Dana Darwin and Liz Ross of Platform One Foundation are working with Mike Reynolds of Earthship Biotecture USA and NZ architect Graeme North to design and build an Earthship in Onetangi, Waiheke Island. A split-level three bedroom home is currently in the design stage and is planned to be built in 2014. With the support of Envirospec it aims to be the first 10 Homestar rated residential building in NZ- the highest home performance and sustainability rating possible. Applying for resource and building consents will be the next step in the project. Conversations with Auckland Council building control staff have been positive and they appear to have an enabling stance towards the project.
The Earthship build will take place in association with an education programme whereby a selected group of 40-60 young interns will be trained in Earthship construction techniques through a hands-on skill development programme, and some may be sponsored to undertake further training at the Earthship Academy in New Mexico, USA.
Through awareness raising and skill development, Platform One aims to support young people, including those from Maori and Pacific Island communities, to build affordable sustainable homes and through the uptake of Earthship construction methods, reduce the number of tyres sent to landfill.
Dana and Liz intend to create a replicable model for Earthship construction in NZ by demonstrating compliance with the NZ building code, fully documenting construction processes and costs, making the information accessible to others via this website, evaluating the Waiheke Earthship building performance, and hosting public open-home days.
The Waiheke Earthship Project is also being supported by:
Campbell Live – screened a short piece on the Waiheke earthship project when Mike Reynolds visited in July. TV3 will film the entire earthship build and a time-lapse feature piece will be screened on Campbell Live once the project has been completed.
Waiata Artists Trust – changemakers looking at Earthships as a solution to housing issues in Aotearoa and the Pacific Islands
Transpacific Waste Management – providing recyclables for the project including aluminum cans, glass bottles, tyres, cardboard
Watch the Campbell Live video here