earthship biotecture - greater world estate?

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by gnoll110, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. gnoll110

    gnoll110 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    https://www.earthshipbiotecture.com/greater_world.html

    I found this page.

    Not sure what to make of it. They are all low impact homes etc., with a commons, but...

    I'm not sure how they would go after peak oil.

    That is, would their isolation be enough that they could not maintain their sources of income (in a long term sense).

    They are clearly not getting their income form utilising the land. So they must be getting it from their creative works. Legal drafting, Architectural drafting, Authoring, IT etc. That's all good and fine, but is there the 'critical mass' that is needed to pool enough resource that they could reproduce that degree of eduction and resourcing in enough of the children to sustain the community over generations?

    Is this a proto-village or a green commuter estate?


    Gnoll110

    PS this thread is spawned off https://forums.permaculture.org.au/viewtopic.php?t=3484
     
  2. Jim Bob

    Jim Bob Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That certainly looks very interesting. I wonder why they need tyres filled with rammed earth when they're built mostly underground? Seems like the earth around them would act as the thermal mass, like in Cooperpedee.

    As to jobs after peak oil, well who knows. It's like sitting around in 1810 and wondering what jobs we'll have when the steam engine comes in more widely. Hard to predict.

    There are some things people will always want, though. People will always need food, and food prepared nicely, and homes and furnishings and clothing. So your basic trades of gardener, cook, carpenter, tailor, will always be in some demand. And people will always want people to counsel them, and entertain them. So counsellors, musicians, etc will always be in some demand.

    These are trades which have remained in constant demand throughout history. Sometimes there have been many of these people, sometimes less; sometimes paid well, sometimes badly; but they've always been in demand.

    Accountant, IT guy, doorman, etc, not so much.

    They don't give many details of their set-up there. What's the rainfall? What's the soil like? Are there local guidelines on what can be brought in, eg no PET (plastic) or pets, etc? They seem to be doing okay but only halfway there... I mean, there's not much use generating all your own power and heat if you import a gazillion kWhr of power by means of your fancy car and clothes and so on...
     
  3. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,536
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Jim,

    The tires act as flexible forms in a retaining wall, very structurally sound. The soil is looser than Cooperpedee, so the tires are needed to hold the soil. This allows some flexibility, which is important as the siting of the buildings needs to face the equator.

    To get it passed through the local building code, they called the first buildings something like "earth bermed rubber ring reinforced super adobe", since the area has a history of adobe (see the Tao Pueblo, an adobe city that is 600 years old, still lived in by native people). That was 20-25 years aggo,and now the technique is widespread and accepted in Colorodo, New Mexico and Arizona (though in Utah there have been problems getting permission to build this way in Urban areas).

    The area is desert, high altitude, dry, hot in summer, cold in winter. Taos is nearby, which is a beautiful town.

    C
     
  4. gnoll110

    gnoll110 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Not THAT hard, we are not looking at new tech here. We are looking at old tech becoming non economical in lots of its current uses.

    Me point about critial mass is that without cheap fuel for transport (for people & goods), the area of coverage for any given role decreases greatly. These people may find themselves in the situation where the number of people within easy reach drops to a level where their role is no longer viable.

    Net related jobs are another matter. We are not just rolling the clock back with peak oil.


    Gnoll110
     
  5. Jim Bob

    Jim Bob Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the description of the site and why they had to use the rammed earth.

    I think we will be looking at new tech.

    I know, it's logical - if you have tech A and tech B, and tech A no longer works, just use tech B! But more likely, people will try to develop tech A+, or at least tech AB. That's why, "oil's running out, okay... hybrid car!" rather than "okay, bicycles!"

    I think that people won't want to do without synthetics. So when the oil runs out, they won't stop using plastics and go back to purely natural fibers (not that we'd be able to produce enough anyway, without the oil), I think they'll get plastics from other things. Already people are looking at grain starch plastics...

    I think that a lot of jobs will remain. IT jobs will. A lot'll be lost because - assuming we go to a more distributed and less centralised economy - there'll be less to organise. A national network of chain stores needs a whole software system to keep track of stuff, a local milk bar doesn't.

    But as oil runs out, and people travel far less often, the demand for the internet and other communication services will rise, I think. People still want to talk to each-other, and at least read about places they'd like to visit...

    I'm sure new technologies will develop. All those things we permies are always commenting on, about spiders making silk at room temperature with little energy, instead of huge heated vats of chemicals - we'll start trying to reproduce that natural technology. And new kinds of jobs will come out of that.

    Technology change produces social change, and old jobs die, new jobs come about... the only question is how much chaos you have in the meantime...!
     
  6. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    Earthship Concepts

    Hi,

    To me, the interesting thing about Earthships is the integration of so many functions into the basic architecture of the dwelling. Earth-sheltered, solar principles are old news. Using tires, cans, and bottles is a unique way to re-use our society's "assets", but not critical to the concept. Greywater re-use, greenhouses, cisterns and roofwater catchment systems are accepted ideas. What strikes me about the Earthship is the total integration of so many of these practices into dwelling design. Kind of permaculture focused onto home design.

    On the other side of the coin, I am constantly underwhelmed by the lack of permaculture practices around these Earthships after completion! It's like they get so far, then lose their way! My hopes would be to see the same types of integrated practice and application on the property surrounding these Earthships (a la Permaculture) as went into the house design.

    Rammed earth tire "bricks" cannot be implemented everywhere, although the site states that Earthships can be built worldwide (I believe they use concrete in areas where the soil is not suitable for rammed earth). My thoughts run with the overall concepts involved in Earthships, not the specific applications they tout. I am keenly interested in the integration of multiple systems to the design of housing, all within the scope of Permaculture concepts for total integration of site with functionality. There's more than one way to build an earthship! :twisted:

    9anda1f
     
  7. gnoll110

    gnoll110 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Let me rephrase that. There will always be some kind of flow of new ideas/tech. What IS so disruptive about peak oil/global warming is that some underlying old tech becoming non economical in lots of its current uses.

    As for hybrid car, how much is new and how much is old. Remember that electric & stream cars were around over a hundred year ago. Modern hybrids are old ideas done in new materiels, wrapped in some modern IT. Question is, how many of these new materiels themselves become unviable because of the EMergy figures.

    It's the removal of those old 'bricks', 3+ layers down that are causing the disruption to the whole structure.

    I agree about the Internet/comms comments. Indeed, maintaining the net is me definition of then civilization collapse. If we can continue to muster the energy to keep the net intact, civilization goes on. If not, its 476AD again!
     

Share This Page

-->