Friday, 18 January 2008

The perfect LOHAS housing: earthships

"Earth ship? What by mother earth is that?" Earth ships are sustainable houses made of recycled materials and with simple, low tech methods. Earth ship often have often organic shapes, integrating recycled materials such as glass bottles and car tires, locally sourced wood, etc. The idea with an earth ship is that it is self-sufficient by i.e. collecting water, creating it's own energy, using techniques for warmth storage, and a food- supplying garden.

The concept of earth ships can be applied in both natural and urban environments, but it is mostly used in deserted areas. The concept is simple, affordable and I bet it will become more trendy to build this kind of living spaces also in Europe within the coming years. Often round shapes and futuristic styles are integrated, some earth ships look like blobs or Barbapapa- houses, while others are completely covered completely by plants, giving it the looks of a hobbit hole. Ideal for eco-adicts, LOHAS, creatives, architecture freaks, and generally for people living in a deserted area.

In The Netherlands a group of people is realizing an interesting project called "Alminde" with sustainable housing in the flat 'polder' lands not far from Amsterdam. Initiated by artist village Ruigoord, the project is carried out in cooperation with the local government and two large housing corporations. Between fields and forests, a local community of about sixty sustainable houses is created. All participants design and build their own house, but the ground is shared ownership, and half of the area is used as community ground for group rooms, meditation space, ateliers, shop, and vegetable gardens.

For more info on earth ships:
Earthship report by CNN
Earthship report by Al Jazeera

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