Earthship Biotecture...what on Earth is that?
If you haven't heard of Earthship Biotecture already, here's a quick run down...
- Building with used materials/rubbish
- Food production in your home
- Renewable energy power generation
- Water harvesting & filtering
- Solar passive design/ heating and cooling itself
- Grey and black water treatment on site
Everything you need as a human! In fact it makes us realise that by building the 'conventional' way we are pretty much camping in a puddle so to speak, like an unprepared camper!
No solar gain here...
I mean, why not face the house toward the sun and lap up that glorious sunshine!!
and why not limit the sun in very hot summers ...
Why not gather up our number one resource and protect ourselves from it at the same time...
Earthship, the name represents building with the natural phenomena of the Earth. Ship represents the house being it's own independent vessel and Biotectecture is design with biology in mind to make it work to its best potential (not just fancy art design homes like some architectural companies 😉
Sounds good right? There is quite a following and no ...it's not just from hippy communities.
Humanitarian builds have been accomplished all over the world and now, 40 years on they have a couple of tried and tested modular designs which work really well. Visually they fit right into the modern world to satisfy anyone. The Global Model! I mean look at these pictures...
In 40 years they have gone from this...(which I have stayed in)
.....to building high end homes which give you almost everything you need. ''Like a machine'' as Mike Reynolds likes to put it. It takes care of you, not the other way round. Logical and economical.
So does this sound like another article on a superior 'eco home' that claims to be the best, are you thinking.... what's the difference between this and other 'eco homes'? Well when it comes to 'eco homes' there certainly are quite a few out there. Some are more eco than others and some are more cost effective. Eco after all stands for ecological but in our minds it also stands for economical. Both go hand in hand and are equally important.
When researching find out what the house provides. Does it provide free food, free warmth, free cooling, free water, free electricity, almost free building materials and free sewage treatment? That's really what you want, and that, in 2016 is now possible.
Food prices in this country over winter...Yikes!
...and it gets worse than that. I've seen tomatoes at $17 a kilo and cucumbers at a whopping $10 each!!
Power bills in the average Kiwi home now sit at around $200-$300 per month, and that's with being careful.
When it comes to pricing the Earthship build itself the costs are very different but by the time the build has finished it works out around the same -$2,500 per sqm metre.
For instance. Labour can mostly be done by academy students or volunteers. And with such a growing community of people all over the world there is no shortage. Volunteers actually pay to train...I was one of them. Earthship Academy.
With materials - the longer you save up on them the cheaper the build. Tyres for example are totally free, so is dirt, you just have to be careful of logisitics. Picking up excess building supplies from skips and recycle centres and be inventive! There is sooo much waste on building sites you wouldn't believe the brand new materials which are biffed away. It's so much fun creating new things too!
Systems are the main cost, such as plumbing and power. Worth it though....utilities are pretty much Zero by the time you have finished. Reusing the water to automatically feed your greenhouse- ingenious, the front greenhouse then easily generates delicious spray-free food - direct to your kitchen, free delivery. I mean, you can literally sit in your living room armchair and pick a banana! It pays itself off well and truly. You can easily calculate it.
Pretty much GONE!
I'll be writing more on these but if you haven't seen here's Earthships main documentary
And here is Gus and Sarah's amazing Earthship build in the Coromandel, featured on Grand Designs NZ