Construction of the earthships

aardehuizen olstThe aardehuizen in Olst were inspired by Earthships of architect Michael Reynolds. The first Earthships date back to the ‘70s and have been tested thoroughly by use. Discarded materials and local building materials determine the buildings. An earthship is designed for off-grid living.

Architect Michel Post of Orio Architecten has modified the design to meet Dutch conditions. (rains, temperature through the year and soil).

12 of the buildings have tire walls - filled with rammed earth - supporting the roof. The other 11 buildings are built with straw walls with a wood frame supporting the roof. The roofs are slanted 9º to catch a maximum of sun in winter and very little sun in summer.

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Earthship principles

oostzijdeHere follows a brief description of how an earthships functions.

The features at a glance are:

  • extremely low power consumption
  • own water supply and sanitation
  • independent of the sewage system
  • lower building costs
  • outstanding energy performance
  • harmonious fit with landscape

All these characteristics apply for the approximately 100 earthships that have been built worldwide over the last 35 years to the complete satisfaction of their residents and the local governments. In other words, the pioneering phase of the building concept has past and while perhaps new by Dutch standards, an earthship is no longer an experiment. All technical questions relating to building and safety are answerable and supported by years of practical experience in both construction and habitation.

More information about the earthship building concept along with technical data, photographs and maps can be found at www.earthship.net, the website of the aforementioned architect Michael Reynolds.

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Sustainable building

south-viewThe earthship concept is a prime example of environmentally friendly and sustainable building and living. All environmental aspects are taken into consideration in this innovative yet simple (low tech) building concept. The reuse of existing materials in the construction phase as well as clean energy usage with zero or near-zero CO2 emissions, minimizes environmental impact.

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