This Off-Grid Earthship Home is the First of Its Kind in Australia

by Simplify

Martin and Zoe are showing how housing can be sustainable with their Earthship home in Adelaide, Australia. This is the first Earthship home in Australia to be approved and get planning permission from a local council.

What is an Earthship home?

An Earthship home is an off-grid home made out of recycled and reused materials that provides for its own power and sewage, and uses earth as a key construction material. This type of home was designed by Michael Reynolds, starting in the 1970s, as a way to protect the environment and preserve natural resources.

Martin was inspired by Mike’s work and went to learn from him in the US before taking his knowledge back to Australia.

Martin and Zoe's DIY Earthship home

This DIY Earthship home is based on the Simple Survival Model Earthship, which was originally designed as a response to an earthquake in Haiti but was adapted by Zoe and Martin in order to account for potential Australian bushfires.

In this virtual tour, Zoe and Martin take you inside their Earthship home:

The home has 269 square feet of living space, plus 269 square feet for the greenhouse, 107 square feet for the bathroom, and 107 square feet for the entryway. A key feature of the house is its beautiful walls made from recycled bottles, which add color and light.

One side of the roof has a 1-kilowatt solar array and solar hot water service skylight for ventilation, while the other side has an earthbank that maintains the home’s thermal stability. The roof collects rainwater, which is purified by passing through bushfire-resistant gravel, and then goes into a box.

What is an Earthship home?

The theme of water conservation permeates throughout this Earthship home. The greenhouse has a system for taking graywater from showers or the sink and using it to irrigate the plants, which in turn filters the water, which then gets pumped into the toilet bowl and used to create a toilet flushing system.

Unfortunately, the council nixed this part of the design, even though Australia is currently suffering from a drought, making water conservation more important than ever.

The greenhouse adds sunlight and helps regulate the home’s temperature, and it can be used to grow food as well—Martin and Zoe recently harvested 100 bananas! The home also contains underground earth tubes that act as another type of natural temperature control.

Cost of an Earthship home

Although the cost of an Earthship home can vary based on the design, this unique build cost Martin and Zoe AUD170,000 (USD114,000).

Off-grid Earthship home

Altogether, this creatively designed house is paving the path, and showing that Earthship housing can be a good option for people in search of a sustainable home.

For more off-grid home stories, discover this off-grid tiny home homestead in Navajo Nation or how this family of 7 live off the grid in Northern British Columbia.

To see more videos, check out the Living Big in a Tiny House YouTube channel.

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