Earthship in Flagstaff
Glass bottle designed wall.
Earthship's (not for sale)
Earthship's are Earth sheltered autonomous buildings. Made by recycling automobile tires and ramming earth in them. Rammed earth is taking clay or sand and packing it into the tires(and other objects). Earthship's are made from a lot of recycled material often including beverage bottles and cans for non-load bearing walls.
Earthship's may function is to be earth friendly. As mentioned they are built with recycled materials (automobile tires, beverage bottles, recycled wood, just about anything). The are also self sufficient with their utilities. Water is collected of the roof and stored in a cistern, then filtered for drinking. All indoor plumbing(excluding toilets) uses greywater systems to supply toilets or water gardens (indoor or outdoor). Black water (human waste) uses a Watson Wick system (filters waste and waters outdoor gardens), Watson Wick systems are not permitted in a lot of areas. So the alternatives are composting toilets are septic systems. For power a PV system or Solar Panels store energy(DC current) in large batteries in which the energy is inverted to AC for home use. Back up generators are often used as supplement. Some also use wind turbines and is stored and used the same way. Heat is done using passive solar techniques with wood burning stove supplement. They rely on the sun hitting the windows and storing in there thermal mass(stone floor & automobile tires).
In the 1970's Mike Reynolds invented these homes. He and his wife had lived on boats or ships and then came up with these earth homes, so the name was coined earthship. Mike Reynolds wanted to create a home that is sustainable (using recycled materials, indigenous materials), sell sufficient (off grid, produces all utilities and anyone could build one without a specialized skill level in construction. Being self sufficient, there is less chance of natural disasters or human disasters effecting power supply, water supply or heat supply(key word less chance, they are not tanks).
There is a whole community of Earthship's in Taos New Mexico and a couple here in Flagstaff.