Earthships are sustainable housing solutions created from recycled materials and powered by renewable energy sources. The principle of the Earthship is such that it can be designed to suit any climate in the world, be economical and self-sustaining. Globally there are over 1000 Earthships in operation.
An Earthship is a type of passive solar house made primarily of natural and recycled materials. Designed and marketed by Earthship Biotecture of Taos, New Mexico, the homes are primarily constructed to work as autonomous buildings and are made of rammed earth tires, using thermal mass construction to naturally regulate indoor temperature. They also have their own special natural ventilation system. Earthships are generally Off-the-grid homes, minimizing their reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. Earthships are built to utilize the available local resources, especially energy from the sun. For example, windows on sun-facing walls admit lighting and heating, and the buildings are often horseshoe-shaped to maximize natural light and solar-gain during winter months. The thick, dense inner walls provide thermal mass that naturally regulates the interior temperature during both cold and hot outside temperatures.
The Plantz and Bennett Earthship Build will follow the standard Earthship Biotecture plans for the Global Model unit. The plans will be purchased from Earthship Biotecture and any amendments to the plans will be made under the consultation of the architect (Michael Reynolds).
Due to the nature of the project there are no local building companies or general contractors with the knowledge to organize and manage this type of project. Therefore, the owners, Kris Plantz and Nicole Bennett will share the responsibilities for managing the team members for the project includes subject matter experts (e.g., Engineers) and general labor. The general responsibilities will be assigned to the owners and split between a project manager role and a general contractor role.
Construction will be managed in short phases each with a goal to complete a particular aspect of the building. Each phase will have a subject matter expert and a general labor component. During the phase there will be planned check points where the subject matter expert is consulted and the work is reviewed. Before the start of the next phase the financier will confirm that the value has been achieved as planned.
The design of the building will follow the standard global model plans from Earthship Biotecture whenever possible. There will be some amendments required to meet building code in Manitoba and satisfy any structural issues based on the geotechnical report and engineer. When amendments are required Earthship Biotecture will be consulted on the changes prior to generating new drawings. Any amendment once reviewed and approved will has a specification completed and documented as a change to the plans.