Sunday, March 11, 2012

Earthship Biotecture Academy Week 1

My experience at the Earthship Biotecture Academy so far has been incredible. I've already toured many beautiful Earthships around Taos, slept in an Earthship 9000ft. above sea level on the side of a mountain, listened to three captivating Michael Reynolds lectures, accumulated a ton of useful information on how to build my own Earthship and met many intelligent, interesting and motivated people from all around the world.

There are so many noteworthy things happening everyday it would be impossible to document them all, so I've decided to focus on documenting the focal point of our Earthship Academy Spring Session: building the first ever Simple Survival Model Earthship from the ground up.

Day 1: We layed out our jobsite with string lines to determine where our first tires would go. We oriented the building 15 degrees East of South to allow for maximum solar gain - that's the optimal position for a building at our latitude. Once all of our string lines were square we began pounding tires which was exhausting at first, but you quickly learn how to make the 8lb. sledgehammer do all the work.

Day 3: We continued pounding tires - ensuring that they were level with themselves and their neighbours beside them - and made space for our cooling tube at the back of the building which we installed at a slight pitch running away from the building.

Day 5: We pounded our last course of tires, hooked up the cistern, installed the thermal wrap behind the tire wall and "packed out" the gaps between the tires with concrete and recycled bottles.

We project that the building will be complete in 5 weeks and when it's done it will look like this