TECHNOLOGY

EARTHSHIPS — WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW DO THEY WORK?

Will Earthships be the future of housing?

18.01.2022
BY JEMMA UTOMO
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About 36 percent of worldwide energy is needed for urban building construction, both for commercial and residential structures, according to Archdaily. The materials used in buildings also contribute to carbon emissions contributing to climate change. These factors are one of the driving motives behind the Earthship architectural style, pioneered by an architect named Michael Reynolds.


Earthships are cutting-edge green structures made from used car tires and other recycled materials. They employ the planet's natural processes to provide all utilities, such as heat, power, and water, by harnessing the sun's energy and rain. They are buildings that heat and cool themselves, harvest their water, and treat their sewage with plants.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Earthship Biotecture (@earthship)


Earthships love the weather no matter what the season is. When it rains, they collect free water; when it blows, they generate free electricity; when it is sunny, they capture free heat and electricity. Aside from using all of the available resources, they also take extensive energy efficiency and water conservation measures to ensure that the rainwater and renewable energy they harvest goes as far as possible.


Natural Energy Utilization

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Earthship Biotecture (@earthship)


The Earthship-style house is built with a plan that can warm and cool a space without using modern devices or even wood. Earthship cools and heats a room by utilizing thermal mass and sunlight. As a result, the key is in the ventilation architecture, which can appropriately circulate air while delivering sunshine.


Making Use of Eco-Friendly Building Materials

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Earthship Biotecture (@earthship)

Earthship houses highlight environmentally friendly building materials derived from repurposed commodities such as vehicle tires. Purchased bottles or used cans can also be used to create a wall that serves as a partition, for example. Mud, wood, or scrap metal can also be used for the floor.


Management of Water and Waste

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Earthship Biotecture (@earthship)


Water management is critical so that it does not become waste and waste. There is a water reservoir in the Earthship house design that collects rainfall, for example, to be purified and utilized for various domestic functions. Meanwhile, water derived from home activity waste is collected and reused for non-hazardous human health uses such as watering plants.


Food Manufacturing

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Earthship Biotecture (@earthship)


Food production is also highly significant in constructing Earthship houses since it may complete the cycle of environmentally responsible living while guaranteeing food security. Wastewater from home activities can be used to grow food ingredients, ensuring that nothing is wasted. As a result, even though the land under cultivation is small, Earthship's housing design includes a planting space. Aqua-botanical systems are frequently utilized to cultivate vegetables or fruits produced indoors or on tiny amounts of land.


Temperature regulation in Earthships


Most Earthships are below the frost line, which means that the temperature inside the walls can be naturally kept at around 15.5 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit), no matter what the weather is outside. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Earthship Biotecture (@earthship)


Even though Reynolds lives in a place where the altitude is 2,134 meters above sea level and the summer temperatures can reach 75 degrees Fahrenheit, he doesn't need to use any outside resources to keep the inside of his Earthship warm. A wall can keep heat from being absorbed by it for a long time after the sun goes down because of how the walls are built.


Reynold built three Earthships near Taos in the mid-1990s: Lemuria, also known as the "Gravel Pit"; Reach, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains; and Star, in the desert near Taos. By the end of the decade, about 20 contractors in North America were building Earthships, as Reynolds's company, Solar Survival Architecture (later Earthship Biotecture), taught them how to make Earthships for less than $100,000 (Rp 1.43 billion).


As environmental activists Pat and Chuck Potter studied with Reynolds in Taos, they set out to make Reynolds's design work in Canada, where it gets cold during the winter months. Because of the risk of wildfires, the Potters said Earthships were almost fireproof because the dirt-filled tires used in the walls of the inside walls didn't have a lot of air. The Earthship's selling points were its ability to run itself and its low operating costs. 


Since New Mexico gets more rain, the Potters added a vapor barrier between the walls and the floor and used total wall insulation. It was also essential to insulate the roof to keep the heat in during the cold winter months. Among the special features were composting toilets, a solar hot water tank, an insulated rigid box, and a wood stove.


These cold-adapted homes have been used as models for Earthships in Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, southern Argentina, and other places where it isn't freezing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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