Similar to the concept of ‘barn raising’ an Earthship build is typically a group of volunteers working together to build community; learning new skills; making new friends; and raising a new building.
This summer we will be hosting theDoighouse build. We are anticipating a global experience with volunteers from around the world and are currently accepting applications from people interested in working and learning together with us. Tire pounding, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, cement mixing/pouring, food prep and meal service are just some of the opportunities.
theDoighouse is committed to a safe build; all volunteers will be covered by WorkSafe BC.
TheDoighouse is ‘Earthship inspired’; which means we have purchased ‘Waybee Earthship’ plans from Earthship Biotecture and modified them for a BC Rainforest climate and to meet the BC Building Code and the National Energy Code.
Our building is not a true…earthship. And we are OK with that!
Let’s talk about the build… A typical workday begins at 8:30am and end at 4:00pm with regular breaks, shared meals and time to get to know the other volunteers and us (Tony and Susan) your owner builders. The day usually ends drinking a cold beverage and sharing a debrief of the day.
Much of the work is labour intensive.
There are almost 1000 used tires in the construction of the north, west and east walls. Each of the tires is hand placed into position, battered back, and then filled with dirt and pounded with an 8# sledge hammer; filled and pounded until the tire weighs about 300 lbs.
It is hard work, but also very rewarding to watch the walls grow, tire by tire, row by row. Tire pounding is usually done in teams of three. Two pounders and one person filling the tires with dirt.
The plumbing includes a water management system, with rain water catchment and grey water re-use. Complex, and yet very simple. A chance to learn how to install these types of system, with the ultimate goal that you will know how to build your own.
The creativity and a very personal touch really makes these types of buildings unique. Glass walls are made by cutting the bottoms off two bottles and forming them into one glass brick. The glass brick is then built into a wall.
The interior walls are cob with a final layer of light clay/lime plaster. Cob is a very traditional building material made of clay, sand and straw. The cob is mixed by hand and then hand troweled on to the walls.
Alongside theDoighouse we are building a community garden and shared orchard. On days when you would like a change from pounding tires, or hammering nails… you are welcome to spend time in the gardens.
There is some onsite tenting space, with local campgrounds, hotels and motels nearby for those that wish to stay off site. There are amazing underground caves to explore, kayaking, local lakes and beaches to explore. Families are welcome.