Enter the Earthship!

We are bringing our EarthShip to the Beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula in Sunny South Australia 

EarthShips: One of the exciting paving stones on the road to Sustainability?

Enter the EarthShip

We are bringing our EarthShip to the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsular in sunny South Australia.

EarthShips: One of the exciting paving stones on the road to Sustainability?

Why exciting?

Because the EarthShip, or Biotecture**, helps solve many of the inherent design faults entwined in our consumptive charge towards massive corporate profits at the expense of humanity.  Building an EarthShip teaches us….

  • How to wisely use refuse and junk
  • How to efficiently use the abundance of free heat and light from the sun
  • How to efficiently use the gift of rain water.
  • How to overcome the strain on our crumbling infrastructure systems
    • Expensive and failing water reticulation
    • Excessive water consumption –our most precious commodity
    • Expensive and failing sewerage treatment
    • Continually increasing electricity costs and resultant high CO2 emissions
    • Garbage production and excessive landfill.
  • How to reduce the cost of living
  • How to access copious amounts of healthy foods
  • How to reduce our carbon footprint.
  • How to use sturdy building materials that would normally be classified as ‘junk’ and dumped to landfill.

Serious concerns about our ability as a race to continue life on earth as we know it, have inspired us to rethink the way we live.

Currently, the state of western living is not sustainable. We are using precious resources at an alarming rate, and generating excessive ‘greenhouse’ gases as a result. There are signs that the earth is heavily burdened and this could lead to a collapse of our safe living environment. Furthermore, the existing infrastructure (power, water, sewer and roads) is stressed and continues to be an added and increasing financial burden on society.

There is good news!

More and more people are not only talking about our global demise and the increasing cost of human existence, but are actively involved in rigorously creating answers. We will piggyback on the synergy of their wonderful efforts and enhance them.

Michael Reynolds:

I have been inspired by many, but Michael Reynolds would have to be high on the list of those paving the sustainable road to our future. He has boldly and courageously acted upon his convictions and at great personal cost and anguish, has taken action to help create a world that will continue and flourish.

Reynolds was steadfast in his convictions that revision to the design of living facilities and the supporting infrastructure was necessary.  Reynolds, who graduated as an architect from the University of Cincinnati in 1969, realised that mainstream housing and commercial building design was a major part of the problem:

  • Design and layout required excessive consumption of energy in manufacture and operation
  • Design and layout required excessive consumption of water, and then the associated problems of processing large quantities of ‘black’water (sewerage).
  • They are built to a state of ‘appearance’, and are not particularly ‘user friendly’
  • Most of our modern, contemporary housing is not energy efficient.
  • They are built and furnished with an ethos of “consumption”and “redundancy”aimed at corporate profits, resulting of course, in waste and ever increasing amounts of trash.
  • The potential to use your ‘house’for growing healthy food has been overlooked.

Enter the EarthShip and Biotecture**….. Exciting paving stones in the road to sustainability.

** Biotecture: A term coined by Reynolds involving the design and construction of buildings in an ecologicallyfriendly manner that reflects structures found in nature and maximises the re-use of materials in an unconventional way. Instead of using conventional high energy-consuming recycling methods, in biotecture the discarded item is recycled ‘as-is’.

Need more info on Michael Reynolds? We suggest you visit the movieGarbage Warrior

In Garbage Warrior Reynolds describes one of his new biotecture designed homes, the ‘Phoenix’ like this:

“There’s nothing coming into this house, no power lines, no gas lines, no sewage lines coming out, no water lines coming in, no energy being used … We’re sitting on 6,000 gallons [23000 litres] of water, we are growing food, sewage is internalized and the temperature sits at 70 degrees [or 21 degrees C] all year round.  What these kind of houses do is take every aspect of your life and put it into your own hands.   A family of four could totally survive here without having to go to the store.”

Martin Freney:

I must also acknowledge Martin Freney, the UniSA Lecturer (School of Art, Architecture and Design) who has a passion for sustainability and a real concern for the ecological issues we are currently facing.

Martin graduated from the UniSA Industrial Design Program in 1993. After employment in various commercial design roles he reverted to his passion on sustainability and is currently lecturing in Sustainable Design.

Martin has picked up the EarthShip mantra and brought the dynamic biotecture to Australia.

I have the great pleasure of working closely with Martin at EarthShips and The Plentiful Barn. His onsite presence has been inspirational.

EarthShips® are the heart and soul of The Plentiful Barn® development.

EarthShips® and The Plentiful Barn® are an expression of our concern and a demonstration of what we can do to live in harmony with our beautiful home which we call Earth.

We are creating the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly and sustainable property we can. We are aiming for the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly property in Australia, resulting in a very user friendly, pristine, comfortable and exciting home and farm requiring almost zero input except rain and wind from the sky and the sun’s energy from the heavens.

The energy efficient ‘biotecture’design will be used in most onsite facilities..

  • Our living facilities –the house
  • The aquaponics, aquariums and glass houses
  • The animal shelters.
  • The garage facilities for our electric vehicles.
  • The training facility (future)
  • The onsite B & B facilities (future)

Our vision is to re-invent our own thinking on sustainability and then pass on what we find. For this, the design will need to challenge the current controls and constraints around home and farm living, not with the aim of ridicule or argument but as a catalyst for improvement. We see some startling examples of building architecture, breaking new ground and winning extensive appreciation, being honoured by our Prime Minister and furthermore gaining a Six Star rating from the CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia. (Ms Romily Madew)

Ref: 1 Bligh Street Sydney:

However, as responsible community citizens we will not ignore the wisdom of those gone before us and we will operate within the requirements of local, state and national permits and rules.

Most important to us are People; their health and wellbeing. As such, ‘people’, local and afar, are our highest priority.

Consequently our home and farm will be:

  • A beautiful building –an expression of the future. It will be a living entity, breathing and performing to its ideal function.
  • A pristine presentation of user-friendly and fully sustainable living.
  • It will include the best sustainable features that a family could expect in their home. It will not be designed as a “show piece”to gaze upon, but the ultimate expression of sustainable living.
  • It will be oriented to maximise inclusion of the natural beauty of the chosen plot, and laid out to present efficient living in a peaceful, stress–free environment. The design ensures that natural light will reach all living areas.
  • EarthShip biotecture includes the opportunity to share your living environment with other living entities. The atrium will include trees, flowers and edible vegetables. Their growing process purifies the internal water and air and enhances oxygen availability. There will also be the opportunity to include fish, butterflies and possibly small birds.
  • It will be cost effective, in both the construction phase and the running phase and will be reproducible by anyone desirous of ‘zero footprint’sustainable living.

The Making of 1 Bligh Street, Sydney

To present this, we will have to go several steps above and outside the conventional thinking that prevails in the design of contemporary household architecture. We will minimize our environmental footprint from beginning to end, from ‘cradle to the grave’. Thus our vision includes maximising the use of recycled materials. If we are forced to use ‘new’materials, we will select the version that is local, with the lowest production environmental footprint.

Doing this will negate the large quantity of energy used in the manufacture and transportation of the majority of new building materials. Thus we can eliminate the compounding effect of added emissions; emissions that are already harming our environment.

  • Recycled wood –Zero deforestation or energy consumption with resultant zero emissions.
  • Recycled glass –No resultant sand mining or energy consumption in manufacture with resultant zero emissions.
  • Recycled polystyrene boxes will be used to fabricate all the building insulation needed in the EarthShip.
  • Used Shipping Containers –No resultant mining, energy consumption or carbon emissions in the steel making and forming processes.
  • Recycled Tyres –Removing a major environmental storage and reprocessing problem. Reprocessing used tyres consumes considerable energy and often results in serious carbon, CO2 and toxin emissions.
  • Recycling of bottles and cans in wall construction to replace cement and bricks both of which leave a huge carbon footprint. Also the energy used in recycling is negated.

As mentioned above, People are our focus. By following these simple recycling options we can enhance people’s comfort and wellbeing, internally and externally, for our current generation and for ALL generations to come.

Having done this primarily for humanity, the automatic and wonderful bi-product is that these very same steps that enhance our living, are those that are necessary to heal the heavily burdened earth on which we live.

Would you like to share with us in Spirit, mind and body?

In Spirit

  • Have us, and the benefits that our efforts will bring to the community and earth as part of your prayers and meditation.

In Mind

  • Share your ideas with us as we openly share ours, in a synergy in which we will all will benefit. Even those oblivious to our actions will reap the future reward of our combined efforts.
  • You may want to expand your mind on sustainability and join some of our builds, classes and tutorials.
  • You may even want to freewill invest in us with a financial contribution to this amazing initiative.

In Body

  • Share some of your time and energy with us, and the promise of a sustainable future. Volunteer to help with the construction and numerous activities we will undertake. Learn ‘on the job’skills (actually ‘on the Farm’skills) that hold more than general usefulness and will be an absolute asset when you undertake your own sustainability project.