The Good and the Bad About Earthships

Reader Contribution by Matthew Smith and Fortified Roofing
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An image taken at or near the Brighton Earthship located near Stanmer Park, Brighton, East Sussex. Photo byDominic AlvesPhoto by

Not everyone has the privilege to live in an earthship. In fact, an earthship is not your everyday home that you will see in your neighborhood, let alone something you will regularly come across while doing house hunting. But they are out there, considered by some as the most eco-friendly homes ever built while providing the owner with a sustainable, carefree and healthy lifestyle.

The introduction to earthships was in the 1970s, built with tires, glass bottles, and cans. With minimal construction waste and offering an off the grid lifestyle, this is certainly a great eco-friendly home that can benefit the society if made commercial.

Many people who take on the task of building their own earthship are usually seen as extremely eco-friendly, and hearing complaints from them about their sustainable home is rare. Not that you can blame them, I mean why look for faults and complain about something you designed or built yourself?

Imagine the mass production of earthships for the ordinary folks today. Yes, it is the age of the green movement, and many people are trying to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. However, the furthest many will go to live “eco-friendly” is through recycling and making use of smart technology.

Having said this, owners of earthships secretly know that they are not for the everyday folk and that a mass production of earthships may bring on a lot of complaints. Like everything in life, these sustainable homes have their advantages and disadvantages. We explore some of them here.

 Photo by Erik Wannee

Advantages of Earthships

• Earthships are a sound structural design that is very durable.

• You can live off the grid as the design provides you with the ideal environment to grow your food, harvest your water and generate your energy.

• They look great and are unique.

Disadvantages of Earthships

• Earthships works better in areas where the climate stays warm all year round.

• Despite all the rumors of Earthships being affordable or “free,” unless you do not build it with your own two hands and resources you collect yourself, it can become a very pricey home to build.

• Water can collect along the interior wall surfaces if the environment is too humid which can lead to mold and other problems.

• An Earthship might take 2 to 3 years to find their median temperature.

• Unless you have a backup heat sours, the Earthship can become cold when the days are with little sun.

• To resell an Earthship might be a challenge unless you find someone who likes your style and the earth-friendly lifestyle.

These are just a couple of examples of the pros and cons of having an earthship that might help you decide whether this is your kind of home or not. The fact that they look so unique might be the first that grabs once attention, making us say, “I want one!”

Today, sustainability is on the top of the list of new home buyers and if you do not have the resources and time to create your own earthship, lucky for you that the construction industry has the same idea in mind.

New technology that brings us 3D printed homes, prefabricated homes, containers homes and bio-solar homes are well on their way to produce commercial homes for the bigger market.

Photo by Jenny Parkins

Matthew Smith is the smart and sustainable technology editor forFortified Roofing.


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