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.