Meet Michael Reynolds.....considered "crazy" by his peers at one time; that ridiculous architect who had this stupid idea to use garbage to build homes for people to live in!
Not only has Reynolds' "crazyiness" given him the ability to do just that- create a model of a home built with garbage, but he has also managed to extend his 30 years research to include sustainability in each home. Imagine living in a home with no light bills, no water bills, and a lower food bill!
Individuals who choose to live in houses such as these usually already have a mindset of lowering their carbon footprint, and tend to consume less. Many have claimed that the homes are comfortable, practical and that they appreciate many aspects of this type of low-cost living.
The houses are built from tires, dirt, glass bottles, and cans...with concrete and wood frames here and there. The simple, semi submerged abode will be perfect for the tropics as the interior is naturally cooled because of the design.
The building also boasts a water collection (rain water) and recycle system in which washing and bathing water is recycled to water the indoor greenhouse (automatically....so you don't forget to water your plants), and then gets filtered again into the grey-water system as water to flush toilets. That toilet water is collected in a cesspit designed to filter and release water back into the ground; which waters the plants in the garden. The outside filtration system is further assisted by natural filtration that takes place with plants. These homes were developed in New Mexico, which has only 12 inches of rainfall per year. Imagine in our climate which has 1000 mm of rainfall per year!!! WATER FOR ALL SOLVED!!!!! Reynolds has also developed models for Tropical buildings in which the main structure is round (better able to withstand hurricane) and battery systems for storing solar and wind power.
Indoor looks pretty...and pretty comfortable.
The homes can be customized to suit any sized family. The indoor greenhouse situated always to the entrance of each model; acts as a further barrier to cool the inner house. There is also an "airtube/ skylight" system which lets in more light, and creates a current of air circulating into the home to cool the rooms.
Reynolds and his team have also set up a school for students to learn how to design and construct these homes. His aim is to teach the technology to the world. His belief is that power and water systems no longer need to be centralized, and that the homes no longer limit the choices in which people are able to live. Then homes are perfect for persons wishing to live in remote areas.
For more information, you can check out www.earthship.com
Homes are not cheaper...but cost around the same per square feet as a regular home. Keep in mind however, that future running costs are considerably less, and the initial cost still makes this a cost effective option, especially for persons who have a lower income. If our government will subsidize these types of homes, many low income persons and persons in rural areas will be able to have a better standard of living.
Hope for the future I think. I would love to live in one. Would you??