Strong, Safe, Off-grid.
Volunteer, Work, Learn, Participate.
We are working on an incomplete owner-built Earthship, finishing the structural shell and systems.
June 15 - July 31, 2018
Daily $30 / Full week $120
June 15 - July 31, 2018.
This is more of a general volunteer day, touring the building, Q & A, and lightly helping out around the property, no specific hands-on instructions or construction.
"A great educational opportunity. Certainly a once in a lifetime chance to come away with skills that can send you in a new direction for a career, and ability to build an Earthship of your own going forward."
What are we doing?
We are working on an incomplete owner-built Earthship, finishing the structural shell and systems. This project may extend to become a Sustainable Building School and Permaculture Institute.
Here are the basics on the recycled-material, super efficient, passive solar, ultimate sustainable home. An Earthship is a type of passive solar building that is made of both natural and recycled materials (such as earth-filled tires). Earthships are "off-the-grid ready" homes, with minimal reliance on both public utilities and fossil fuels. They are constructed to use available natural resources, especially energy from the sun. They are designed to use thermal mass construction and natural cross ventilation, to regulate indoor temperature.
- Layout: The 3,000-square-foot house will consist primarily of four circular rooms and a solarium. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and an innovative inside/outside solarium living/family room.
- Foundation: The concrete includes recycled fly ash and other material.
- Walls: The exterior walls will consist of stacks of 1,700 recycled tires packed with dirt. Each tire will essentially serve as a 325-pound brick. An earthen berm, covered with grasses and edible plants such as pineapples, surrounds the house.
- Portions of some walls will consist of thousands of recycled bottles, which will let the sunlight through. Sawed-off bottlenecks are ground into glass particles that are used in cement mixtures.
- Interior walls include a honeycomb of thousands of aluminum cans covered with concrete and plaster.
- Roof: Each of the main four rooms is covered with a skylighted dome made of partially recycled roofing materials and sealed with a soy-based foam. The indoor solarium containing a giant garden has a greenhouse-style roof made of insulated panels.
- Heating and Cooling: The house does not need an air conditioner or heater. Through a screened vent, outdoor air will enter a network of underground pipes where the temperature, year-round, will be in the low 70s. That cool air is released into the home to keep its temperature constant and comfortable. Warm or cold (depending on time of year) water will circulate through pipes within the foundation to help control indoor temperatures.
- Power: Solar panels keep batteries charged and power the home. The power system is grid-intertied (grid-backup and sell power back to the grid).
- Water: Gutters made of aluminum cans empty rain water into cisterns. The water is then filtered and cleaned for drinking, cooking and bathing.
- Waste Water: Bath and dish waste water is filtered through the indoor garden (in the solarium) and can be used for flushing toilets and other purposes.
- Toilet Waste Water is treated by a septic tank and then filtered through outdoor, contained (rubber lined) wetlands, then into a conventional drain field.
The overall goal is to serve the community with sustainable living systems: food production, solar and wind electricity, clean water, liquid waste treatment and self-empowerment to thrive independently.
We envision colleges and universities such as Eckerd College, USF St. Pete, SPC and New College can use the Earthship and this property as a living laboratory to experiment and innovate with sustainability technologies and methods. This demonstration and example serves to show how easy and simple sustainable living is, NOW.