Earthship Goolwa 2024

House Notes – Earthship Goolwa

The story and creation of Earthship Goolwa has been a very beautiful one! I first learnt about Earthships when I was working as a Volunteer coordinator for a program in Nicaragua, and we built a school out of plastic bottles filled with sand. I loved that a building could be made from recycled materials and also that the whole community could be part of the build as the process was achievable by all generations. After this project was completed, I just googled “trash houses” and discovered Earthships!!

Earthships are a sustainably designed house that is the invention of US architect Michael Reynold.
He defines six main Earthship principles:
1) building with natural and recyclable materials such as car tyres, glass bottles and cans
2) using passive solar and thermal systems for heating and cooling the home
3) energy self-sufficiency
4) water self-sufficiency
5) sewage treatment self-sufficiency
6) integrated food production systems

I discovered how lucky I was to have Australia’s “Guru” on Earthships, Martin Freney of Earthship Eco Homes, in SA to help me build. He has a PHD on Earthships and built the first council approved Earthship in Australia. I was blessed to purchase a north facing block of land, in the coastal Fleurieu Peninsula township of Goolwa to begin my own Earthship dream!

The construction journey was amazing, full of learning and a wonderful community of people came to help and be a part of the building process! My home is built with over 900 car tyres pounded with Earth, side walls made from straw bale, has an internal greenhouse with flourishing banana trees, is totally off grid with solar power, water tanks and my own septic system, and has beautiful regulated temperature inside during the whole year, all while being in the suburbs and 5 mins walk to the main street!

I look forward to sharing Earthship Goolwa with you!

Amy

Sustainability Features

Years Open
2024
ENERGY AND WATER EFFICIENT FEATURES
    • Energy efficiency:
    • Draught proofing
      Efficient lighting
      Energy monitoring
    • Passive heating cooling:
    • Cross ventilation
      Earth covering
      Earthtubes
      Passive solar designed home
      Thermal mass
    • Active heating cooling:
    • Ceiling fans
    • Water heating:
    • Solar hot water (evacuated tube)
    • Water harvesting and saving features:
    • Rainwater storage - Above ground
      Blackwater system
      Grey water system
    • Above ground rainwater storage Type:
    • Water Tanks
    • Above ground rainwater storage Size
    • 2 x 14,000L tanks
    • Energy Efficient Lighting
    • LED lights throughout
      Natural daylight
    • Window Protection:
    • Automation/controls
      Awnings (external)
SUSTAINABLE & RECYCLED MATERIALS
    • Sustainable materials:
    • - Car Tyre walls that are rammed with earth, Rubber reinforced rammed Earth bricks. - Old Carpet rescued from landfill inside the tyres - Straw Bale walls - Glass bottle bricks - Can walls - Thermal wrap behind the house with polystyrene panels - Straw Bale waffle pod for the slab - Double glazed windows facing north - Earth berm behind the main tyre wall - Cooling tubes through the Earth berm to use passive heating and cooling temerature controls - Awning windows on the north face - Wicking beds in the internal greenhouse using grey water from the house
    • Recycled and reused materials:
    • Aggregate
      Benchtops
      Bottles
      Cans
      Doors
      Excavated earth
      Glass
      Tyres

INSULATION SPECIFICATIONS
    • Insulation Type:
    • Under-roof
      Ceiling
      Internal walls
      External walls
      Floor
    • Ceiling Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Ceiling Rating:
    • R-6
    • Floor Type:
    • Wafflepod
    • Floor Rating:
    • R-4
    • Under Roof Insulation Type:
    • Reflective foil
    • Under Roof Insulation Rating:
    • R-6
    • Internal Walls Insulation Type:
    • Bulk – glass wool
    • Internal Walls Insulation Rating:
    • R-3
    • External Walls Rating:
    • R-5
    • External Walls Type:
    • Straw (stawbale walls)
RENEWABLE ENERGY SPECIFICATIONS
    • All-Electric Home?
    • Yes
    • Renewable energy used:
    • Energy storage/battery
      Solar PV off-grid
    • Size of PV system:
    • 10.5kW
COSTS AND COST SAVINGS
    • Total cost of home when constructed:
    • $350,000 (2022)
HOUSE DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
    • House Size
    • 130.5m2
    • BAL Rating
    • BAL – Low: There is insufficient risk to warrant specific construction requirements
    • Roof
    • Metal (Colorbond)
    • Wall Materials
    • Cob construction
      Earthwall
      Rammed earth
      Strawbale
      Timber
      Tyres
    • Window and Door Types
    • Awning
      Double glazing
    • Universal design accessability
    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Number of bedrooms
    • 2
    • Number of bathrooms
    • 1
GARDEN AND WASTE REDUCTION
    • Garden / Outdoors
    • Edible garden
      Greenhouse
      Wicking beds
    • Waste Reduction Practices:
    • Compost all food scraps
      Recycle
      Waste free/reduced construction site
HEALTHY HOME FEATURES
    • Healthy home features
    • Airtight house design
      Automated ventilation system
      Carpet free - tiles/concrete/timber flooring throughout
      Chemical free cleaning products used
      Cross flow ventilation
      Indoor plants for air filtration
      Lime render/wash
      Low VOC paints/sealer/varnish
      Natural light and ventilation
      Natural oil sealer/finishes
      VOC free paints/sealer/varnish
Location
Goolwa SA 5214
    • Housing Type:
    • Standalone House
    • Project Type:
    • New Build
    • Builder
    • Owner Builder
    • Designer
    • Martin Freney from Earthship Eco Homes

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