Salida Colorado – Build

I can’t believe Tony and I leave on Monday for Salida Colorado.  We’ve been looking forward to this opportunity for so long.  Can’t wait to get there and get our hands dirty learning about building earth ships!

It’s an exciting trip just getting to Colorado… along the way Tony and I are in a car accident and write off our Volkswagen Jetta – another story for another day!

cement mixing station.

Probably one of the busiest places on an Earthship build is the cement mixing station.  The volunteers working as team, are shovelling gravel, cement and adding water then mixing at a pace that is absolutely amazing.  You have to be young and strong to do this work.

Cement (different mixes) is used on the tire walls, the foundations and also for the beautiful glass bottle walls.

A typical 2 bedroom Global model will use about 750 tires.

The Colorado build is an amazing building… Basically 3 Global models build together.  The tires just kept coming and coming.  I have no idea how many were actually used, but if I had to guess, and there were over 3,000.

It takes about 45 minutes to fill and pound a tire, a team of 3 working together can do about 2-3 times that.  It is hard work, but incredibly satisfied as tire by tire you are able to see the building go up.

Close up of the plumbing

The plumbing in an Earthship is typical white PVC.  What’s not typical is how the water is used.  An Earthship uses water up to four times before it is finally flushed either into the back water system (Swales) or into a septic system.

Catching the water from the sky is central to water conservation.  It is the first step… Once collected, the water is stored in large tanks buried behind the north wall of the Earthship.

After the water has been collected, it moves through the water management system. (W.O.M.) and then to the primary usages (kitchen taps, shower, bathroom sink, washing machine etc.).  Once used, it is then directed to the green house for watering the plants.  When the toilet is flushed, the water is pumped from the greenhouse into the toilets. Finally, as black water, it moves into the septic system or the black water cells outside of the building.



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