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Earthships

  • By: Elizabeth Rholetter Purdy
  • In: Green Technology: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney
  • Subject:Environmental Sciences (general), Environmental Technology, Policy & Management

This Earthship at Stanmer Park in Brighton, United Kingdom, exemplifies several standard features of Earthships: the rear walls are burrowed into the hillside, the roof harvests rainwater, and there are solar panels to create energy.

Designed to promote sustainability, Earthships were the brainchild of New Mexican architect Michael Reynolds, who during the energy crisis of the 1970s came up with the idea of creating environmentally friendly structures that had no need to draw on nonrenewable resources to support modern living. Instead, Reynolds's buildings used wind turbines, solar panels, and biodiesel generators to generate energy for heating and cooling. Each Earthship roof consisted of a giant cistern designed to catch rainwater and transfer it to a Water Organization Module (WOM) that purified water for drinking and transported ...

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