Earthship Greenhouse for year-round growing, Greywater planters, bathroom and solar power.

West Philadelphia: 3 weeks
April 3, 2017 – April 16, 2017
Join us. Fill out the form to RSVP.

This project greatly supports the mission of the Mill Creek Farm: Improving local access to fresh produce, building a healthy community and environment, and promoting a just and sustainable food system.

  • Greenhouse for year-round food growing
  • Greywater Planters
  • Bottle Wall Bathroom with contained botanical treatment planter
  • Solar Power

Mill Creek Valley Farm Earthship

 

What We Need

Money and Materials.

  • Lumber: All kinds of wood to build the greenhouse frame, etc.
  • Windows: To let the sun and light in. Any sized windows.
  • More Buildings Materials: cement, sand, steel, etc.
  • Money: Need to buy solar panels, materials, etc.

The Impact

Increased production capacity will increase yield, which will increase the bottom line. A greenhouse with year-round growing is the solution.

Earthship Greywater Planter

Keeping with the mission of Mill Creek Farm, a totally sustainable design will be used to build a year-round growing greenhouse requiring zero overhead to operate. This is not just a frame greenhouse, the materials, designs and features are sustainable, local, recycled, reclaimed, strong and provides teaching elements furthering the mission of the Mill Creek Farm.

The Greenhouse is a teaching building, showing people many different aspects of sustainable design, construction and systems.

Where there are people, there must be flush toilets and the capacity to treat the liquid waste water.

A small room with a flush toilet and sink is the solution. The bathroom will be attached to the back of the existing main building.

Earthship sewage treatment

Keeping with the mission of Mill Creek Farm, a totally sustainable design will be used to treat all liquid waste water onsite in a contained treatment botanical cell and the small room will be built with recycled, local materials. This provides teaching elements furthering the mission of the Mill Creek Farm.

The small bathroom and the contained botanical treatment cell can become a teaching building and system, showing people many different aspects of sustainable design, construction and systems.

The contained botanical treatment cell contains and treats the liquid waste water before it goes to the municipal septic line leaving the farm. This is basically a planter lined with materials similar to pond liner, layered with rocks and soil and planted with plants. This system is very similar to the wetlands approach to treating liquid waste water, just a smaller planter for a smaller flow of water.

earthship greywater planter

The plants in this system grow prolifically but cannot be used for human consumption. The plants in this system can positively affect the farm’s ability to maintain the bee hives and other micro-climate building strategies. The system is completely contained before the treat liquid waste water leaves the treatment cell and the property and enters into the municipal septic system.

Mill Creek Valley Farm Earthship

Project Timeline

Approximately 10 day project.

Day 1-3: greenhouse & toilet room structure
Day 4-6: blackwater planter, greenhouse & toilet roof
Day 7-8: greenhouse & toilet room rough plaster on walls & floors, blackwater planter
Day 9-10: plumbing, planters, exterior finish, interior finish

The Greenhouse Details

The new Greenhouse has a floor level below the ground level. By tapping into the stable temperatures of the earth thermal mass, the greenhouse maintains stable temperatures above freezing during the winter.

Thermal mass (dirt, rocks, stone, earth, water, etc.) holds temperature. Think of it as a battery for thermal mass. Thermal mass (dirt) is brought up above the ground level within the main structural walls. The dirt is rammed earth encased in steel belted rubber.

The orientation of the building faces south and has strategically placed vents. This brings in heat from the sun and the vents let heat out of the building.Adding passive solar gain from the sun with double pane windows brings heat into the building that is absorbed by the thermal mass. At night, when the air temperature of the greenhouse drops, this heat that is stored in the thermal mass ‘leaks out’ into the greenhouse increasing the temperature and helping to maintain stable temperatures during the winter months conducive to growing food.

Venting the building prevents over-heating during the summer months. Vents at either side of the building and in the roof, at the highest points are placed to maintain ideal venting capability.

The Greenhouse is insulated well. Insulation prevents temperature from moving from one side to another side. Therefore, the thermal mass in the walls are wrapped in insulation to prevent the temperature it is storing from leaking outside. The insulation also prevents the outside temperature from getting inside the building. When Thermal mass and Insulation work together, we have a highly effective wall that is the most sustainable design possible.

Almost all of the building materials are recycled, reused from local sources. New, manufactured building materials require huge amounts of energy and water and produce huge amounts of pollution. Materials that are local and that have been previously used make giants strides toward ‘being sustainable’.The main structural walls are made with rammed-earth encased in steel belted rubber. Super strong and highly effective thermal mass inside of recycled automobile tires. This ‘tire wall’ building method has been in use for over 40 years worldwide and meets code worldwide. Tires are available throughout the world and in the immediate neighborhood of Mill Creek Farm.

Non-load bearing walls are made with recycled cans and bottles in mortar. Bottle bricks allow for beautiful design when the sun light shines through. Cans and bottles are available available throughout the world and in the immediate neighborhood of Mill Creek Farm.

Wood for lumber to build the greenhouse roof, door frames, etc. is all recycled from construction in and around the Philadelphia area.

The roof of the greenhouse catches water from the rainfall and snow belt. The roof is sloped toward the south and can have gutters to channel the water into a small cistern. this water can be used to water the crops.

Bathroom with Contained Botanical Treatment Cell

Mill Creek Valley Farm EarthshipWhere there are people, there must be flush toilets and the capacity to treat the liquid waste water. A small room with a flush toilet and sink is the solution. The bathroom will be attached to the back of the existing main building. Keeping with the mission of Mill Creek Farm, a totally sustainable design will be used to treat all liquid waste water onsite in a contained treatment botanical cell and the small room will be built with recycled, local materials. This provides teaching elements furthering the mission of the Mill Creek Farm. The small bathroom and the contained botanical treatment cell can become a teaching building and system, showing people many different aspects of sustainable design, construction and systems.

Almost all of the building materials are recycled, reused from local sources. New, manufactured building materials require huge amounts of energy and water and produce huge amounts of pollution. Materials that are local and that have been previously used make giants strides toward ‘being sustainable’.

Mill Creek Valley Farm EarthshipThe contained botanical treatment cell contains and treats the liquid waste water before it goes to the municipal septic line leaving the farm. This is basically a planter lined with materials similar to pond liner, layered with rocks and soil and planted with plants. This system is very similar to the wetlands approach to treating liquid waste water, just a smaller planter for a smaller flow of water. The plants in this system grow prolifically but cannot be used for human consumption. The plants in this system can positively affect the farm’s ability to maintain the bee hives and other micro-climate building strategies. The system is completely contained before the treat liquid waste water leaves the treatment cell and the property and enters into the municipal septic system.
Earthship Greenhouse for year-round growing, Greywater planters, bathroom and solar power.

West Philadelphia: 3 weeks: April 3, 2017 – April 16, 2017
Join us. Fill out the form to RSVP.

 

Earthship 360

Earthship360 is an educational and research organization providing sustainable buildings for residential, commercial and government use.

Earthship360 is dedicated to providing a comprehensive package that would aim to allow individuals, communities, cities, and entire regions to thrive as independently as possible, while acting in harmony with our environment, among various cultures, and within the world economy. The difference between Earthship360’s holistic approach and those of other actors in this field, however, is that we blend a high-level, broad-spectrum worldview with excellence in creating the built environment that in turn allows for a comprehensive, value added product—structures, amenities, and lifestyle concierge services—that extend beyond the structures themselves.

The sustainable building industry is maturing into a responsible, profit-centered growth industry. Technology has advanced to the point where sustainable building practices are increasingly incorporated into structures of all kinds today. For example, the transition to LED lighting represents just one thread in a broader trend towards “greener living” prevalent in mainstream consumption habits. From an architectural perspective, sustainable buildings are now virtually indistinguishable from the flow and design of contemporary conventional designs; no longer does a high performance building need to appear as if were extracted from the set of a science fiction film. And these buildings achieve this seamless integration with existing architectural standards while, for example, utilizing materials that contribute to environmental stewardship. Earthship360 believes that the construction industry will need to continue to meet the demands of sustainable living for the sake of a viable future for the planet and its inhabitants.

Earthship360 offers a comprehensive suite of community development services that allow individuals, communities, and cities to completely thrive as independently as possible, while simultaneously recognizing and intelligently finding ways to integrate practical solutions that address the reality of a broadly interconnected world and economy.

Earthship360 provides turnkey buildings that provide for all basic needs, we also offer programs and consultation for ways to accelerate and augment personal and collective growth and enterprise. Heightened comfort and self-sufficiency lead to real independence, and the result is a truly sustainable interdependence fortified by genuine abundance along with the equitable distribution of goods and services.