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Earthships





gandalfthegrey
Has anyone heard of Earthships? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthship

The concept is really cool! Earthships remind me of the hobbit homes from Lord of the Rings. They only cost $30-100 a sq foot, which is quite affordable!!! The homes of the future perhaps?
socceraggie
I was out on the eastern shore this past week visiting family and my Uncle drove me around a nearby township in which many of the homes were prefabricated. He described the process and how the home is actually better built because it was created in a controlled environment. The advantages he described included: square walls and corners, tighter fit, better insulation, cheaper, not exposed to elements, finish construction in just a few weeks.

The downside as he described it was with the stigma that a prefabricated home is a trailer home. The house I saw that was prefabricated was about a 4500 square foot home that had very nice curb appeal.

Could this be the wave of future construction?
ocalhoun
socceraggie wrote:

Could this be the wave of future construction?

It certainly is. Many buildings, from skyscrapers to private homes are being built with factory-made sections to be assembled on-site.

Even the most traditional homes very often have pre-fabricated sections, especially the roof sections.
As you said, it's all-around better... and it's cheaper.
fate_merchant
gandalfthegrey wrote:
Has anyone heard of Earthships? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthship

The concept is really cool! Earthships remind me of the hobbit homes from Lord of the Rings. They only cost $30-100 a sq foot, which is quite affordable!!! The homes of the future perhaps?


If you're into the Earthship, then you'll probably get a lot out of the documentary Garbage Warrior:

http://www.garbagewarrior.com/

Likewise, and more recently, check out the Haiti relief effort by Mike Reynolds and his Earthship construction crew. It's very inspiring:

http://earthship.com/
fukara
interesting Shocked
fuzzkaizer
Wow! funtastic stuff, those earthships! much more homelike than the shipping-container-shelter-homes...
thanks for the links!
fuzzkaizer
socceraggie wrote:


Could this be the wave of future construction?


some blizzards, an economic crisis, a little earthquake, a few atomic power plants blowing off... and you're just on your way back to the caves, folks! No more prefabricated sections, just mud, wood and stones, and with some good luck you can find a solid and dry cave in rock...
Well, that was one of the visions we had as kids growing up in cold war times. Seems to be quite out of fashion nowadays...
As for the bigger part of the worlds population, there's still no prefabricated homes, and wont be for the next years, I guess.
coolclay
Quote:
I was out on the eastern shore this past week visiting family and my Uncle drove me around a nearby township in which many of the homes were prefabricated. He described the process and how the home is actually better built because it was created in a controlled environment. The advantages he described included: square walls and corners, tighter fit, better insulation, cheaper, not exposed to elements, finish construction in just a few weeks.

The downside as he described it was with the stigma that a prefabricated home is a trailer home. The house I saw that was prefabricated was about a 4500 square foot home that had very nice curb appeal.

Could this be the wave of future construction?


I am very familiar with Earthships but I believe you might be mistaken about the existence of prefab Earthships. This would be counter to many issues that Earthships attempt to address such as environmental impact and cost. While there are many prefab carbon neutral homes http://www.jetsongreen.com/2009/03/unity-house-takes-leed-platinum.html I don't know of any actual prefab Earthship homes.

Earthships are great ideas, in theory. But until the housing codes for the US are updated to the point that these types of experimental residences are permitted they will for the most part stay a fringe idea.

Many of the ideas are implemented in some way or another in most homes. For example some of the homes I have helped build were constructed with used materials, and have been backed on one or more sides by earth. Natural lighting, and passive heating is becoming integral not as an environmental feature but as cost saving solutions. I also reroute grey water from my sink into our garden which works surprisingly well in reducing the need to water it.

Eventually when I settle down and have money I hope to build my own home implementing many of the Earthship features.
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