Ushuaia, Argentina Earthship Academy Session

A gift to EARTH SHIP from Eduardo Álvarez Tuñón

If you have the good fortune of walking to the shore of the canal, or along Maipú Avenue and then turning towards Los Cauquenes Street, between the mountain and the sea, when the unique flowers of the lupines of Ushuaia get more colorful, you can see the Nave Tierra (Earth Ship).

Its name describes it with the perfection of the words. It seems to be born from the very earth and to move torwards one of the most moving horizons of the planet. The back wall allows a glimpse of bottles. Some say the house is built with the things we no longer use, but they're wrong. It's made of all those things that accompanied us and helped us live. It's not contempt for things, but a celebration of those things. It's a way of saving them and saving ourselves.

Bottles aren't just bottles: they're witnesses of shared dinners, joys, laughs and conversations that won't return. The tires have something of all the trips we've taken throughout our lives.
The Earth Ship is made up of all our days. Recycling is a subtle form of homage. It's like a Noah's Ark of all those things that helped us live, a ship that saves everything.
I watch them work from a distance. Suddenly there's some wind, some clouds, some drizzle, some sunshine. It's not the weather of Ushuaia: what happens is that all the elements of the planet come up to see how a house is built.
Eduardo Álvarez Tuñón

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Champagne Ushuaia

Graduates Ushuaia

Ushuaia Earthship with windmill

Ushuaia finished interior

Ushuaia group

The Earthship at the end of the world has started

Click here for pictures.

Earthship Academy Global Session
Ushuaia, Argentina | January 6-31, 2014

- Earthship Academy Argentina: Week 2
- Earthship Academy: Argentina Week 3
- Earthship Academy: Argentina Week 4- La nave del fin del mundo: una casa autosustentable. Dos artistas impulsaron la construcción de un hogar donde vivir sería mucho más económico que lo normal.

this picture shows what we are building in ushuaia

the unfinished building in the foreground shows the cavern type rooms that stay warm from heat storage due to the thermal mass of being buried and insulated outside of the burial.

the second building down is the same design finished - it has the heat producing greenhouse added on -
this is where the heat comes from to heat the "caverns". and reduce their heat loss by buffering them from the outside cold.
then they store the heat through night time and cloudy weather.
this greenhouse is also where the the sewage treatment system occurs as it has to be almost tropical to make the plants happy because the plants ARE the system.

there are two components to this building
which is a mini version of what we want to do all over ushuaia to reduce the sewage going into the bay.
each home could contain and treat it's own sewage on site and use the municipal sewage hookup as only back up.

of course we cannot rebuild all of the homes of ushuaia but…
we could add the second component (the greenhouse) to each existing building with appropriate orientation.
this would both help heat the building and provide sewage treatment for that building and some plants/food for that building.

this concept would greatly reduce the size and expense of the overall town municipal sewage treatment/botanical gardens/educational facility that would have to be built to overcome the damage to the bay that now prevails.
the point being that we can help heat over half the buildings in usuhaia while reducing the sewage that is going into the bay by about 50%
and leave ourselves with a municipal facility that is entirely possible.

this is not to mention the garbage we would eat up in the process… as these buildings are built with a lot of basic recycled materials that we call garbage.

just dreaming here as we get ready to come down







Hola a tod@s,

esta foto muestra lo que vamos a construir en Ushuaia.

el edificio incompleto que se ve en primer plano muestra las estancias tipo caverna que se mantienen calientes gracias al almacenameinto del calor debido a la masa térmica que esta enterrada y aislada en su parte exterior.

el segundo edificio que se ve es el mismo diseño pero completado -
tiene el invernadero que produce calor añadido-
es aquí de donde viene el calor que calienta las "cavernas" y reduce la pérdida de calor separándolas del frío exterior.
pues almacenan el calor durante la noche y los días nubosos.
este invernadero es también donde se situa el sistema de aguas residuales porque es necesario que sea practicamente tropical para que las plantas sean felices porque las plantas SON el sistema.

así que...
existen dos componentes en este edificio
que es una mini versión de lo que queremos hacer en Ushuaia para reducir las aguas residuales que van a parar a la bahía.
cada hogar podría contener y tratar su propia agua residual y utilizar el sistema de aguas residuales municipal sólo en caso necesario.

por supuesto no podemos reconstruir todas las casas de Ushuaia pero...
podríamos añadir el segundo componente (el invernadero) a cada edificio existente con la horientación apropiada.
esto ayudaría tanto a calentar el edificio como a avastecerlo del sistema de tratamiento de aguas residuales así como de algunas plantas/comida para el edificio.

este concepto reduciría muchísimo la magnitud y el gasto completo del sistema municipal de tratamiento de aguas residuales / jardines botánicos / centros educativos que habría que construir para reducir el daño que ahora mismo sufre la bahía.
la cuestión es que podamos ayudar a calentar más de la mitad de los edificios en Ushuaia mientras se reduce la cantidad de aguas residuales que van a la bahía en un 50%.

eso sin mencionar la basura que absoberíamos en el proceso... porque estos edificios están construidos a base de materiales reciclados que llamamos basura.

simplemente soñando aquí mientras que nos preparamos para bajar ahí.


Earthship Academy Global Session-FULL
Ushuaia, Argentina
January 6-31, 2014

We are pleased to announce the very first Earthship Academy Global Session. The Earthship Academy offers extensive training in Earthship design principles, construction methods and philosophy. The Earthship Academy has trained over 200 students from around the world. We are building an Earthship Army and the Academy offers education for those who are excited to learn and expand the Earthship concept globally. This is the first time we are offering a session outside our headquarters in Taos, New Mexico.

We will teach hands-on building techniques while constructing a 2U Simple Survival Earthship. This structure is going to be a public art project. The space will be an educational sculpture used to demonstrate Earthship technology while helping to clean up the coastline by using trash in the construction process.

Classes will be taught in English and Spanish. Michael Reynolds will teach in the field and in the classroom along with 5 Earthship Academy instructors from Taos and 3 bilingual Earthship Academy students from Argentina.

Please email if you would like to be notified of future Academy sessions in South America.

Partial list of Academy classes:
History and Evolution of the Earthship Concept
Thermal/Solar Heating and Cooling
Building with Natural and Recycled Materials
Water Harvesting, Storage and Filtration
Contained Sewage Treatment
How to Read Earthship Construction Drawings
Earthship Types
Earthship Finishing Options and Techniques
Food Production in Earthships
Introduction to Aquaponics
Solar and Wind Electric Systems
Basics of Electricity
Earthship Village Ecologies, Test Sites and Colonies
Sustainable Retrofit for Conventional Homes
Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Projects
Project Planning and Staging
Plans and Permitting Process
The Owner/Builder Earthship Experience




Student Update #1
We are currently in what we call the Staging phase for the Earthship build. We have compiled a list of recycled materials like tires, bottles, cardboard and a list of purchased materials like rebar, wood, insulation, cisterns for our hosts and they are currently researching all the materials and finding comparable ones if the materials we use here do not exist. For example, for the botanical cells we usually use a rubber material called EPDM to line both the gray and black water planters. EPDM does not exist in Argentina in the widths we need build the cells without a seam. Therefore, since we are currently building the same exact building here in Taos (2U Simple Survival Earthship) we were able to test lining the cells with 5 layers of larger plastic. We installed the plastic then filled the cells with water and let them sit for 3 days to see if they would leak. They did not leak and now we will be using the same materials and technique in Ushuaia.

We have three Argentinian Academy students who attend our program here in Taos who are helping with the Staging phase. They are doing lots of research and will be traveling to Ushuaia the first two weeks of December to prepare the site and inventory and store all the materials. There is a tremendous amount of work that goes into the Staging process but if we have every item we need to build the Earthship sitting on site when the Academy commences, then the build will run very smoothly.

Here in Taos, Michael Reynolds is working with a draftswoman to produce a full set of construction drawings for the 2U Simple Survival Earthship in CAD. Every view and dimension is getting updated and double checked. One of the classes during your Academy Session will be on How to Read Earthship Drawings. You will be able to compare the construction drawings to the work that is being done on site to gain a fuller understanding of the process.

















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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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