- Earthship Ironbank - January/Feb 2014
- 4 weeks in the hot South Australian sun. Close to a hundred volunteers have come and joined Martin Freney, his family and a 10 strong team of experienced Earthshippers in building the first permitted Earthship structure in Australia from the ground up. The 4 weeks have included a range of activities including; tyre pounding, plumbing, making cob and applying it as a render and pack out, bottle cutting, form work and cement/steel form work, steel vault building, drainage, building grey water planters, building a tyre water tank and many more activities over the 4 weeks. Conditions were difficult with over 40deg days but plenty of alternative activities and sessions were generated by ther workshop participants including building a free energy machine! With the 5 week workshop nearly finished the workshop will continue later in the year until final render and finsihes are completed including building the bathroom and floors, final cob and lime renders and bottle walls.
Stay tuned for more details, photos can be seen here
- Earthship Mini-Ship Project completed December 2013
Well after a long wait Earthship Australia successfully hosted its first week-long project building a 10sqm ‘under-permit’ mini-ship vaulted dome with the support of a local eco-village project and 30 volunteer participants.
With weather that bordered on ‘challenging’ interwoven with sun, the newly formed working crew consisting of 5 facilitators, half a dozen helpers, some amazing chefs from Melbourne Uni Food Co-op and 30 gung-ho excited and keen volunteers who helped us realise a dream to build a small multi-purpose studio/bedroom in 7 days using 150 tyres, 2000 cans, a few hundred bottles and other assorted second hand bits and pieces.
We followed the traditional 5 courses of tyres with a ferr0-cement domed roof which both were completed by the middle of day 2, spending the next 3 days digging out the drainage trench, splatter coating the dome and packing out the tyres, putting a cob layer on the inside, cutting a building a bottle feature wall for the north face, putting in the cooling tube, building an operable bottle window, pounding tyres and doing a can sculpture bench seating area and finally doing a final coat of oxide cement render, cob floor and second hand doors on to finish!
During the week we had many opportunities for discussions ranging from the golden ratio hosted by Nick the site owner, natural plaster, earthship water systems (as we weren’t putting in any of the grey water systems on a building this small) and some sound healing, fireside games, much mud throwing and dam swimming to clean up after a tough day hauling dirt.
To all those that came we were so glad to have met you, shared time and workshopped ideas for future builds and projects which we hope to meet you on again and again. Thanks to Nick, Robyn and Edwin for hosting us, Sam A for all his co-ordination and passion, for those who helped haul food and gear up and all our friends and family who supported us.
To those who couldn’t make it stay tuned for more workshops in 2014 and other opportunities to get involved in Earthship Australia. We are still having our first year membership drive for those who want to sign up and help us out please go to www.earthshipaustralia.org.au
See you next time! keep on collecting trash!
Sam, Sean, Dani, Campbell and Rachel
- Earthships Australia featured in Eco-News -- access link here
- Earthship Queensland Update June-July 2013
Greetings Earthship supporters,
Well we have just returned from a successful 2 week workshop to get more done on final finishing of the 2 U survival pod in on the discovery coast in Queensland, Australia. Following on from the hard worked first workshop in February this year, which saw the bulk of the hard work done on getting the Earthship up, we returned with a new crew and 20 new interns and 6 returnees from the previous workshop to get more of the internal fitout close to lock-up stage. Unlike the previous workshop the weather allowed for full days working in the glorious sunshine with all hands on deck working on 2 major components, the bottle walls and rendering the 2 large vaults with clay. The first week was spent finishing the roof to stop any leakage coming into the vaults, packing out the internal tyres with a sawment material (sawdust, cement) and beginning the 6 major bottle wall features for the interior and exterior face walls on the south, east and west sides of the greenhouse. Such large bottle walls had definitely not been contemplated in my experience before and it was a test of our skills to ensure their structural and aesthetic qualities, the results speak for themselves.
The second week saw a second coat of clay render go up on the vaults and attempts at a final finsih clay plaster were begun but the drying time of the vaults did not allow a finished coat. Similarly, time ran out for the final plaster finish for all but 1 of the bottle walls. The grey water planter in the front of the greenhouse was finished with a 2ft can wall put up and the sides rendered and finished ready for soil to be put in and get some plants growing in coming months. The plumbing and electricity work was finished by our resident genius Paul and the Earthship was left with power in all rooms and the water tank hooked up and ready to be filled from the next rains coming off the roof. The outside berms were finished with the vapour barrier continued along each of the external walls to stop any water from entering the structure. Rear vent windows were also fitted out in the last days to ensure convection and a cool breeze could flow from the cooling tubes in the bottom of the vaults up through the greenhouse and out through the highest points. Though the awesome second hand front doors were not fitted when we left the Earthship is now much cler to finished stage with work continuing in coming months with volunteers staying behind to finish the work. For more details on the experience you can also go to Aaron's blog and Harry's photos and stay tuned for more details.
Big warm special thanks to Bob and Shelley for hosting us on their amazing land and looking after us so well, thanks to the team leaders Rosa, Paul, Campbell, the mega site organiser Dani and all the returnees and to the volunteers a big thanks for all your efforts and good vibes, it made for a really exciting, satisfying and awesome learning experience for us all, hope you spread the word and we get to do it more often across the country.
If you want to visit or go and work on the project please contact me here.
- Earthship SA Permit Approved, June 2013!!!
Earthship Ironbank Newsletter
Development Approval - Got it! Earthship Ironbank was approved as of 14 June 2013 by the Onkaparinga Council, meaning construction can (re)commence! The process took approximately 12 months from the date of submitting the original drawings for Planning Approval.
Unfortunately SA Health were a little, shall we say insistent, that the greywater system is a "health risk" so the greenhouse planter will be irrigated by rainwater (in case anyone asks) and wastewater will be used for irrigation outdoors... However, I'm currently in discussion with UniSA to establish a "university trial" of the system to scientifically test the system and establish the health risk. Could it be more risky than smoking or driving a car I wonder? Or I may apply for Ministerial exemption. Or just cross my fingers.
Private Certification was by Giordano Certification, Engineering by MLEI Consulting Engineers, Energy Assessment by Helen Bennetts Sustainable Design and architectural drafting by Martin Freney (me!).
So, with the exception of the greywater system, this demonstrates that Earthship construction is compliant with the Building Code of Australia: no concrete footings! Greywater reuse legislation varies from state to state but here in SA we have some of the toughest laws... in the driest state in the driest continent. Go figure!
The design is loosely based on Michael Reynolds' Simple Survival Model Earthship: one main room with bed and kitchenette, plus greenhouse, bathroom and entry.
It is approved for use as Bed & Breakfast tourist accommodation (although I'll be renting it to myself fairly often) enabling people to experience the wonders of Earthship living.
Workshops will be announced soon...
Thanks to everyone who has helped out with the project to date. Couldn't have done it without you!
NOTE: I've started using MailChimp to handle email sign ups (go to Earthship Ironbank Facebook page for sign up link). You can unsubscribe from this mail list automatically thanks to MailChimp. But feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Australia's First Earthship - Documentary Screening Dates 2013
Melbourne - April 19th
Tasmania - May 11th
Sydney - May 22rd
Newcastle - May 24th
Brisbane - June 2nd
Sunshine Coast- June 7th
For more screening in your area give send us a msg and one can be arranged to come to you!
- Seven Sisters Festival - Earthship Workshop - April 2013
Earthships- Sustainable Architecture Presenter: Rachel Goldlust Space: Envirotent As an established environmental education teacher, and workshop facilitator for Earthship Australia, I am offering a talk on the features and benefits of this radical alternative sustainable living model which utilises recycled materials in a community-driven platform.
TIMES: Saturday 9am & Sunday 3pm
For more details
- Little Otways Earthship
Here is a free opportunity for you to know if Earthships are for you. Come and join us for a day, a weekend a week or more to help us complete the first phase of our Earthship. Building Earthships require a lot of human energy and motivation, come and experience what it really is.
The project leader is optimist and he has a pedagogical approach, he will teach you about Earthships and about every other sustainable and permacultural elements that are on site.
On site we have a small wooden off grid house, fed by rain water and we have an interesting way to reuse our waste. A goat milk farm, 250 apple varieties, sheep, dogs and chooks. Free camping, free meals and showers are provided to visitors.
Come learn and inspire yourself.
Free intro to earthship experience. In Apollo Bay, Victoria, Australia.
About Free intro to earthship experience. In Apollo Bay, Victoria, Australia.
Please like us on Facebook to help us promote our project https://www.facebook.com/pages/Little-Otways-Earthship/149017161940557
or click the facebook button at the right of this page. Thank you.
Are earthships for you?
Come and join us for the first phase of the project, building the walls.
550 tires have to be pounded into a 3 compartments earthship
The goal is to build the cheapest and most efficient green house and cellar as well as an emergency house in case of an other bushfire.
You are interested in earthships and you like challenges, this first phase experience is for you.
Transform this pile of tire, this pile of earth and reused materials into a beautiful building.
Learn how to use nature at your advantage. We receive 60 inches of rain a year. Weather is our main challenge and we need to be creative in order to build our house before next rain season.
Learn from a multi-generational environmental warriors with the founders of the project Tony and Lynne Webber.
- Earthship Fundamentals workshop Jan/Feb 2013
A start to finish build/workshop with Earthship Acamedy graduate, Duuvy Jester
Hello there, one and all! Thank you for gathering here to read about an upcoming opportunity to learn about the wonders of Biotecture. We are going to be conducting a start to finish build in Queensland, Australia. The Earthship design concept and systems are going to be applied to the subtropical climate of the area. The cement content is going to be replaced with hempcrete. Hempcrete is a masonry that is made from hemp fibers and a lime based binder. It is light weight, low embodied energy and does not require kiln baking. This is going to be the first building of its type to be built using hemp. Exciting times! The site is on a residential permaculture plot. We would like to invite you to come and get involved.
Earthship Academy graduates, Duuvy Jester and Rachi Goldlust will take you step by step through the entire build where you will be able to get hands on experience in how this technology works. Included in the workshop will be:
- Earthship seminar on the opening night with Duuvy
- in depth look into the different systems, their application and integration
- circle discussions in the evenings with different guest speakers covering a range of topics such as quantum agriculture, medicinal plants, soil science. permaculture and common law
- each day will begin with a guided morning meditation if you wish to participate
- lunch will be provided every day
- hands on building experience
- on site camping
- communal kitchen and toilet
- a 3 hour break everyday to go to the beach
Prices are as follows:
entire workshop - $300 or $250 concession
one week - $180 or $150 concession
weekend - $60 or $50 concession
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Duuvy at email@example.com.
Or go to the online form Here
Hope to hear from you soon,
- Earthship QLD, Jan/Feb 2013
Our first attempt at a 2 U survival pod in Australia is coming along with amazing results and opportunities for learning on the ground. With up to 40 crew members working together over a 3 week time period we have managed to get an amazing amount of tyres, roofing, rendering, footings, can work and other features completed on this home for a lovely couple. For future builds we will be looking to use the same model for providing a workshop opportunity for all participants and a fun, nurturing and communal atmosphere for us to grow the seed of Earthship in Australia.
Stay tuned for more workshops in 2013.
Rachel and Duuvy
- Forupdates of the progress of the first Hempcrete Survival Pod Project in Australia see
- Earthship Star-Dome fundamentals with Duuvy December 8, 9 2012
A successful star-dome and tyre pounding workshop was recently undertaken in Nimbin, NSW by Duuvy and 40-50 participants. The finished structure will become greenhouses for a permaculture community garden.
- Earthship Biotecture Fundamentals with Rachel Goldlust September 2012
Rachel Goldlust, founding member of Earthship Australia, and a recent graduate of Michael Reynolds’ Earthship Biotecture Academy, delivered a conceptual and practical introduction to Earthship Biotecture building methods which 'use today's rubbish in the building of tomorrow' – converting waste materials into beautiful, functional structures. This overview was fleshed out by a hands-on full-day workshop at the Murrindindi Institute NSW. Participants built a rammed tyre circle seating area, incorporating design features such as cans, bottles and coloured clay render. This was Sydney's first 1-day fundamentals course introducing Earthship Biotecture.
- Earthship Australia Presentation Tour May-June 2012 - Rachel Goldlust
Hey Earthship Australia supporters.
After a fairly gruelling month or two of presenting I just wanted to post up a few things I've learnt since I began talking up Eartships in Australia. As a recent graduate I have never claimed to be an 'expert' on these things or totally knowledgeable of the processes of running an entire build from start to finish but I am looking to start the process here in Australia for those unable to travel across to experience the wonders in Taos.
The tour began in Alice Springs in May to a great crowd, probably around 50-60 people from all walks of life. There is the potential to return and run a workshop or at least communicate with people keen to generate partnerships that look at working with local communities utilising sustainable building activities.
There followed a tour of Canberra speaking at ACU to the monthly meeting of AUSES, the Australian Solar Energy society, comprising mostly engineers, architects and solar people but the information was well received and I had some useful comments and questions. I was invited to share information on their websites in the future also as AUSES runs some very high profile solar energy conventions in Australia and partners with other nations also. Friday night was a presentation hosted by Caroline Le Couteur from the Greens at the Legislative Assembly. There was about 80 people in attendance and questions were also very useful and informative.
A week or so ago I left Melbourne again with fellow earthshipping buddy Duvvy to drive to Sydney for a presentation at Permaculture North Sydney which had a big turnout for them, as it coincided with their monthly gathering. Again I hope the information was relevant and I met many people afterwards whom I hope to keep as contacts for future builds around Sydney. We then drove down to Wollongong for Tuesday night at the Corrimal Community Center which had about 65 people come along. Id never visited the 'gong' before but feel that like many pockets of Australia there is always an undercurrent of interest in living more sustainably and cleverly and also just getting involved. Duvvy also did a presentation of his slides from the S-POD he built in Taos in March which was really good to see and for people to see how easy it is to pick up.
Following a gorgeous train ride back up to Sydney along the coast through the lush mountains south of Sydney I then flew to Perth for a funfilled weekend of movies, talks, awesome home cooked meals, radio interviews, game of thrones nights, garden tours and a few coffee dates. There was a fantastic turnout to the movie night at Replant and then an ever better one at the talk and tour of Hilton Harvest.
Earthships in Australia are 'happening' at the moment with passion, ideas, inventiveness, determination and vision for projects to start popping up across the place. All I would say is for people to email us and keep in touch with their activities so we can spread the word to others across the country who are keen to come and help pound tyres or do whatever needs to be done.