Extreme Green Living - Earthships!
Earthships of Taos
I have always been intrigued by the way that people live. Different cultures, customs, lifestyles and homes. I was traveling recently and on the flight home I learned about an architect who had been building homes called "Earthships". These homes are designed by Earthship Biotecture in Taos, New Mexico. They range from crude to magnificent. Size and design vary according to taste.
Earthships are completely self sufficient and totally green. Solar panels, wind or a combination of both provide energy. Proper venting aids in heating and cooling. A rainwater cistern collects and recycles the water with a system of filtration that utilizes all of the water. The toilet is a compost system and after the water is filtered it may be used to water the indoor garden or outdoor planters.
The entire home is constructed of tires, rock, dirt, glass bottles and shell. Just about everything is recycled material.
Earthships are available for rental for those who think they may enjoy this lifestyle. Problems reported were the compost toilet which had an unpleasant, lingering odor and the shower water was said to have a strange odor as well. Huge bugs and no cell phone signal were a complaint for some. Most people said they loved staying there and were completely comfortable and would be happy to adopt this as their lifestyle.
Homes made of bales of straw are sprouting up all over the place. The idea of using environmentally friendly building material is wide spread as the earths resources are devoured by over population and waste. Straw is not only a cheap building material but it serves as a great insulator and is energy efficient in the right climates.
Different types of plaster may be used to finish the design. Some roof tops are made with corrugated metal and rainwater is collected for use. These homes can be very simple to extremely elegant. Don't let the big bad wolf scare you away - these homes can be built to withstand strong wind.
Heat, humidity, cold and moisture can be a problem in these homes. One person suggested buying the material as you use it - that way there is less waste of materials that can go bad or are not needed.
Shipping Container Cottage
Container City 1
Shipping Container Homes
Shipping containers have become a very popular building resource. Normally, shipping containers are destroyed so reuse of them is good for the environment. Many of these homes are designed to be energy efficient and extreme green living spaces. These containers can be purchased in kits that include the basic building materials for electrical and plumbing fixtures. Kitchen sinks, counter tops, built in shelves, walls and doors can be purchased along with labor and construction.
Some homes are constructed partially underground and have garden roof tops and some shipping containers have been made into elaborate tree houses. In more than one place - an entire city was constructed using these steel containers. The sky is the limit as far as where and how these heavy duty boxes can be used.
Some things to take into consideration before building your own home are land and building permits. There may be restrictions or building codes that need to be accounted for prior to construction.
As the economy falters - cheaper and more resourceful means of living are in demand. Natural resources can provide much cheaper, possibly free, energy. Many of these homes can be built for a fraction of the cost of the standard two story with a white picket fence. Your dream home may not have included a bale of straw or bottle of Bud Light but it is amazing how trash can be made into a gorgeous home with greener pastures.
"The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes." ~Harold B. Lee
For more information......
- Earthship Biotecture Green Buildings
radically sustainable green buildings made of recycled materials. powered by the sun and the wind. catching water, treating sewage, heating and cooling through thermal dynamics and growing food.
- Prefab Home Building System | Recycled Cargo Shipping Containers | Heavy-Gauge Steel Truss Framing S
SG Blocks redesigns and converts heavy-gauge steel cargo shipping containers into Safe Green Building Blocks (SG Blocks) for commercial, industrial, and residential building construction.
StrawBale.com is a world leader in straw bale construction. We provide cutting edge information on straw bale, straw bale house building and straw bale home construction. We have the resources to help you with your straw bale projects.
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