Set Course For Earthships

By on November 19, 2012

As the economy continues to shrink and conservation of money becomes more and more of a priority, people are exploring as many new options as possible, in order to save those all-important pennies. One avenue that is proving particularly popular all over the world the idea of renovating your homestead, or replacing aspects of your lifestyle with more sustainable, responsible alternatives.

Spoilt For Choice
There are a wide range of home remodelling methods included under this umbrella, all of which can be utilised during the construction of an extension or a renovation of the existing property. From geodesic ‘dome home’ design to earthbag construction – the choices are endless. One means of constructing a new property which ensures great levels of heat (and therefore money!) retention while at the same time helping to clean up the planet is the use of ‘earthships’.

Waste Not, Want Not
Earthships aren’t as futuristic and sci-fi as they sound! Quite literally, an earthship is a discarded tyre – or a similar non-biodegradeable cast-off material – that is then packed with dirt, mud or clay, and sealed alongside other earthships to create a solid wall. To make your environmental efforts go even further, you can even pack the interior of your tyres with secondary layers of containers. Think heavy plastic materials that are difficult to recycle – these will fit snugly inside your tyre, and can be filled in turn with clay, sand or dirt of their own, so that the insulatory nature of the earthship as a building material isn’t compromised by empty space.

Once your tyre is filled, you need only to seal it securely to ensure that the contents won’t crack, crumble or otherwise fall out. When it’s complete, you’ll have what is essentially a round brick, ready to be stacked and mortared securely in place alongside its fellows. And what’s even better is that it won’t have cost you a penny!

Scope Out Likely Locations
Scrapyards, rubbish tips and even farms can be a valuable source of old tyres that nobody has use for any more – and the owners of these establishments are often all too happy to give you the tyres for free. Sand, dirt and clay is all easy enough to come by – and if you need mass amounts in a hurry, then your local builder’s yard or tradesman’s store will have large quantities of topsoil and sand available at reasonable rates. And since earthships are so simple to put together, there’s no need for you to hire a construction professional or to buy bricks and so on from a professional building supplier.

Although it may not be much of a primary selling point, there’s also another valuable reason to consider a home built of earthships. Correctly constructed, earthships are essentially sandbags, reinforced with thick layers of rubber. These make for extremely strong walls within your home – so much so that even the military use similar materials to protect their troops from gunshots and bomb blasts. Although you’re unlikely to have too many people trying to shoot or blow up your home, the additional security would certainly come in handy in case of a natural disaster, or even something as simple as a careless driver mounting the kerb and impacting the side of your house.

This post was contributed by Sean Dominey, who writes on behalf of Vastern Timber. For more information on home renovation and ecologically responsible building materials, you can visit the website at http://www.vastern.co.uk/green-issues.html

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