New Zealand

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We started here, with Mike Reynolds pounding the first tire, 3 hours after landing in the country. The ground work layed out; 10sq meters to be under permit size. 17 tires and a load of dirt in the lamas field is what we started with. The land owner Robin Woodsfords donated the field, on his beautiful 10 acres organic vineyard. What we had waiting in the wings was a strong core crew of 5 kiwis and 35 participants from all over ready to jump on board.

This site is North facing on the port hills of Christchurch, with amazing views and sheltered from the the southerly wind. perfect sport for the first Earthshiup community project to begin.

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The vault and the tires can at the same time, and at the end of the day both were complate – tires at 5 courses and the rebar vault tied and ready for plaster.
So we picked up the vault, in one piece and moved it to sit on top if the tire work!

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After the cement bond beam formed by cans to hold the vault to the tires we plastered the vault 4 times.
We surrounded the building with a the vapor barrier and rigid insulation and buried it with earth.

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Organizing and designing the bottle wall was the next project next, which meant cutting glass bottles and taping end to end to make a brick that lets in light.
At the same time, carpentry was under way to get the front face ready  in for the front door and windows.

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The roof then got a 2 inch layer of insulation and a vapor barrier and its last inch thick coat of plaster. We also build  a parapet; cans layered up to create a water catchment which will run into the cistern buried in the berm of the building. Inside the tire walls were packed out to a nice shape and plastered.

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A huge thanks to: The NZ team (Robin Woodsford, Mike Lilian, Turei, and Lachlan Grey), to to those who participated in the build, Brian our wonderful back how driver and hangi man, companies who donated materials (Fulton Hogan, Texco, Port-a-loos), Michael Reynolds for inspiring and leading our work and Rosa Henderson for organization.

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the golden dome – Miniship finishes on the temple

3 weeks work on the miniship in North Canterbury has just finished, leaving our beautiful golden domed temple very nearly finished.  We did final plaster on the roof, followerd by sealing and coloring the dome. Water catchment was built, plastered and sealed with a slope for water to run to the scupper (built from rebar and plastered) to bring the water direct to the barrel. The exterior walls too alot to pack out with cans, before getting to planster, and will get a green sealer to complete the outside.

Inside, the walls were given numerous plaster coats of cob (clay soil, sand, straw or wheat paste and slaked lime) to pack out the tyres and sculpt around the window and door. Inside the ceiling, the fabric was removed, and a lime wash was painted on in 2 coats. Outside, we built a seat and a planter, and we also installed a beautiful wee fire.

Big thank you to everyone involved, final final finishes (interior plaster, floor and tile) will happen in spring.

A full set of images and a video walk through are here at Earthship New Zealand (on fb) and anyone is welcome to contact me with questions or requests.

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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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