Magazine article Geographical

Sailing the Earth

Magazine article Geographical

Sailing the Earth

Article excerpt

It came from the 1970s, and it's found out on New Mexico's high desert mesa. This unusual home is an 'Earthship', designed by architect Michael Reynolds as the ultimate in off grid living. An Earthship is an autonomous building built to be self-sufficient in heating, power and water and is usually constructed from waste materials like car tyres and beer cans Although originally designed for an undeveloped desert environment, Earthships are now promoted as an ideal option for low-carbon living.

'There's an EU directive that considers tyres as hazardous waste, but it depends on the locality. Some places, like Scotland, are fine about it, says Mischa Hewitt, a Low Carbon Trust director 'It comes down to how an agency interprets the landfill directive,' he adds.

The biggest barrier to building an Earthship in the UK is land. 'One of the major issues in the UK is that housing is provided by seven house builders who have a stranglehold on land,' says Hewitt. This means it's very difficult to get land to build on. particularly for a self-build project like an Earthship.

If you decided to build single story, an Earthship wouldn't take up more land than a typical bungalow. …

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