There green building or bioarchitecture, known abroad as green building, refers to construction techniques that allow you to design, build and manage a building in an efficient and sustainable way from an energy point of view.
Unfortunately the green building sometimes underestimates the economic aspect and the high costs associated with new sustainable materials and new construction techniques.
Isn't the house the most expensive expense we have to face in our life? Without considering the impact of maintenance and bills, not everyone is lucky enough to afford such an important purchase. For those who are unable, the alternative is to suffocate themselves with decades-long mortgages, giving away a lot of money to banks, or to live in rent without the possibility of owning the place where you live.
The Earthship represent an alternative way to all this!
An Eearthship is a model of solar and passive house, built with recycled materials and which does not require heating or cooling systems.
It is therefore energetically independent, from the water point of view and as regards food production.
Green building: the components of the Earthship
Surely you are wondering how much this marvel can cost.
The answer is very little! And now we explain why!
The project Earthship is a further evolution in the world of sustainable green building, first of all because the construction is not entrusted to a traditional company: since there is no need for particular technical knowledge for its construction, the owner himself is able to build it. The materials needed are poor or even free, deriving from recycled products that would otherwise end up in landfills, such as bottles or tires, used to give solidity to the walls that will then be covered with natural materials such as clay and straw.
You can already understand in this way how much the economic impact is reduced and how it benefits the environment.
The Earthship have existed for nearly half a century. The result of the visionary inventiveness of Michael Reynolds who in the early 1970s was realized in the construction of the first Earthship in New Mexico (USA) using simple recycled cans as bricks. From the success of this first prototype, the Earthship Biotecture organization was born, followed by thousands of people around the world, all linked by the spirit and awareness of the importance of being independent from the global economy and respect for the environment.
A Earthship it is not just a house, it is one philosophy and choice of life!
A choice that not only marries the cardinal principles of green building, particularly attentive and sensitive to the environmental issue, but which also includes those of self-sufficiency and self-production.
With a Earthship in fact it will be you i growers of your food!
Each house is designed to accommodate a greenhouse whose constant temperature allows crops to be grown all year round.
Green building - the greenhouse of an Earthship
Growing also requires a fair amount of water, a requirement that is met through the roof of the house which allows the collection of rainwater which is then accumulated in an underground tank and from here, passing through a filter, can reach the greenhouse, such as sanitary ware and sinks.
Green Building - Sections of an Earthship
Green building: the houses of the future are born from recycled materials
The Earthship are a good example of self-sustainable green building, in fact being a passive house, the temperature always fluctuates around 22 °. This happens thanks to the very thick walls and the various layers of cover that insulate it perfectly. The greenhouse also acts as a cavity to isolate the outside from habitable environments. There is only one side that faces the outside and consists of a large window where the sun, necessary for the growth of plants, can enter and heat the environment that will retain heat thanks to the layers of insulation.
Passive conditioning systems are also provided through simple underground pipes for those who want to try their hand at this home upgrade.
From an energy point of view, solar panels and wind systems are the tools that allow you to live offgrid (using energy wisely and without wasting it).
The excess energy will be stored in the accumulators and then used in times of greatest need, that is, at night and in periods of absence of wind.
Another important aspect to consider is the emotional one. Earthships are beautiful! Building your own home naturally induces you to customize it and embellish it with details that make each model unique, as demonstrated by all the images of earthships built in the world.
Green building - the exterior of an Earthship
But the icing on the cake of this fantastic project is the price!
The basic version can cost around € 5,000, a figure that increases according to the number of rooms to be integrated and the complexity of the architecture and the quality of the survival systems, but in any case we are talking about insignificant figures compared to those we are used to building a house, whether be it green building or traditional building.
Construction times are also significantly reduced.
On average realization times are a few months. A Canadian couple during a press conference stated that it took only three months to build their Earthship independently, without previous construction skills and using only technical drawings, guides and advice easily available on the various sites and communities on the web.
This is the video realized by Michael Reynolds, L'creator of the Earthship, showing the construction phases of a basic model.
And here's a instead video which documents, with a real example, all the steps to build an Earthship, starting from the first step (the recovery of used tires) that the guys from the Valhalla community followed.
Being free from the constraints of society and the problems of a decaying economy is not just a dream. The Earthship project demonstrates that living in an eco-sustainable way is possible, and that with the will to change one's mental patterns and habits, it is much simpler than you can imagine!
To discover other sustainable projects and stories about the sharing economy you can visit: Sharingame.org
To find out more about Earthship the official website is: Earthship.com
This article was written by Daniele Pasinetti e