The cost of materials in modern building can be expensive and damaging to the environment. Not to mention the waste and pollution that construction creates. Earthship Global strives to change the game by renewing old junk and instilling hope for future generations with a revolutionary eco-friendly architecture design.

Earthship is the name given to either a building or vessel used to thrive on the produce of the planet in a way that is absolutely harmless and independent of all public and municipal utilities. Green and economical, these sustainable living structures are the brainchild of Michael Reynolds, founder of Earthship Biotecture.

The dream to live green

Once upon a time, it used to be a mere fantasy to live among the wilderness, in a home powered simply by nature itself. To live with the animals in the woods, away from the city. But how would you procure warmth, water, nourishment and above all stay hygienic? 

With credit due to the dedication and perseverance of Michael Reynolds’ brilliant idea from the seventies and the support of his dynamic team of top Earthship builders, electricians, plumbers and plant specialists – that dream of a green haven for mankind has now become a reality. 

In collaboration with Una Escuela Sustenable, Earthship are on a mission, working with students from around the world to construct sustainable public schools in every Latin American country. This ultra-green public elementary school pictured below in Argentina is made entirely of repurposed materials.

Earthship, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Photo: Earthship Global via Una Escuela Sustentable

Powered by nature

The Earthship utilises six core building principles: shelter – made of natural repurposed materials. Warmth – both solar heating and thermal cooling. Electricity – powered by solar and wind energy. Purified water – suitable for drinking and cleaning. Nutritious food that is grown within your home and finally a contained yet discreet sewage waste disposal.

These six commandments that all Earthship designs follow ensure sustainable development and provide the most essential basic needs for human survival in an irrefutably ergonomic way. 

Earthship, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Photo: (Earthship Global) via Una Escuela Sustentable

Hope for future generations

Reynolds believes that homes and buildings must respond to the needs of a human being. His talented knowledge of architecture, vision of a harmonious, intelligent affinity for Mother Earth and the profound constructive method that he and his team developed, enabled man to become independent once more.  

With its very own Biotecture Academy, the sites ranging from across the globe include Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Spain, France, the United States, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Scotland and Mexico, among others. The team offer an extensive training program, focusing on the Earthship core design principles of green architecture, ecological construction methods and a philosophy lecture led by Reynolds himself. 

Another incredible school built out of reclaimed materials with a team of students – the Mar Chiquita building measures just shy of 3,000 square feet. The building process took around seven weeks following the Earthship six core building principles. Around 200 volunteers and students from Uruguay as well as 30 other countries participated in the construction of this school.

Photo: Earthship Global via Una Escuela Sustentable

Repurposed remains: Mar Chiquita model

This school, constructed in the coastal town of Jaureguiberry, in the department of Canelones in Uruguay, is a rural model. It is made of approximately 60 per cent recycled material (plastic, cardboard, glass bottles and cans) and 40 percent traditional material. The building opens to the north, making the most of light and solar energy through a wide glazed corridor, leading on to three classrooms and two service batteries. 

It presents a simple yet forceful façade dominated by glass and wood. The corridor to the north also enables the production of food through an interior garden and generates electrical energy via photovoltaic panels and a power bank.

In addition to being autonomous in its energy usage, the school neutralises rainwater in order to make it fit for human consumption, hand washing, irrigation of orchards and finally for cisterns including a septic tank (also built with recycled materials) and a wetland on the exterior of the building. 

Earthship, Mar Chiquita, Jaureguilberry, Uruguay

Photo: Earthship Global via Una Escuela Sustentable

Studying with the master

Earthship is ready to teach those who are willing to learn a number of invaluable life lessons and survival skills. The crew will guide you for one month, while you build the self-contained sector, alongside three shells which form a new ecological unit. Using repurposed materials, you will learn; how to harvest and treat water, how to install a basic solar power system and how to grow food all under the same roof. These units are easily reproduced and cost-effective. 

The main objective of Earthship Biotecture is to disseminate the technical and conceptual aspects of the Earthship and to seek the growth of this particular kind of solar construction. It is to inspire change in the consciousness of how we think we should be living and to better our relationship with the environment. 

Find out more on Earthship’s website. 

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