Earthship Essay

1218 Words Dec 7th, 2013 5 Pages
Max Altschuler
ENVD 3115
Professor Marcel S. de Lange
December 8, 2013

Earthship Design, Materials, and Sustainability

Earthship design is a movement initiated by Michael Reynolds. Earthship Biotecture is a method of architecture and design that incorporates recycled materials, earthen materials, and renewable energy sources into a sustainable and self-sufficient home. The purpose of this according to Michael Reynolds it to achieve energy independence, sustainable housing, and relieve the burdens of stress on the environment from conventional building methods while keeping cost minimal. Utilizing waste and earthen materials, Michael was able to construct comfortable living, beautiful architectural design, and self-sufficiency
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Having the ability to withstand a variety of climates and the requirement of no manufacturing components, rammed earth viable sustainable building material available in high quantity. By ramming moist soils in layers within a constructed form a wall is constructed. Rammed earth does not require drying time; therefore the form can be moved immediately after completion to construct another section. Modular contained earth, such as earth bags or tires filled with sand and compressed, are a great alternative to geographic locations what are lacking in clay or are prone to heavy rain and flooding. Burlap sacks or polypropylene sacks can be utilized and all organic or degradable materials should be removed from the fill dirt. The bags are placed in staggered courses, so that the lower joint is covered by the next row. In earthquake prone areas, or to provide greater stabilization barbed wire should be used in-between each course. Once each layer is set, tamping the full course will provide even compaction. Openings can be created in framing ahead of time with the use of simple forms. Straw bale construction is a relatively new method of design that was realized with the mechanization of the baling process. There are many structural approaches to straw bale construction: load bearing, post and beam, and strengthened bale. Load-bearing construction is typically fit for single story

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