Using Nature and Recyclables
The Earthship is a specialized form of structure pioneered by American architect Michael Reynolds. It is a type of house that is built with rammed earth, recycled glass, bottles, and tires. It also uses passive solar heating and solar power to minimize energy consumption, making it a greener and more sustainable living environment. Typically, these houses can be built without the need for specialized training, high tech tools, or heavy equipment. It is a type of home that is both budget and eco-friendly.
The Earthship made its debut in Taos, New Mexico, but since then, there are numerous other Earthships sprouting in different areas that can be rented out to any curious visitor. One such example, is this Earthship called Terrasol.
Located in the Terra Perma community in Harrington, Terrasol was built with the help of Earthship Biotecture Academy students, a New Mexico based institution founded by Reynolds. Over 400 glass bottles and 200 tires were reused in the construction of Terrasol. A glazed portion of the mini-earthship ensures a more comfortable and stable indoor temperature, as the glaze absorbs more heat from the sun building up throughout the day. To prevent overheating, a pipe is installed to funnel heated air from the inside to the berm on the rear end of the Earthship, which cools the air as it returns to the space.
A standard among Earthships, the Terrasol has its glass walls faced south, maximizing solar gain and heat from the thermal mass of the surrounding earth to store and slowly release heat as the day passes. This particular design is one of the basic principles of the Earthship. It adapts and utilizes what natural resources are abundantly available. With the addition of recycled materials, it creates a home that is structurally sound, and much more affordable than a regular house. Take a look through these photos and don’t forget to check the video on the last page. Tell us what you think on our Facebook Page!
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