Earthship architecture

SUBHEAD: Earthships are a form of adobe architecture invented in the 1970s by architect Michael Reynolds.  

By Raul Ilagi Meijer on 18 February 2012 for the Automatic Earth - 

Image above: An earthship designed and built by Michael Reynolds in Taos, New Mexico. From (

Had lunch yesterday (Saturday) in Melbourne with Michael Reynolds, who’s also touring Australia. Michael’s the godfather of the earthship, and a man as interesting as he is intelligent. I plan to write much more on him and his projects in the near future. Just a matter of trying to find time in the somewhat hectic travel schedule we have here in Oz.

 I did read quite a lot on earthships about 10 years ago, and sort of let it go because for me personally it wasn't immediately applicable. During these past 10 years Michael has continued his research and work and not to forget legal battles. An earthship is independent from normal supply lines, and authorities don't like that sort of thing, so a lot of time gets spent in courtrooms and the like. But that also means that the legal precedents have been battled for, and all people need to do is copy them.

 Michael and his team have also built homes for stricken people in just about every global disaster zone, from the tsunami area to the Katrina one to Haiti. These zones are often full of waste and garbage, and that's what he uses to build his homes. Car tires, plastic bottles and tin cans are essential building materials. He calls the earthship "a radically sustainable home made of recycled materials".

The basic model, such as he built in Haiti, costs about $10,000. He said yesterday that every member of his team wanted one just like that, no extra frills whatsoever. You can get those frills though, there are many types of earthships. Earthships are self-sufficient in electricity, water, heating and sewage treatment. Even in Canada, or up in the very cold mountains of New Mexico, where Michael resides, no additional heating is required. The same goes for cooling in desert climates. An earthship is also set up to produce its own food. The earthship concept deserves far more attention in our times than it gets. And I intend to let The Automatic Earth play a solid role in increasing the attention level. For now, first, here's a few links to more information.

Video above: The documentary on Michael and his work: "Garbage Warrior" (buy it at From (
Video above: Animation of a simple Survival Model Earthship. From (

Video above: Earthship Global Model: Radically Sustainable Buildings. From (

Video above: Earthship 101 - part 1. From (
Video above: TV feature on 54 Earthship houses in New Mexico. From (
As I said, there are many more videos out there. But these should provide a good first impression for those of you who are not overly familair with the whole concept.

I'd like to see some Automatic Earthships be built; maybe we can play a coordinating role in that. Michael was talking about the 7 year legal battle he’s fought, and won, over buiding the first earthship community in the US. Seems like a great idea to me, that deserves being followed by many more in the world.

Anyone who's interested, let us know, and we'll see where we can go from there.

See also: Ea O Ka Aina: Garbage Warrior & the Earthship 5/28/10  

Heaven or a Levittown made of tires and bottles? .

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