Live Green - Earthship Biotecture-Earth Friendly, Sustainable and Beautiful Homes
Just outside of Taos, New Mexico, new homes seem to spring from the very earth itself. They blend in with the scenery and do not detract from the view. They are Earthships, made of trash and free local materials.
The folks at Earthship Biotecture create sustainable building and building systems for single family residences or commercial use. Earthship Biotecture uses the by-products of our civilization to create comfortable and attractive homes and buildings. They offer seminars, lectures, tours and rentals so that interested parties can experience day to day life in an Earthship.
The sustainable life endorsed by Earthship Biotecture includes sustainable components to build, heat, cool and provide water and electricity in an economical manner while reducing waste and wear and tear on our planet.
Earthship Biotecture proves that being Green and living frugally is absolutely beautiful. Who would think that trash could be turned into such lovely homes?
Heating and Cooling
Thermal heating and cooling results in comfortable buildings that use little or no fossil fuels . Of course, different climates call for different designs. The examples features here are being built outside of Taos, New Mexico and are adapted to the unique climate there.
Thermal temperature systems use the temperature stored under the earth's surface. A steady 58 degrees below surface temperature can be pumped into the home to cool it in the hot season.
Solar heat collected by solar panels and stored in the the mass of the building is used to heat the house during warmer months. Wind power can be used as well.
Insulation is the key to comfortable and economical temperature control. The dense mass of building materials means there are no pockets or air spaces to interfere with good insulation.
Filling Tires for Outer Walls
The building materials used to create the dense mass good for insulation are stone, compacted soil, concrete and used tires.
The outer wall are built with stacked tires filled with compacted soil then covered with a coat of adobe made of equal parts of dirt and sand mixed with water and straw. A second coat used twice as much sand to prevent cracking.
Inner, non-load bearing walls are constructed of stacked, empty aluminum cans covered by adobe or cement. Glass bottles cut in half and taped together allow light to pass through the walls and crate a visually pleasing design. the wall look jewel bedecked!
The Outer Walls Are Made of Tires
Without city or well water as backup, Earthships use rain and snowmelt to supply water to the home.
Water is carried from the roof's surface, made of potable materials, to cisterns. the cisterns are buried and protected from the heat of the sun to avoid evaporation.
Water can be heated by solar panels, biodiesel, or natural gas. A heat-on-demand system can provide hot water when you want it instead of the constant heating required by old fashioned water heaters.
Water is used and cleaned by interior botanical cells for multiple uses. Planters provide a filtering system. Sink and shower water can then be used to flush toilets.
The septic tank is heated to speed up the anaerobic process that breaks down toxic materials.
Earthship Wetlands use the concept of wetland filtration to clean water from sinks and showers. the planter used to filter the water can be used to grow vegetables! Siting the planters is important to ensure adequate light for optimum growing conditions.
Earthships thwart possible threats to normal living. War, computer glitches, energy shortages, economic crisis, and power-grid interruptions can interfere with your ability to acquire adequate fuel, electricity and water for your home.
As you can see from the photographs, Earthship Biotecture is a practical and economical answer to the problem of sustainable living. This new, sensible technology produces comfortable, attractive buildings that do not depend on fossil fuels or hastily built structures thrown up by developers only in it for quick profit.
Earthship Under Construction
Earthship - Taos New Mexico
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