The time has come for you to collect your rubbish. Do not throw your bottles, cans and plastics. You might need them to build your house in the future.
Thirty years ago in the US, the eccentric architect and entrepreneur Micheal Reynolds was looking at his pile of collected beer cans: “What should I do with these?” he asked himself. The answer was innovative: “I’ll build a house”. It started as a small project, but soon turned into a full house build. Using materials that are affordable to most, the first ‘Eartship’ was constructed. The primary source of material was rubbish: Glass bottles, cans and rubber tires. In Today’s 'Eco-conscious’ world, the idea soon picked up and Micheal Reynolds started building for others. Contrary to what many might assume, the results were rather eye catching.
Naturally, in order to make the houses habitable, features such as electricity, insulation and running hot water were all added. These were designed in the most Eco-friendly way. Solar panels and wind turbines are most commonly used on these designs as a way of energy generation. The houses are also designed to recycle rain water.
The inside of the houses are also interesting and able to compete in a market where buyers still seek some style in their living space. The most luxury incorporate fitted kitchens, gyms and even Jacuzzis.
How much does all of this cost you may ask? In the US, the price is more or less the same as a standard house with a garden: $2300 per square meter. More importantly though, the materials for a basic house are judged to value a total of between $2000 and $5000. This means that this type of housing may be a viable option for rebuilding impoverished natural disaster hit areas like Haiti. With some basic building skills, people could even be encouraged to build their own houses.
Following the earthquake in Van last year, the Earthship Biotecture Turkish representative, Baki Caglar, has expressed the desire to build the first Turkish Earthships in Van. He is seeking sponsors for the project. This will undoubtedly be met with enthusiasm by the people of Van who are still living in tent towns following the disaster.
I just finished reading Earthship Volume One: Build Your Own by Michael Reynolds which was mostly about how to build the basic structure of the home. I ordered volume two today, can’t wait to start learning about the interior systems.