Will Ilolhia gave a presentation recently (9 July 2014) to the Auckland Council Environment, Climate Change and Natural Heritage Committee about Earthships where they moved to support the ‘Earthship Biotechture’ concept and forward the presentation to relevant Council committees and departments (e.g Housing Project Office), Local Boards and Independent Maori Statutory Board for their consideration.
A copy of Wills presentation has been placed on the official minutes and is available on the Auckland Council website as a minutes attachment.
Fantastic to see a team of people of Maori and Pacific descent heading off to Taos to attend the Earthship Academy and plans afoot to build prototype earthships in Tonga, Samoa and Cook Islands.
Plans are being drawn up for an Earthship for Gus & Sarah and their family in the Coromandel. To see their progress follow them at: facebook.com/earthshiptetimatanga
This workshop will take place on a beautiful 10 acre property near Dunedin, New Zealand. Two 10sq m vaulted pods for food storage and a tool shed.
What we will be doing/learning – We will be taking this build from pounding tyres onwards. We will be working with the Earthship Biotecture principals, focusing on: thermal mass, building with recycled materials, water harvesting and power generation. There will be chances to get your hands dirty and ask all the questions you have to the experienced team.
More specifically you will get a chance to learn and build steel vaults, bond beams, do glass bottle work, tyre pounding, water catchment, laying cans for form work, insulation and drainage behind a tyre wall, mix concrete, cob work, natural plasters, lime render and more!
Shared learning – The intention is to create a place for the meeting of like minded people – as well as learning building skills its a place to share knowledge and skills across all topics. Its about cooking,working, learning and celebrating together. Bring instruments, inspiring books and anything to add to a vibrant space.
Positions available: Earthships are a more recent building style, there are only a few kiwis who have been through the Earthship Academy training in Taos, USA and subsequent builds. As well as positions for 15 students, there are 3 places for experienced natural builders (or aspiring natural builders) to join the team, for the experience and food. This could very possibly lead to being hired for the next project, as the team is growing! Please state when you apply, if you’re applying for this position.
The other position avaliable is for a local Dunedin person to join the team as cook (sourcing local food, pick ups and organising breakfast and lunch) to keep everyone fed, watered and energised.
For an application form please flick me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a Sculpted Earth Project –
All info here at Sculptedearth.co.nz
In the middle of last year, I received a phone call from an enthusiastic talented film maker named Lu Davidson from the Inspiring Stories Trust. I was, she said, her first choice pick for a film after I was nominated for BeCause – a site show casing talented young kiwis.
Massive thanks to Lu and her partner Mike, who came to Christchurch to film (and help out) on the finishing touches of the miniship that I started there earlier that year with Michael Reynolds on his Christchurch seminar tour. Also thanks to the Inspiring Stories Trust for believing in young kiwis and showing our work to the world.
Any questions or comments please email email@example.com
Following on from the last update about the Waiheke Earthship and the positive responses we received for the crowdfunding idea, we are now doing further ground work to scope out what “generic” earthship components such as tyre wall structure, greywater recycling systems, water proofing and ventilation can be designed as a set of standard details and specifications that meet the relevant provisions of the NZ Building Code and can be tested for code compliance by way of an application to MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment). Having this framework in place, would dramatically reduce the input required of professional engineers and architects in the design and consenting process of any particular earthship building in NZ in the future.
We’ve drafting up a design brief for developing a NZ standard earthship design and details adapted for the NZ environment and planning context. Our process would include modelling to optimise the thermal performance of a global model earthship in the NZ climate and “earth the earthship” by using less cans, less cement and incorporating more earth building techniques. Currently as there are no approved standards for tyre walls etc, everything is “out of the box” and each and every earthship requires design work by architects and engineers which costs a bomb!. At least this way we could all pitch in and pay once for the work to be done which will benefit everyone who wants to build an earthship in the future.
Please note that the Waiheke earthship is a unique piece of design work altogether. We have already realized that our earthship tyre wall design, along with other factors, is unique due to our site circumstances and house design and not neccessarily the easiest and most cost effective method for most sites.
Once we have ironed out some more of the details and the cost to engage architects and engineers to do this work, we’re looking to invite the NZ earthship community to come together to help finance the project though a crowdfunding platform such as Kickstarter or Pledgeme. Our intention is to lay the foundations for an earthship uprising!. Together we can be the change we want to see in the world (well at least in our small corner of it), and create a template for low cost sustainable building in Aotearoa.
Resource Consent Granted – Building Consent next to come!
This is an update as to where the Waiheke ES project is currently at along with a proposal to which we invite your thoughts and comment.
The first hurdle of the consent process has been overcome with the granting of resource consent for the Waiheke Earthship by Auckland Council. The resource consent covers such things as the size, bulk and look of the building, earthworks, impacts on native trees, and wastewater treatment and disposal, and was accepted as the building is low impact design and rain water collection and on-site sewage treatment as is the norm on Waiheke.
The Building Consent application process is yet to come and we are about 75% of the way to having a set of plans to present to Auckland Council. No construction start date has been rescheduled as yet.
To date the Earthship design process overall has been laborious, slow and costly as a result from the dynamics and complications of trying to work with Earthship Biotecture (EB) in the USA and attempting to bring Mike Reynolds design into a format which meets NZ engineering and consent requirements. To date it just not turned out to be a workable pathway to create a cost-effective outcome so with the agreement of EB, we are now adopting a different approach which we think will be easier to manage and be more cost effective. Having got the plans and engineering to an advanced concept design stage we will now take charge of the design and compliance process from EB and finish off the detailed design of the Waiheke Earthship with our local NZ team under the guidance of architect Graeme North and present the finished product to EB for review (rather than have Mike Reynolds of EB lead the project as head architect). We are in conversation with the Coromandel Earthship folks (Gus & Sarah) who are embarking on designing an earthship near Tariua, Coromandel and we’re both looking at working with the same team of design professionals.
We have had conversations with many individuals and groups nationwide who are keen to see a consentable NZ approved version of the generic EB Global Model Earthship accessible to their communities. We envision this could be made possible in conjunction with the earthship design process that we are going through. In addition to our own custom earthship design we are looking at providing a set of earthship system NZ generic “specifications” which could be applied to any site in NZ including an NZ approved tyre code, wastewater systems design, water proofing, ventilation and other key components of earthship design. It is important to note that these would not be a a set of building plans which could be presented for rubber stamping by councils as NZ law requires that site specific drawings are created for every building consent. It would however save anyone embarking on their own earthship design considerable cost and time as all the key NZ code compliant details could just be lifted and applied. By pooling resources with any others of you out there that are looking to build earthships in the future, or just want to support the movement, we have an opportunity to really empower the expansion of earthship building in NZ.
In order to gauge and confirm interest and also have a transparent mechanism to manage the process, we are looking into a crowd funding method called Kickstarter to raise the money to provide the generic set of code compliant NZ earthship specifications. As we have already resolved many of the core aspects of the compliance requirements with our considerable investment to date with Earthship Biotecture and NZ architect and engineers, we envision that it will be quite cost effective for others to chip in to achieve a full set of generic earthship specifications for themselves.
At the end of the day, whether or not there is sufficient interest, we will carry on and complete our site specific plans for the Waiheke ES project (as we imagine will others) however we feel it is much more efficient and better for all stakeholders to work collaboratively to achieve an outcome with much greater and wider benefits for the NZ Earthship community.
So what do you say – does the idea sound attractive and would you contribute to making it work? If not why and how could this idea be improved?
Thanks and we look forward to your comments.
Liz and Dana
Watch this space!
3 weeks work on the miniship in North Canterbury has just finished, leaving our beautiful golden domed temple very nearly finished. We did final plaster on the roof, followerd by sealing and coloring the dome. Water catchment was built, plastered and sealed with a slope for water to run to the scupper (built from rebar and plastered) to bring the water direct to the barrel. The exterior walls too alot to pack out with cans, before getting to planster, and will get a green sealer to complete the outside.
Inside, the walls were given numerous plaster coats of cob (clay soil, sand, straw or wheat paste and slaked lime) to pack out the tyres and sculpt around the window and door. Inside the ceiling, the fabric was removed, and a lime wash was painted on in 2 coats. Outside, we built a seat and a planter, and we also installed a beautiful wee fire.
Big thank you to everyone involved, final final finishes (interior plaster, floor and tile) will happen in spring.
A full set of images and a video walk through are here at Earthship New Zealand (on fb) and anyone is welcome to contact me with questions or requests.
See our training and volunteering page for upcoming opportunities to work on earthship projects in Raglan (29 Nov to 2nd Dec) and Canterbury (Dec 1- 24th).
Also there is a chance to be an intern from 6 Jan to 8 Feb in South Australia on the first Australian Earthship to be “sanctioned” by Earthship Biotecture (Taos, USA) and the first to be fully approved by local government in Aus! Click here for more info.