1171 car tires have been diverted from the landfill. They are each filled with about 300 pounds of dirt, hand pounded using a 6 or 8 pound sledge hammer. On average each tire takes about 45 minutes to place, fill, pound and level. Totaling about 900 person hours for tires - this does not include the time or materials for 'pack out' of the face of the tires, or berming up the wall behind the tires.
We don't have a 'set' date to move in by. When we started our project, we decided the journey was more important than the move-in date. So... Susan usually says 'sooner rather than later' I hope... and then she kind of laughs. Tony says... when we're ready.
TheDoighouse has been modeled by an engineering firm that specializes in energy modelling. Provided we build well, to the specifications in our plans, theDoighouse will be net zero and meet step 5 of the BC Energy Step Code.
Yes, we had to modify the Waybee plans we purchased from Mike Reynolds to meet the BC Building Code , the 5 Step Energy code and our localized rain forest climate).
Depending on how many recycled materials we are able to find and use; it is comparable to a conventional build cost. The real savings are in annual operating costs.
A significant advantage of earthship construction is the elimination of monthly bills for heat, electricity, water. Building a bio-gas system to operate our kitchen stove will eliminate the cost of cooking propane.
System maintenance costs are not included in the monthly operating expenses.
The fenced-in gardens are approximately 3/4 of an acre. It is a 'food forest' designed by Susan using permaculture principles. It includes fruit and nut trees, berries, perennial flowers and garden beds for veggies. We welcome visitors to our gardens, and offer garden boxes for use by the community.
Hazel nuts are indigenous to BC, and I feel a family connection with them. My grandmother was a wonderful baker. When my mother was a young girl, my grandmother would give her a gunny sack and send mother with her 3 younger brothers to collect the wild hazelnuts. Grandma would use the hazelnuts in her baking.
Permaculture is based on the 3 ethics of care of planet, care of people and sharing of abundance. It's a made up word 'permanent, agriculture and culture' combined into one. These are the ethics I use for living.
Check out permaculture and the 12 permaculture design principles here.