Earth sheltering Earth sheltering is the architectural practice of using earth against building walls for external thermal mass, to reduce heat loss, and to easily maintain a steady indoor air temperature. Earth sheltering has become relatively more popular in modern times, especially among environmentalists and advocates of passive solar and sustainable architecture. However, the practice has been around for nearly as long as humans have been constructing their own shelters.
Earthships Could Help Provide Housing for Haiti Early in July, Reynolds, two builders and a cameraman journeyed to Haiti to do research and see what could be done. They ended up building a whole house with the help of 40 locals, ranging in age from four to 50, in just under four days. Locals gathered tires and plastic water bottles, while Reynolds and his team directed the construction efforts. The earthship is 120 sq ft and made from 120 tires packed with dirt and topped with a dome roof (an easily replicable design). Reynolds said of the locals who helped, “They had nothing to do. They were all eager to learn, and it turns out all the skills we could do, they could do.”
Earthship Brighton: 1st Earthship In Britain Earthship Brighton was the Low Carbon Trust's first project and was the first Earthship to be built in England. The project was built as a community centre for use by Stanmer Organics, built on a Soil Association accredited site in Brighton. This pioneering demonstration project has evolved over the last ten years, providing jobs for local workers and enabling people to come and experience a cutting edge eco-build and be inspired to respond to climate change in their own ways back at home and work. There were several drivers: delivering a sustainable community centre in response to a genuine local need, changing values in the construction industry and inspiring positive action in individuals to generate environmental change through modifying people's behaviour to less carbon intensive lifestyles. Throughout the project the focus has been spreading a positive message of climate change education and helping people to modify their behaviour to live with a lighter carbon footprint.
Earthships - Trombe wall Passive solar design using an unvented Trombe wall and summer shading A Trombe wall is a passive solar building technique where a wall is built on the winter sun side of a building with a glass external layer and a high heat capacity internal layer separated by a layer of air. Heat in close to UV spectrum passes through the glass almost unhindered then is absorbed by the wall that then re-radiates in the far infrared spectrum which does not pass back through the glass easily, hence heating the inside of the building. Earthship South and East view of an Earthship passive solar home Earthship typical floorplan Earthships are primarily designed to work as autonomous buildings using thermal mass construction and natural cross ventilation assisted by thermal draught (Stack effect) to regulate indoor temperature. Earthships are generally off-the-grid homes, minimizing their reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. Earthships are built to utilize the available local resources, especially energy from the sun.
Earth Sheltered Earth Sheltered Homes "Another type of building is emerging: one that actually heals the scars of its own construction. It conserves rainwater and fuel and it provides a habitat for creatures other than the human one. Maybe it will catch on, maybe it won't. We'll see." - Malcolm Wells, 2002. The earth sheltered house uses the ground as insulating blanket which effectively protects it from temperature extremes, wind, rain and extreme weather events. How to Build Earth Sheltered Homes Earth Sheltered Homes When traveling the countryside, you may see odd looking homes that appear to be built nearly underground. You may also see the owner out there mowing the roof in the summer. Although this seems a bit odd, in reality earth sheltered homes are very energy efficient and earth friendly.
How To Build An Earthship An Earth Ship can be as simple as a one room with a loft or as complex as a multi-family apartment complex. One of the most famous Earth Ship homes was built by the actor Dennis Weaver and cost millions of dollars to complete. A small one can be constructed for a few thousand dollars, basically just the cost of the cement mix and if you are in a climate that is compatible with adobe type construction, and will do the labor for yourself, even less. So, how is an Earth Ship constructed?
Earthships - Rammed earth A typical Hmong house-building technique in the tropical climate of Vietnam Overview of use Model showing construction of rammed-earth wall on foundation Eco Homes from the Earth: 7 Ways to DIY Wouldn’t it be nice to own your own green dream home, made with recycled and natural materials and packed with custom features? Whether you’re an experienced builder or have never picked up a power tool in your life, you can build a natural eco-friendly home with user-friendly, low-cost materials like cob, cordwood, straw and the dirt and wood from your own land. These 7 natural building techniques produce beautiful homes with a small ecological footprint and tons of personality. Earthships and Hobbit Houses (images via dominicspics, ECOnscious, Earthship Biotecture)
Green Home Designs: 3 Earth-Sheltered Styles Earth-sheltered homes are green home designs that are growing in popularity not only for their uniqueness but for their superior design and ability to conserve energy. Incorporating both a domed roof and the natural insulating ability of the earth, homes covered in part by the earth require less energy for heat and air conditioning. This is because they are kept warmer and cooler, respectively by the earth that partially covers them. Their domed frame is structurally sound, and not only can it support nine feet or more of earth on top of them, but a garage or other area is possible above them as well.
How To Build An Earthship: Step-By-Step Slideshow (Video) Image credit: EarthshipkirstAppalachian Gothic architecture made from recycled pallet wood is by no means the only DIY housing option using reclaimed materials. In fact, TreeHugger has featured countless posts on "earthships"—self-sufficient passive solar homes built from old tires, cans, mud and concrete. From Justin's introduction to the earthship concept, via Kristin's post on the first earthship in Nicaragua, to Lloyd's coverage of earthships landing in Britain, these low-impact dwellings have spread far and wide from their birth-place in New Mexico. But how do you actually build one?Via the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia, I've just come across this great slideshow showing a step-by-step progression through the building of an earthship in Normandy, France. (It looks like it might be the same building that I wrote about when I posted on the Earthship Normandy project.)
Earthships - Design Build Bluff DesignBuildBLUFF is a non-profit organization based in Park City, Utah that designs and builds sustainable housing, and is noted for its award-winning and innovative home designs. It is named after Bluff, Utah where their campus facility is located and because of Bluff's close proximity to the Navajo Nation. Each year, graduate-level architecture students from the University of Utah College of Architecture and Planning, and more recently, The University of Colorado Denver, design and build a home for a member of the Navajo Nation, at no charge to the home recipient. The homes are built with sustainable architecture techniques and feature locally produced construction materials. The program is currently expanding to other universities in The Four Corners region.
Article about the history of earthbag building A Short History of Earthbag Building by Kelly Hart The idea of making walls by stacking bags of sand or earth has been around for at least a century. Originally sand bags were used for flood control and military bunkers because they are easy to transport to where they need to be used, fast to assemble, inexpensive, and effective at their task of warding off both water and bullets. At first natural materials such as burlap were used to manufacture the bags; more recently woven polypropylene has become the preferred material because of its superior strength. The burlap will actually last a bit longer if subjected to sunlight, but it will eventually rot if left damp, whereas polypropylene is unaffected by moisture.