One very important aspect of the Earthship Concept is to be available to the masses. That is to say, it cannot be a multi-million dollar vessel that only the rich can afford. Everyone is entitled to voyage into the future. The concept, design, and actual method of manifestation of an Earthship must be developed with this in mind. In addition to interfacing with natural phenomena, this concept must interface with the nature of the common person.
What is an Earthship?
The Earthship Defined: The Earthship is a completely independent globally oriented dwelling unit made from materials that are indigenous to the entire planet. The major structural building component of the Earthship is recycled automobile tires filled with compacted earth to form a rammed earth brick encased in steel belted rubber. This brick and the resulting bearing walls it forms is virtually indestructible.
Perhaps the following can help you understand the Earthship concept more and how to proceed with it...
The concept of thermal mass housing works both to cool and to heat. Natural dehumidification is also possible. The buildings can be adapted to whatever extreme necessary for more performance in cooling, heating and/or dehumidification. We have a new book called COMFORT IN ANY CLIMATE that fully explains this. More about this book at... www.earthship.com - Look in the market or under books.
Thermal mass structure can be achieved with many materials - earth rammed tires being the most economical and having the best structural integrity. However, concrete, stone and adobe work well also, as long as the building is "tuned" to your climate. These conventional methods are simply more expensive to achieve the same thing. All other aspects of the Earthship concept, the catch water and waste water treatment systems and the solar/wind power systems, are tuned to your climate and your local codes as well. We have the support of New Mexico officials on these systems. We often “dovetail” into existing “on grid” systems for backup.
We have many generic points of departure to try and take advantage of what we already have worked out, but usually some customizing is necessary. Any custom amenities are possible and can be integrated into the function of the home. It is simply a matter of "off the rack" designs being cheaper and often performing better than custom.
While Earthships exist in almost every state and in many countries around the world in virtually every climate habitable; we do not give out contact information or locations of earthships. These are private homes. They usually are not in to receiving visitors and questions after the initial wave in the beginning. It has become an invasion of their privacy.