An Earthship is a brand of passive solar earth shelter that is made of both natural and upcycled materials such as earth-packed tires, pioneered by architect Michael Reynolds.
Earthships are predicated upon the idea that there are six human needs which can be addressed through environmentally sustainable building design:
- Energy: Thermal and/or solar heating and cooling, solar and wind electricity
- Garbage Management: Reuse and recycling built into construction and daily living
- Sewage Treatment: Self-contained sewage treatment and water recycling
- Shelter: Building with natural and recycled materials
- Clean Water: Water harvesting and long term storage
- Food: In-home organic food production capability
Earthship structures are intended to be “off-the-grid-ready” homes, with minimal reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. They are constructed to use available natural resources, especially energy from the sun and rainwater.
- They are designed with thermal mass construction and natural cross-ventilation to regulate indoor temperature.
- The designs are intentionally uncomplicated and mainly single-story so that people with little building knowledge can construct them.