Tag Archive: Thermal Mass

Island Earthship Build: Getting there-Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

‘My Survivor, Island Earthship’ Build with Michael Reynolds In BC, Canada A 5 Week Photo Journal by Monica Holy …Previous Post Getting to this remote Island location is enough to discourage most people, but we Earthship Volunteer Interns tend to made of hardy stuff. Once in Vancouver, I needed to figure out how I would…

Passive Solar Gain Technologies For a More Sustainable Home

Diagram illustrating Passive Solar Gain using the Sun and Architectural Design for a Sustainable HomeUtilizing the sun can go a long way to freely and efficiently heating your home during the daylight hours. A building that is intentionally sited to Face the Southern Exposure taking into account the arc of the sun and the maximum exposure of daylight hours will enjoy Free Heating. Passive Solar is a beautiful thing. The direct heat or light of the sun can be captured and utilized. Here are some designs that need only be placed in the direct line of the sun to get the job done.

Measurement for an Earthship’s Battered Retaining Wall

Just as each row must be measured tire to tire to make sure it remains level from end to end; so too does the wall need to be measured from the ground up to the top, and backwards. In the latest style of Earthship (the Global Model) the retaining walls would stagger or ‘batter’ on…

Creating a ‘Half Tire’ for an Earthship Tire Wall

Using ‘Half Tires’ to Fill Odd Spaces in a Rammed Earth Tire Wall: There is more than one way to skin a cat and several ways to approach a half tire. (my cat Mist is deeply offended that I even went there with that feline crack, however she’s been shredding the fabric on my chairs…

How to Pound a Tire for an Earthship Home

Pounding Tires for a Rammed Earth Tire Wall: Pounding a Tire…oh what fun! Ok-Ok I’m being sarcastic but only because I have a few lower back challenges so bending over at a 45 degree angle makes my chiropractor really upset with me. It is fun on the first go, but by the time you get…

Leveling the First Tire Row for an Earthship

Sighting and Trenching a Level Foundation for the First Row of Tires: The hole is dug, the dirt is piled off to the side and you are ready to lay down your first course of tires, right? Psych! No not yet. One small but infinitely important step is to ‘sight’ your foundation from the east…

Excavating the Foundation for an Earthship Home

Excavating the Foundation to the Frost Line: Depending on where you live you will have a choice of building above ground and berming your home (in say rocky terrain where you can’t dig down unless you blast it) or below the surface. Excavating your foundation just below the frost line is preferable by far in…

Where B.C. Hobbits, a Publishing Guru and Earthship Mentors Meet

Frodo (Monica) and I (just call me Sam) went all the way to L.A. to attend a book publishing seminar by ‘the man’ (Mark Victor Hansen) and guess what? One week later we had a literary agent out of Chicago to represent us. One year later a publisher picked us up, and ten months after…

Rammed Earth Tire Dwellings, aka Earthships

If you shut off all your mechanical means to heat your home in the winter time at say -25 below, would you find it mildly chilly or would it be completely uninhabitable? Earthships, created by Michael Reynolds, are brilliant, and we intend to build one. It is considered to be a sustainable structure. An Earthship is a structure that needs no foundation to hold it up and is placed directly on the ground to take advantage of Geo Thermal principles. The glass wall of the greenhouse stretches along the entire east/west side of the house which is oriented towards the southern sky. This allows sunlight to enter the structure all day where the planters can benefit, and the substantial thermal mass collects, stores and releases the heat of the day slowly at night when most needed.

Papercrete Construction

Papercrete is recycle-reusing old paper in a slurry of sand and cement mixed and poured into molds to make any size and shape brick you please. It’s cement ‘light’, all the insulated properties you want without the weight. The recipe goes as follows: 60% paper (newspaper/cardboard/magazines), 30% sand and 10% cement. Once that puppy cures…

Adobe Architecture

Nothing can be simpler than mud. It’s been around forever and can be found everywhere on the globe.  In fact adobe bricks, which are essentially sun dried blocks stacked and cemented together with mortar, are then either left alone or covered over with an earthen plaster (so that’s mud to the power of three). Adobe…

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