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Author Topic: Build an earthship?  (Read 16259 times)

RidleyReport

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Build an earthship?
« on: October 03, 2003, 07:48:35 pm »

Earthships look like they might be an awesome option for Free Staters!

Basically they are "off-the-grid" houses built in an environmentally friendly way and can be very cheap!  Also they save you money by allowing you to build on cheap, remote land that lacks utilities.  Another advangate is they are tornado/hurricane/blast resistant, I believe.

Someone on this forum got us started talking about them last year, but I don't remember where the thread is.

You can learn more about earthships at:

http://www.earthship.org/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=36

For those who already are in the know about this...any insight as to whether this particular company does a good job or not?

What are the chances of finding or getting folks in NH who are good at building these....
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rdeacon

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Re:Build an earthship?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2003, 11:21:33 pm »

I have been to the earthship site a few times, and I get very psyched to buy the plans each time I go there.  The design looks cool, its definitely something that I'd be interested in, though I think cost is an issue.  The idea is great.  If we get enough people willing to take part in building these it would take the entire labor cost off their per house estimate ($120/sq foot).

My only concern is that I'm not thrilled about the use of tires.  I've heard bad things about "toxic tires" in landfills.  The site says that its not a problem, and that the tires don't break down into toxic compounds when they're used in rammed earth construction, but I'm not entirely convinced.  I'd need to get some third party reassurance before I went ahead with it.
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thegotoguy

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Re:Build an earthship?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2003, 06:36:29 am »

My only concern is that I'm not thrilled about the use of tires.  I've heard bad things about "toxic tires" in landfills.  The site says that its not a problem, and that the tires don't break down into toxic compounds when they're used in rammed earth construction, but I'm not entirely convinced.  I'd need to get some third party reassurance before I went ahead with it.

Very smart.  In God we trust, everyone else, we watch.
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Summerlin

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Re:Build an earthship?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2003, 12:18:46 pm »

The prices are too high in my opinion.

I'd rather have a nice custom Log Cabin built for the same price.

http://www.loghomes.com/  'log home packages' links.
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DustinD

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Re:Build an earthship?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2003, 04:30:03 pm »

www.aidomes.com for concrete geodesic homes, cheap to build, less than half of the heating/cooling costs of normal houses, and will stand up to anything.

www.monolithic.com for monolithic dome houses, a little more money, smoothed shape instead of geodesic, and I believe a bit stronger.

I am planning on a geodesic kit.
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arouse

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Re:Build an earthship?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2003, 06:54:41 pm »

Yeah, I really like the domes as well. I've seen a few around here that are like the ones http://www.domesintl.com/homes/residential.html this place sells and they're nice looking structures. I'd love to have a dome like one of these, or a geodesic, as a home.
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arouse

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Re:Build an earthship?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2003, 07:23:14 pm »

http://www.domes.to Geodesic dome company located in South Tamworth, NH
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Reaper

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Re:Build an earthship?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2003, 09:09:48 pm »

Very cool stuff.

I think I will buy a more remote (if such a thing exists in NH) lot of a few acres and build one of these myself.

I'll just have to have a camper of some sort to stay in until it's far enough along to live in.
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Reaper
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Penfist

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Re:Build an earthship?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2003, 09:21:38 pm »

Reaper,

The entire northern half of New Hampshire is "remote."
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rdeacon

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Re:Build an earthship?
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2003, 10:37:43 am »

The price is high to start with, but you save money on heating, water, electricity, etc.  Water is a collect on the roof and recycled, electricity is solar with battery backup, and heating is a combination of greenhouse effect, earth emanation, etc.  These factors add up to great savings in bills.

The prices are too high in my opinion.

I'd rather have a nice custom Log Cabin built for the same price.

http://www.loghomes.com/  'log home packages' links.
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telomerase

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Re:Build an earthship?
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2003, 12:42:59 pm »

I can vouch for the Monolithic Dome; their factory is near here and local schools and churches have them for tornado protection.

I know more about construction of things smaller than .22 micron across, but I've read that local building codes are a big barrier to mass-produced housing since the codes vary from place to place. Domes, underground houses etc. also tend to run afoul of codes. This is something a mayor or city council member can work on.

I'll check out the Earthship site. (Can always use some reinforced rammed-earth over the dome...)
« Last Edit: October 05, 2003, 12:43:32 pm by telomerase »
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Terry 1956

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Re:Build an earthship?
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2003, 09:12:48 am »

Very cool stuff.

I think I will buy a more remote (if such a thing exists in NH) lot of a few acres and build one of these myself.

I'll just have to have a camper of some sort to stay in until it's far enough along to live in.
                                                                           
 I don't know how it is in NH but around here a body can get a  mobile home built in the 70's and sometimes the 80s free if you will have it moved which can run 400 to 800 bucks. Usually these  mobile homes are the 12 feet by 60 feet or the 10 feet by 50 feet, in various shapes with just a little work to make them livable to a lot, the smaller ones  seem to be in the best shape most of the time. I bought a one bedroom 10 by 40 in 1988 for 1,400 dollars with moving  and set up included. I spent about 400 fixing it up and I lived in it until 2000. These mobile homes can make decent tempory  homes or even permanant, a lot of people around here add on and build around the trailer with variety of results, some are shoddy looking but some add ons with house type roofs added look like houses. I have even seen plans for a earthberm trailer.
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mark

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Re:Build an earthship?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2003, 04:58:29 am »

I am very interested in alternative housing / environmental design as well as alternative financing options to reduce the barriers to ownership and equity building as well as to reduce the loss of capital from the local community.

One thing I can suggest is the C-housing concept as a housing and community services model. For financing perhaps a community bank and credit trust could be created by porcupines?


Just off the top of my head:

1,000 porcupines invest $1000 each (or 2000 porcs at $500 each) to a $1,000,000 fund at a flat service fee of 20% to be collected as their "interest" (20% is actually very high for this type of deal but I would be willing to pay it).

20-40 units along with central community services buildings and private utilities could be built at an average $25,000-$50,000 per unit (these aren't permanent dream houses here people, just high efficiency apartments and such).

Equity-rent payments between $500-$1000 per household (20-40 units) would yield $20,000 per month and $240,000 per year which would pay off this loan in only 5 years with a return of $20000 and full home equity ownership for the first 20-40 households. Monthly payments could be returned to the investors or either reinvested in new construction ($20,000 a month). Ofcourse many potential households would have their own larger savings and current home equity to bring into building such a housing development.

Labor could also be invested. Assuming a typical hourly wage of $20, I, for example, could be willing to labor for a minimal per diem to cover living expenses (and perhaps one of the first apartments to be built?) or 25-50% ($7.50-$10) per hour to be paid with perhaps a 25% return (total $25 per hour) monthly on a longer time scale.

A major reason for all of this is to avoid the politics and destructive effects of aquiring and paying off compound interest FedRes loans. Let's cut out the middleman and opperate like a real community. Renting doesn't build equity and the downpayment barriers to ownership are too much for even many "capitalist pig" libertarians like myself.  :P
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mark

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Re:Build an earthship?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2003, 05:11:13 am »

Btw, poured earth offers many competitive advantages to rammed earth and monolithic domes (which only creates the outer shell). The clay earth you escavate for a basement, underground or earth covered house can be recycled into the housing structure.
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mark

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Re:Build an earthship?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2003, 05:18:46 am »

I know more about construction of things smaller than .22 micron across, but I've read that local building codes are a big barrier to mass-produced housing since the codes vary from place to place. Domes, underground houses etc. also tend to run afoul of codes. This is something a mayor or city council member can work on.


This is a way for alternative housing enthusiat porcupines to take the high road. It's amazing how statist can play to bleeding hearts with cries of environment disater and poverty to justify their control over other peoples lives but then put up roadblocks to private initiative that could solve such problems.  ::)
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