And yes, Earthlings can live in them
Forget “Arrival.” Volunteers have gathered to build the first earthships in the island of Gili Kenawa in Indonesia, The Jakarta Post reported.
Contrary to the sci-fi-sounding nomenclature, earthships are made to house humans, not heptapods. They are sustainable homes firmly tethered to the ground; they won’t take to the skies anytime soon.
A total of 44 earthships will be dotting Indonesia over the next three years as part of Southeast Asia’s first Earthship Resort. The project, led by Earthship Biotecture, is in turn part of an initiative to create Asia’s largest eco-region, encompassing 20,000 hectares of forestland, reefs and beaches.
Asia is familiar territory for Earthship Biotecture’s principal architect Michael Reynolds, who has been building earthships around the world for 40 years. In 2014, he helped create an aerodynamic version of the earthship, a “windship,” in Batug, a town in the Philippines struck by Typhoon Haiyan.
“I think real sustainability involves six aspects of humanity,” Reynolds told The Jakarta Post. “We’re trying to make a building that addresses all of these six things, all the time, all over the world.”
Earthships are made of garbage and recycled materials indigenous to the locale, from glass and plastic bottles to old tires. The exotic construction materials maximise ventilation and keep temperatures inside the structure as low as 20 degrees Celsius, even as the weather outside gets sweltering. Such micro-climate eliminates the need for air-conditioners.
In fact, earthships are designed to let occupants live off the grid, with electricity sourced from solar panels and wind turbines.
Reynolds’ team have trained dozens of locals in constructing the green homes. Indonesia will eventually have its first Earthship Academy to pass on this knowledge.
“This is the first of such buildings in Indonesia,” Agus, a local worker in earthship construction, told the Post. “There are old tires and plastic bottles everywhere, so it’s good to learn how to make strong buildings with this.”
Learn more about the Earthship Biotecture Indonesia project here: