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 Post subject: Earthship project
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 1:04 pm
Posts: 140
Location: Heidelberg, Melbourne Australia
We decided that the home we built on our land would need to be as self-sufficient and as sustainable as possible. After some discussion with friends we discovered the earthship. The earthship is a home that is built on passive solar principles from earth and recycled materials including car tyres. The house would have solar power and its own waste disposal system. The land also offered sufficient space to develop an organic permaculture garden sufficient that we could if careful supply a significant part of our needs.

Since neither of us have ever had any building experience we planned our house in two stages. This house was also to be only the third earthship to be built in Australia and so local expertise was not abundant. We therefore planned a main house and a “granny cottage”, with the cottage being built first so we could learn how to build and what the pit falls maybe before tackling the main house. At this stage we have almost completed the cottage and have substantially started the main house walls. The house’s power is supplied by solar power. The site has no outside water or power supplies.

The walls are built using car tyres laid out in brick fashion. The tyres are then then packed with earth using rammed earth methods. The walls are completed by plastering both sides of the walls with earth so that the tyres are completely sealled into the walls. The walls are about 700mm thick and act as a heat sink. The cottage since it has been completed has maintained a very even internal temperature regardless of weather conditions outside.

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