My Earthship journey started many years ago, back in the late 90’s.

My Earthship journey started many years ago, back in the late 90’s. I lived in Tucson, AZ at the time and absolutely fell in love with the desert and southwestern style construction. After moving back to Washington state, I was determined to find a piece of land that was similar to the desert southwest- sunny and dry. I settled on Goldendale, WA for its climate and affordability, and purchased 15 acres. In 2008 I began doing massive research, and that’s when I became aware of Earthships. It was a perfect blend of southwestern style construction and sustainability. I visited the Earthship community in Taos twice. I was hooked! I began drawing up my plans based on Earthships and other styles of sustainable construction (for example, I used concrete block for the walls instead of tires). In 2009 I gained building department approval for my 3000 sq ft (80’ long x 40’ wide) hybrid Earthship home. In May of 2009 I broke ground and began building. I worked part time around my family and job responsibilities April-October of each year. I did this through 2012 when family issues forced me to put my construction on hold indefinitely. During this time, I did whatever work I could do at home- such as building all of my kitchen cabinets, restoring old lanterns, making bottle brick designs, etc. I collected many things for my home found on Craig’s list, at salvage yards, and by dumpster diving for cans and bottles.

After 5 years, family issues had resolved themselves and in 2017 and I once again began building. Only this time I built full time and have been doing so through the present. For the most part, this is a DIY home. I have proved that you CAN design and build your own Earthship inspired home- YOU can do it! I had zero home building experience prior to my build, and I have done ninety plus percent of the construction with my own two hands. I have hired a few subs who could do things that I simply could not do- like heavy excavation, concrete slab flat work, PV grid hook up and the large volume of adobe plaster work involved. Outside of part-time help I had for a short time, I have done all of the work, and wow- hard work and long hours. But so fulfilling! And as of September 2018, I am finally nearing completion…

This house is built around the concept of using reused, recycled and reclaimed resources. From bottles and cans to reclaimed dimensional lumber, dead standing trees and beetle killed pine milled right on the property, to salvaged hardware, lighting, windows, appliances and fixtures. There is very little that has been purchased retail new. My home could easily function off-grid, however, I have a grid connection in order to store the solar power I generate at the local PUD- and I get reimbursed for doing so. Thermal mass is also a guiding principle in my home construction, as is using the sun in every possible way (including solar panels, daylighting, solar water heating and solar cooking), water harvesting, food production and ventilation. I have also used this project as a way to experiment with many different building methods, including: sloped south facing glass, cob, cordwood and straw-clay slip walls, a floating wood floor in the master closet and a batch style solar water heater, to name a few.

My greenhouse is already producing fruit. I have plenty of solar power and solar heated how water. The interior of the home is beautiful. And the comfort of the home is incredible. I am so excited to share my journey with you. I hope you enjoy my project information as much as I have enjoyed the building experience. I look forward to discussing my project with anyone who has interest or questions….Live sustainably

– Joel

 

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Robert B

Webmaster / online presence / back-end office tech at Earthship Seattle
I'm here to make sure the website is maintained and updated, the back-end office is running smoothly, and everyone has the right tools to get the job done. When I'm not doing any of the above I jump in and help out where there's a need.

2 Comments

  1. LeAnna Gaydeski on October 4, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Love it! Beautiful designs and work. Looking forward to starting our own, ty for sharing!

    • joel on October 11, 2018 at 6:21 am

      Your very welcome….keep us posted on your progress! Joel

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