Living for tomorrow, today...

UPCOMING COROMANDEL BUILD

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We invite you to join us on our 8 week intensive Earthship workshop, starting Mid January. The workshop will cover all facits of Earthship design and construction. We have 40 special places to learn from our core crew. The dream team of experienced Earthship builders from around the globe are passing on their knowledge to build a fully approved and functioning Earthship. We will be covering many topics such as Thermal, & Solar Heating & Cooling, Building with Natural & Recycled Materials, Water Harvesting, Storage and Filtration, Natural Flow Sewage Treatment, Finishing Options and techniques including cob & hempcrete, Permiculture design and food production. Solar Electric Systems, as well as the plans and the permitting process and much much more. During this time we invite you to camp on our land and become part of a community. With two tipi on site providing a classroom and communal dining. We have two vibrant chefs destined to prepare the high energy and nutritious meals required to sustain us. Topped off with a deep crystal clear river for daily renewal and a mountain hut climb finale, we hope you will join us on this amazing construction adventure.

 

REGISTRATIONS ARE OPEN! please click here for an online form.

Sloped versus vertical glazing

Ironbank ESWe’ve been taking note of some of the modifications Martin Freney has made to the global model earthship design for the Ironbank earthship project in Adelaide Australia.  Martin is doing PhD research on earthships and has done computer modelling of their thermal performance so we think must be good reasons behind the design changes he has made.

A few departures from the Mike Reynolds earthship design of note are:
1) Vertical glazing instead of sloped glazing on the north face.   Vertical glazing more easily allows the installation of blinds or shades if required, to exclude the worst of the mid-summer sun.  Vertical glazing is also cheaper and simpler to install.
2) Use of skylights which double as vents, in the sloping area of north facing roof, along with fanlights over the interior doors.  These are considered essential to get light to the back of the rooms which would otherwise be quite dark, even with a light/white ceiling.  
3) Use of solar fans to vent the greenhouse area, and circulate air between the greenhouse and room behind. 
 
 Any comments on these design aspects welcomed.

Bottles for underfloor insulation

bottle floor

glass bottles as underfloor insulation

One of the key features of earthship is their use of waste materials in construction such as tires, bottles, cans etc. In the Waiheke earthship we are going to use bottles as underfloor insulation.  We haven’t heard of any other earthships doing this, however it fits into the whole earthship ethos so I’m surprised that its not part of Mike Reynolds approach.  The bottles will be laid on their side in a bed of sand over the  damp proof membrane.  Another layer of sand will cover the bottles and the spaces between them, and then a concrete pad poured over the top.  On top of this we are going to have an earth floor for a more giving and comfortable feeling underfoot than a hard concrete finish.

According to our architect Graeme North, preliminary calculated R values for 100mm thick concrete floors insulated underneath with bottles laid in dense sand is approx. 1.65 m2oC/W  and with bottles laid in pumice sand is approx. 2.06 m2oC/W.

This ignores the R value of the earth underneath the slab which varies according to floor perimeter length and with any edge insulation.

These figures have not been fully checked, and are calculated first order assumptions only, with considerable margin for error.  The  actual insulation values can only be proved by testing.

 

Waiheke earthship update

w elevationMany of you may be wondering if the Waiheke earthship is still going ahead. We’re pleased to say that after a period of regrouping we’re now moving ahead with the detailed design and hope to have building plans ready to submit to Council in the new year. We looked into the Kickstarter project for a NZ version of the global model earthship however after review and assessment of interest from the ES community we realised this would cost more than we’d be likely to raise through crowdfunding and not worth the effort. So we are going ahead with our own custom design which is a split level 3 bedroom earthship. The lower level is a standard global model with greenhouse on front but the top level is more open with a rear tyre wall but no greenhouse on the front. That’s because we want the living area to have large sliding doors opening straight out into a deck. This will reduce the thermal performance of the building in some ways however with Waiheke’s mild climate we’re willing to make that compromise. And if additional heating or cooling is required we also have some very innovative and first of it’s kind alternative technologies to draw upon from Dana’s energy company, Energy Alternatives. We’ll be posting more regular updates from now on as we make key design decisions and look to having a building schedule posted early in the new year.

Natural Building Conference and Tour

The Earth Building Association of NZ (EBANZ) invites you to their annual

“Natural Building Conference”.

 Labour weekend: Saturday 25th October and Sunday 26th October 2014 on the Kapiti Coast

(Optional: Monday 27 October 2014 in Wellington)

 Come along to meet fellow natural building enthusiasts and share a wonderful weekend.

 

             Visit at least eight spectacular homes that are constructed using a range of building techniques.
Listen to the owners/ designers talk about their building experiences.

             See practical demonstrations on:

o   rammed earth construction

o   light earth infill panels

o   homemade natural paints

o   and adobe brick testing

             Listen to our keynote speakers Professors Robert and Brenda Vale from the School of Architecture at Victoria University and authors of “Time To Eat The Dog” and “The Autonomous House”.

             Be shown around a permaculture garden by Emily Williams one of New Zealand’s permaculture experts

             Hear presentations on a range of sustainable building practices.

             Join a “show and tell” session, where participants can share their natural building stories in a short, punchy format

             Question the “ask the experts” panel, led by some of New Zealand’s most experienced natural builders and eco designers

             Get an update on the “New Zealand Earth Building Standards” revision

             Network with experienced owner builders and building professionals

             Share meals, accommodation and socialise with like-minded people during this information packed weekend

 

To find out more, register and book your accommodation today

 

Web: www.earthbuilding.org.nz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/earthbuilding

Or call Verena on ph: 03 5450240

Auckland Council committee supports Earthship concept

pic of willWill 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.

 

Up coming Earthship workshop

 

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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 rosa.scarlette@gmail.com 

 

This is a Sculpted Earth Project –

All info here at Sculptedearth.co.nz

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Mini docco of a Kiwi Earthship Builder

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 rosa.scarlette@gmail.com