Earthship house is all about tires, beer bottles and pop cans

Earthship house is all about tires, beer bottles and pop cans

Earthship house is all about tires, beer bottles and pop cans

This home is made of tires, beer bottles and pop cans.

 It has two-bedrooms, a bathroom and a greenhouse hallway.

 It has a gray-water recycling system.

 It has cisterns buried in the ground that hold up to 6,000 gallons of water.

 It has a brain room that converts the battery power into household current.

 This house has no appliances like a microwave or an electric mixer.

 It has a well-insulated refrigerator that runs on 24-volt direct current.

You can call it an Earthship, which is owned by Scott Elder and Karla Lund and was built by the garbage warrior with his 12-man crew and a couple of volunteers. It is also the latest prototype of the earthship built by Taos, N.M. based architect Michael Reynolds (the garbage warrior). This name was given to him in the documentary, which portrays his approach of housing, you can see the trailer after the jump.

A house with two-bedrooms and much more…
Somewhere near Yellowstone River, the house’s south face is an angled wall of glass, which rises over a greenhouse. Scott Elder and his fiancée often enjoy the view from the living room cum kitchen of the earthship house. And, the design elements that have been incorporated in this house are mainly bottles and pop cans that could be easily left in the dump. This 1,100 square feet home has two bedrooms, a bathroom along the greenhouse hallway, occupying 750 square-feet extra, a main room combining the living room, dining area and kitchen. It also has an alcove near the kitchen, which is also called a brain room, converting battery power into household current. The brain room is also used as a storage space and a laundry room.

The adobe wall in the master bedroom, providing a nice backdrop also hides the walk-in closet, and the interior walls are made of adobe mud that has been mixed with straw and glue. This house was built in just eight weeks, last summer, using tires, pop cans and beer bottles, and was put together by Reynolds, his crew and couple of volunteers who “rammed dirt into 650 tires to create steel belted bricks.” Empty soda pop cans and beer bottles were cemented side by side, which were then covered with adobe mud to form the interior walls of the eco-friendly home.

Eco-friendly Features
Apart from the recycled materials used in the construction, the features like an elevated shower in the bathroom transforms the drainage into a gray-water recycling system. It also has a greenhouse corridor. The owners spent almost a month hand-picking used tires, and it operates off the power grid, as it relies on the passive and active solar design. There are solar panels on the top of the angled walls. These solar panels recharge charge the batteries on the roof.

The rainwater is collected in cisterns (which can collect 6,000 gallons of water) that are buried behind the house and it is made sure that it is used at least three times before it is returned to the ground. The roof can collect thousand gallons of water even in an inch of rainfall. The water collected in the cisterns passes through four filters so that it is fit for drinking. When the water has been used for cooking and washing, it is drained through rocks, then it enters under the soil of greenhouse that waters the plants. Even after all this is done, the water is used to flush the toilet. The well-insulated refrigerator runs on 24-volt direct-current. They have no appliances with LED clocks, no microwave, no curling irons, hair dryer or electric mixer”.

The propane heater fuels the gas stove and a wind generator is expected to improve the power supply of the house. With all this he expects the annual utility bill to be $150, which will also include the clothes dryer and on-demand water heater. The house also has a back-up wood stove installed in case of emergencies.

Elders say, “The idea I believe in is having a house that’s self-sufficient. I’ve always wanted to be disconnected from the grid. It’s the independence of it. It’s so passive, you don’t need any source of heat or cooling.”

He bases his self-sufficient house on the principle that a house should not depend on the economy, as everyone deserves a house. It was Elder’s father who gave him the money to hire the famous Reynolds and his 12-man crew to build the house and the cost of the construction is estimated at $200 per square foot. This cost is same that goes into having a new conventional house built, so I would definitely go in for this. See the Complete Earthship in images here.

Photo of author

BY M. Kogan

Hello, I am Marcio. I am an architect and designer, alma mater is Mackenzie. Retired in theory, but an architect never retires completely. Along with architectural projects, I am a filmmaker and have completed some short documentaries. Filmmaking and design are my passions. In HomeQN I write about home decoration and foundations. The goal is to teach homeowners to DYI as much as possible, and when this is not possible, enable them through knowledge, to evaluate service quotations and choose the best service technicians.

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