Title: Earthships: sustainable housing alternative

Authors: Martin Freney

Addresses: Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia, Level 3 Kaurna Building, City West Campus, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide SA 5001, Australia

Abstract: This paper critiques an obscure form of sustainable architecture that addresses many of the environmental, social and economic challenges facing humanity. It focuses on the work of architect, Michael Reynolds, who has been experimenting with radical house designs and construction techniques over the past three and half decades. He addresses pollution, climate change and resource depletion by the provision of self-sufficient, off-the-grid, ecological housing constructed substantially from |waste| such as used car tyres and beverage containers. Passive heating and cooling, food production, water catchments, renewable energy, solar hot water, grey-water recycling and sewage treatment are all integrated into his designs, which he calls ||Earthships – independent vessels – to sail on the seas of tomorrow||.

Keywords: earthships; sustainable housing; ecological housing; energy efficient houses; autonomous houses; self sufficient houses; tyre walls; walls of waste; sustainable architecture; sustainable design; sustainability; housing design; environmental pollution; climate change; resource depletion; beverage containers; passive heating; passive cooling; food production; water catchments; renewable energy; solar hot water; grey water recycling; sewage treatment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSDES.2009.028885

International Journal of Sustainable Design, 2009 Vol.1 No.2, pp.223 - 240

Published online: 10 Oct 2009 *

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