Its not easy to manifest an Earthship in New Zealand, but as you can see below, it is possible. Its been 10 months since I first went to see Gus Anning and Sarah Rowe’s property in the Coromandel. Now, with the help of 50 or so people, we have an ‘almost enclosed’ 4 bedroom 2 bathroom permitted Earthship. Nearly 8000 labour hours were put in, and a community of 30-40 (depending on the week) gathered; students, crew, chefs, wwoofers, architects, plumbers, electricians, roofers, machinery operators, families! All pitching in to the one goal; build Sarah, Gus and their family an Earthship.
Its been an amazing journey, and I look forward to the remaining finishing work over winter.
In a general and quick run down, heres the focus of each of our weeks, from 1 to 10: WEEK 1 and 2 everyone was set to the tyre pounding task, getting 1100 or so in, over 10 courses (layers). Each was leveled, and geogrid was inserted between tyres every 3rd course into the earth berm. Drainage was filled behind, and the waterproofing layer (permathene) was laid under and behind the tyre wall, along with 2 layers of insulation. Week 3 and 4 was after the tryre work was complete and working on getting the slab and bound beam poured. Prep consisted of polythene water proofing under the floor, mussel shell insulation, laying plumbing and ALOT of steel tying. Week 5 was the start of the mud work – both mudbricks for internal walls and cob in the back wall to pack out the tyres. The bond beam was plated, and the wing walls finished. Week 6 was the start of the interior greenhouse framing, bathroom wall framing and working on the front tyre stem wall to recieve the cantilevered greenhouse. Week 7 saw Vegas (roof beams) going on, they were birds mouthed (levelled), cut to size and the back of the building insulated and wrapped. Week 8 saw the roof finally on! Also they grey water cell lined, plumbed, plus the electrical and plumbing inside the building. Week 9 saw the greenhouse built, bottle walls go up in the east and west entry. Also the by-fold doors hung in the west living space. Week 10 the grey water planter cell was filled and the velux windows installed. Plus framing for the bedrooms, the breakfast bar window in. The crew taking a break now, just waiting for glazing and doors hung to be water tight. More workshops coming in April and June to finish the inside.
Updates were posted on Earthship New Zealand (on fb), if you’d like to see more pics please visit the site here
All other queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org