In 2018, Bryce Langston traveled with the “Living Big in a Tiny House” team to visit an Earthship home in Adelaide, Australia.
An Earthship home is a passive solar earth shelter that is made from recycled and natural materials. It is designed to be durable and produce water, electricity, food, and other useful resources.
Off-the-grid technology is also used in Earthship homes to create an efficient, high-functioning home. It’s also called an Earthship because it uses a lot of earth in its construction, with it being a very sustainable construction material.
American architect Michael Reynolds created Earthship Homes, which are becoming increasingly popular around the world.
He came up with the concept with hopes of solving “the problem of trash and the lack of affordable housing.” He then founded Earthship Biotecture to educate aspiring builders in his home base in Taos, Mexico.
One couple who were inspired by Reynolds’ work is Martin and Zoe, who decided to build their own Earthship home on their property in Australia.
Martin visited Taos to learn more about Earthship Biotecture and to study with Reynolds about Earthship design. Martin and Zoe returned home to Australia and started designing their own Earthship home, with the help of 60 volunteers.
They modeled it after one of Reynolds’ designs, called the “simple survival model Earthship,” which he developed in response to an earthquake in Haiti. Martin altered it to adapt to the Australian climate, and deal with bushfires.
The home is only 70 square meters, but it’s packed with special features. Martin integrated sustainable technologies into the home, giving it the ability to generate its power, maintain a stable climate, collect its own water and treat and recycle greywater. It can even grow its own food.
This Earthship home was a labor of love and much planning. In fact, Martin and Zoe wanted it to be Australia’s first Earthship to undergo the council approval process, which means that every aspect of the unique building needed to comply with specific regulations.
The couple also owns a strawbale house on the property. Therefore, full-time occupancy of Earthship is prohibited by council regulations. However, it’s available to rent on weekends via Airbnb, so guests can visit and experience living in a self-sustaining home.
“Close to Adelaide Hills wineries, golf course, bush-walks and other tourist attractions,” wrote Martin and Zoe on the Airbnb listing. “The Freney family live next door in a passive solar strawbale home – close by if you need advice on sailing the “ship”. A place where you can experience the future of sustainable housing!”
Martin is now a consultant for Earthship designs and natural construction projects around the world. His website contains information and images about his work.
The home is a true architectural wonder with its beautiful symmetry. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s inside.
Martin and Zoe have taken sustainable design to the next level with their Earthship Home. You can see it in the video below.
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