is no sun. The south facing solar wall of glass needs to be shaded more in the tropical climates. They can be designed for any climate with only minor modifications keeping costs the low. No cold showers, or cold anything!

  2. rory ryan says:

    i like this idea and would like to learn more.

    thank you.

    rory

  3. Bruce C says:

    No mention of Insulated Concrete Form homes? Besides R-50 insulation value and a 4+ hour fire rating, 6″ (or more) of reinforced concrete provides significant ballistic protection. I built one a couple years back, about 15% more per sq ft, but worth every penny. Other bennies are its air tightness and sound proofing. I’ll never live in a stick/brick house again. ICF is the fourth little piggie’s house.

  4. muddome says:

    I was originally going to build an earthship. I even started littering my property with tires. Some good concepts, but too many drawbacks for what I need. After much more research, I decided to go with an earthbag structure. Rocket stoves, humanure, solar/wind power and permiculture are all part of the plan for my property.

    • PDXer says:

      We are going to build an Earthbag root cellar as our starter project. Everything you mentioned we have out at the property already. Just wish I had a stream for hydro.

    • Dubs says:

      We had to go with earthbags for our plan due to the county our property is in does not allow dwellings for humans to be built from old tires. Due completely to misinformation, but it is what it is… There are many places however that are “earthship friendly” and I still support this building method due to the removal of hundreds of waste tires from our landfills. In retrospect however, the earthbags were a much easier and nearly as efficient solution. No endless tire pounding! And 12″ of dirt in a fiberglass bag is as bulletproof as you could ask for! We actually tested it with a .45, 30-06 and 5.56 mm. No penetration whatsoever!

  5. lone wolf says:

    there should be more knowledge available and more government incentives for these. great for so any reasons.

  6. bubb a says:

    @lonewolf,
    the last thing you would ever want is to have the gov’t involved in any of your affairs. the less of them, the better for you.

  7. birddoghunter says:

    You’re absolutly right bubba, Im currently active military deployed in Afghanistan, and let me tell you the less the government knows about you and your business, not to mention taxes on every f’n thing, the better off you are surviving the real American dream! There’s not many real Americans out there any more. Everyones plugged into the system and needs the government for survival, including me; but not when I do my 20 and retire. Cut all tie’s from the uncle sam and live off this beautiful country of ours!

    • Anon says:

      Warning! I’ve been out to Taos and seen the Earthship Community, and they’re LIBERALS! They read books and stuff, and THINK all the time. Why, they’ll have you believin that we need to love one another, and take care of the planet. Sh-t, man, how can we stay a buncha paranoid gun nuts among that kinda folks? It’s hard to draw a bead on your neighbor when they’re sharin their food with you.

      • Richard says:

        No problem. A Liberal’s idea of sharing is to take your food by force.

        • Nate_542@hotmail.com says:

          Hahahaha most. Ignorant. Comment. Ever. Aside for the comment above yours of course.

  8. DENOTCHKA says:

    WOW NOW THAT’S REAL RECYCLING AND IT’S NOT SOME CREEPY WEIRD STUFF. As long as it doesn’t have some kind of weird religious belief system I’m into it. I’m Christian and prefer to be. This doesn’t even give them any money if you use stuff out of the dump and so on. I think my husband would think i’m nuts howeverI like technoolgy, but I would like to have a polace where I didn’t have an energy bill at all. I’m tired of funding this weirdstuff where everybody get hurt. I’m a globalist, but I’m into globalization only and mainly using it to spread the Word of God. I’m conisdering doing something I never thought of too. I’m about to upadate my ocmpsutre storage from 3.5 disks and cd’s to sticks and chips (YES I’M OLD SCHOOL AND I’M WAY BEHIND!!!!!) NUTS!

  9. Kat says:

    It sounds like a nice idea, but unless you live somewhere that building permits aren’t required (not many), you will need a building permit.

    There is nothing in the building code that would allow you to build this without hiring an engineer to design it. It would also need to meet energy & ventilation codes.

    If you build without a permit when one is required and you get caught, you may be facing double permit fees, you’ll still have to get it engineered, and probably inspected by the engineer. Then you may have to incorporate any engineered fixes that are needed. Worst case, you may have to tear the entire thing down, or the building department can do that for you (for a fee of course).

    Believe me, it is much easier & better to do it right the first time.

    I know that there are some anti-government people here, but the building codes were developed to safeguard life & property… and they do… your life, your families life, the lives of visitors, and your property.

    I’m a retired building code professional, and have had to deal with many people who built structures without permits and got caught. I had the displeasure of telling them the bad news. Sometimes things couldn’t be fixed and had to be torn down.

    Also, building departments are pretty “slow” nowadays, and they need sources of revenue. Do you know that the compliance folks where I worked had the most amazing satellite imagery program. It put Google Earth to shame. You could practically see into the windows of peoples homes. Yea, they have time on their hands to look for illegal structures now. LOL

  10. rorak says:

    Some building codes are for safety but not many, most are about $, for that engineer, for architects, for lumber mills, inspectors, and you cant forget the lumber stores. You cant even make your own lumber! It would have to be inspected by an licensed engineer and certified to be up to code.

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