Earthship Biotecture: Sustainable architecture for a changing climate

With Michael E Reynolds

The Hawke Centre logoMonday 27 July 2009

 Jointly Presented by Zero Waste SA, the Louis Laybourne Smith School of Architecture & Design, the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and the State of Design Festival

ZeroWaste SAPowerpoint presentation from Michael Reynolds (as a pdf format 24MB)

Audio transcript now available (mp3 format 74MB)

Earthship CottageArchitect Michael Reynolds, of Taos, New Mexico, USA will present his key principles of sustainable architecture.  Mike is the originator of the "Earthship" a self-sufficient, energy efficient house which provides its own heating/cooling, electricity, water and sewage treatment.  Most notably, the Earthship is made from "waste": approximately 1000 end-of-life car tyres are used in a typical 3 bedroom home thereby creating beautiful (you won't see the tyres!), durable, load-bearing walls from a waste product that is highly problematic to recycle.  Aluminium cans, glass bottles, and sheet metal from white goods, are also creatively embodied in the Earthship thus reducing the cost and the impact on the environment.

Michael (Mike) Reynolds has spent the last three and half decades devoted to developing new forms of architecture that specifically address the issues of waste, pollution and unsustainable lifestyles.  He is the originator of the Earthship concept, an idea that is rapidly rising from obscurity as we struggle to find solutions to the challenges of climate change, declining resources (particularly energy and water) and pollution. Mike's ability to transform "waste" into sustainable housing, which is now manifest in hundreds of Earthships in many countries, has had a varied response.  He has been portrayed as a hero, in the motion picture documentary "Garbage Warrior" for his crusade to bring sustainable architecture within the reach of all, and he has been labelled a dangerous maverick - who "runs sewage through the living room" - and has been prosecuted by his local board of architects.  His architecture and construction company is called Earthship Biotecture which is located in Taos, New Mexico, USA.  Currently Mike is working on a large Earthship community in Taos, New Mexico and he regularly tours the world with his construction crew building demonstration Earthships.


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