Earthships have nothing to do with aliens…

11 Nov

An Earthship is a house that is partially or completely autonomous (off-grid) and is built from recycled materials. Load bearing walls are made of earth filled tires, while non-load bearing walls may be made of lighter materials such as recycled cans joined by concrete. The house employs passive solar design: using sunlight for air and water heating and natural ventilation.  As a passive solar home, the Earthship maximizes sunlight collection by having the south facing part of the building constructed of glass. The Earthship is often buried on three sides and may even have an earth covered roof for added insulation. 

A bit about how it works….


The glass covered south facing side of the house allows light in. As the sun warms the floor, the absorbed heat is radiated up into the house interior. The ground surrounding the house is at a constant temperature, meaning that in the winter the house will not drop below 14oC. With such thick walls and roof, the Earthship has a large thermal mass resulting in a natural regulation of the indoor temperature. The structure will store heat well in the winter while keeping the interior of the building cool during the summer. Glass construction at the front of the house is designed for winter warming and summer cooling of the home. The Earthship is also often built with passive ventilation. That is, sunlight induced variations of temperature inside the Earthship are sufficient to cause natural convection (a circulation of air through the house).


3 Responses to “Earthships have nothing to do with aliens…”

  1. cheryl February 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    what is the cost of a home

  2. Megan April 27, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    This is my next goal for a dwelling and hopefully a community project.

    This is very respectful of life and earth.
    Thank you.

  3. Paratus September 27, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    This technology would be ideal for the millions in the U.S and the World in need of shelter and sustainable eco-housing for the long term. The governments who struggle with money and resources should wake up to the fact this is a gift that should not be ignored. If only the leaders would lead by example and promote this movement towards stabilizing the resource imbalances caused by the industrial revolution of our time. Its time to take back control of the resources that the greedy insane took from us all. Lets evolve to the next step of humanity.

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