A Brief History of Earthships

For over four decades the systems that go into what we call Earthships have been evolving.  The progression of this evolution began with at least two decades spent learning enough to make these systems work...period. We spent many years advancing the various aspects of Earthships and learning how to make them work in a reliable and user friendly way.  Although we are always pushing to advance the systems involved in making Earthships, we finally came to a point where we achieved a harmony between the various  elements to create a sustainable home using recycled materials,  that generated its own water and electricity, conserved and reused water creatively, generated it’s own food and heated and cooled itself in a passive manner.  


    The Systems Involved in the Earthship Evolution:

        A structure built from largely recycled materials
        Heating and cooling
        Electrical system
        Water harvest system
        Contained on site sewage treatment system
        Food production

At the point when all of the systems came together in a cohesive way to create a home we realized that they were more expensive than a conventional home. The people who would be interested in buying an Earthship over a conventional home were those who wanted the security of independent utilities no matter what the cost and those seeking an environmentally friendly living option.  Most people, however, would be forced by economics to choose the cheaper, less secure, environmentally hazardous, conventional direction.  

history canon
Canon, an early experiement on the path to achieving the Earthship model.

Right after we overcame the huge challenge of learning enough to make these “earth machines” work for people and the Earth, we had to simplify and streamline them into something that could compete economically with the price of conventional approaches to housing.  No matter how significant the fact that these buildings put people and their relationship to the earth in a very secure situation for the future, most people would still choose a conventional home because it was still easier to obtain in terms of financial cost.  

We then spent another decade on this simplification and streamlining until finally in the early 2000’s, we arrived.  We had developed a fully independent home that provided shelter, utilities and food, that could be built with recycled materials found anywhere in the world and costs much the same as a conventional home.  We could then present our case: the Earthship costs next to nothing to operate while the conventional home for the same price costs a significant amount to operate, not to mention the questionable future availability and viability of the resources required to operate a conventional home.  We had arrived!  

The satisfaction was unfortunately short lived.  The economic housing crisis of 2007 hit and we realized a very significant fact: conventional housing itself was far too expensive all over the developed world for the majority of the population to afford.  Many people in many countries lost their conventional homes and they were in crisis.  

During our developmental period we presented many models of Earthships for the various financial strata but we observed that the majority of the people of Earth could not afford any of the available housing.  We had arrived only to find out that we needed to keep on going.  We were faced with a new challenge.  We needed to simplify even more and develop a sustainable home that was more affordable than conventional homes.  We have to find secure sustenance for people that is not subject to the monster called the economy.  We have to make this sustainable vessel, the Earthship, render the existing system insignificant.

Earthship Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Earthship HQ
Date: 12 December 2017

Concept Behind E.V.E.

Concept Behind E.V.E. RATIONALE: Throughout the last fifty years, Earthship Biotecture has been working toward developing a fully sustainable prototype home that has a zero carbon footprint on the planet. We arrived at this in the early 2000’s and are still perfecting and refining it. We have a building prototype that harvests its own electricity and water; contains and treats its own sewage; heats and cools itself without fuel and...Read More

Earthship Academy 2016

Earthship Academy 2016 In 2016, the Earthship Academy enters it’s fifth full year of existence. To date over 600 students from all over the world have attended the program here in Taos, New Mexico and our Global Sessions. During the 2015 sessions Academy students completed a Global Model Earthship (the latest Earthship design) at the Greater World Earthship Community, started 3 new Earthship buildings, worked on the...Read More

JANUARY page of a new Earthship calendar

JANUARY page of a new Earthship calendar It is a protoype for a whole calendar for 2016 please contact andressa@earthship.com for a free printable 11x17 file of this month we suggest you print on photo paper glossy at 11x17

“Live Simple Survival so that others may simply live.”

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Gingerbread Earthship By Eric Ficinus

Gingerbread Earthship By Eric Ficinus Wondering what type of Gingerbread to make this Christmas? Check out Eric's Earthship he built as part of his Independent study on the road to graduation from the Earthship Academy: For more infos please email Eric at earthshipmodelkit@gmail.com or view his progress on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EarthshipModelKit/?pnref=story

Sunset at the Earthship Biotecture HQ in Taos, NM

Sunset at the Earthship Biotecture HQ in Taos, NM   Just another day at the office!

A call to arms for the Global Earthship Army

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Guided Earthship Tours

Guided Earthship Tours In addition to the self guided tour that goes through our Earthship Visitor Center daily, we also have  2 kinds of guided tours. Guided tours are generally reserved for groups of 10 or more, however, we can accommodate a smaller group for a minimum of $100. 1) The Guided tour through our Earthship Visitor Center includes: Admittance to the building which is very similar to a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, packaged...Read More

Earthship Biotecture and the University of New Mexico

Earthship Biotecture and the University of New Mexico Earthship Biotecture has partnered with the University of New Mexico to offer an accredited college class in the Construction Technologies department.  “Introduction to Earthship Biotecture” covers the basics of Earthshjp’s integrated design process and construction methods. This fall we will be offering our third semester of this course.  We hope to develop this partnership into full accreditation for...Read More

About Earthship Biotecture

Earthship construction drawings are designed to meet standard building code requirements so you can get a permit no matter where you are. Earthship Biotecture is beyond LEED Architecture. Earthships are green buildings that meet standard building codes. EarthshipBiotecture is based on the work of principal architect, Michael Reynolds. (see: media resume)

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+1 (575) 751-0462
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Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1041
Taos, NM  87571