A typical 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom earthship takes about 4 months to build with an experienced crew and materials organized and money flowing from a construction account.
Building an Earthship yourself will take longer and depend on several factors but expect it to take at least six months. If you cannot work full time on the Earthship, the process will take two or more years to finish.
All Earthships are custom-made and constructed on-site. In addition, as Earthships are made from recycles local materials, every build will be unique.
A significant part of the building process is packing all the tires with dirt. The dirt has to be fully compressed into the tires, which is hard and time-consuming work that has to be done right to keep the walls from collapsing. A typical Earthship requires 700 to 1,500 tires to build an Earthship, depending on the size and style. It takes around 15 to 20 minutes to pack a tire full of earth, which means around 400 hours of work for 1,000 tires.
Earthships theoretically do not have to be made from used tires as other materials can provide the same results. But tires are the most common and a great material for making a solid thermal mass construction of recycled materials.
However, stomping dirt into tires is not all it takes to build an Earthship, you will also have to plaster the tires and many auxiliary tasks. The roof, greenhouse, interior walls, floors, and many other things require some skills and will keep you occupied for quite some time.
What is an Earthship Home?
An Earthship is a type of passive solar house that is made of both natural and upcycled materials (such as earth-packed tires). Earthships can be completely off-grid or partially off-grid.
Earthships can be built in any part of the world, in any climate (with a permit) and still provide electricity, potable water, contained sewage treatment and sustainable food production.
Earthships are thermal mass homes first, passive solar homes second.
Whatever temperature goes into an Earthship, it will hold… and since it is also a Passive Solar House, it is also very tight and interacts only with the sun and the earth for heating and cooling, providing stable comfort year round in any climate. This results in being able to provide a sustainable home on property that may not be situated to the ideal of 13.5 degrees east of south.
Off-Grid Living Systems
Water | Power | Waste Water Treatment | Heating/Cooling
The systems of a building. These are the systems that go into the structural shell of the building for occupancy. Some or all of these systems can be used instead of the conventional methods to provide utilities to buildings. This can make the build more sustainable, secure and healthy than only using conventional utilities.
All systems can have automated conventional backups. All systems can be added to existing conventional buildings as a renovation project.
Living with sustainable off-grid systems enhances our lives, secures our lives and is a better investment than conventional buildings.
This increases both psychological and physiological comfort.