Building An Earthship In Darfield, B.C.

We are a family of five living in Darfield, BC.
Our house is six hundred square feet in total and we are feeling cramped.

We have decided to build an earthship!

So starts the adventure ...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


On February 23rd we presented our project to the Kamloops chapter meeting of the BC Sustainable Energy Association.

As part of that presentation we went over our goals in building our earthship.

Sandra has talked about our goals in a previous post but I thought it was worth re-posting them as they have been refined as we prepared for the presentation.

1. Build a sustainable house that will meet our
family’s needs.

Our intention is to build a sustainable house. However, we also recognize that we are a family of five with three children. We do not want to be so rigid in our adherence to sustainable goals that we feel deprived in any way. We do think that on whole we are already a resource-mindful family. We already conserve both water and electricity, we are frugal and we are masters of re-use!

For example, we are not interested in lurking in a dark building in mid-January waiting for the sun to grace our solar panels with its presence for a paltry few hours so that we can continue reading that great book we started 10 days ago! To that end, we are investigating net metering (lots of sunshine in the summer!). There may be other instances where we do not rigidly adhere to absolute sustainability; we intend to keep an open mind about building to suit our needs.

2)2. Build a house that is within anybody’s financial reach.

We believe that housing and construction prices are out of reach and unreasonable. Our intention is to construct this house as economically as possible using sweat equity to demonstrate what is possible in terms of cost. To that end we intend to document our building costs on our blog.

The Potter's in Ontario built their Earthship a decade ago for approximately $50,000.00. We are curious to see what it will cost us today!

3)3. Use recycled and natural materials as much as possible.

One of the things we really like about the Earthship design principles is that waste material (used tires and pop cans) are re-purposed as building materials.


Build the house ourselves with friends and family.

We have operated a log home business for the last ten years so have some experience with conventional construction practices. We are keen to build this house with our own 10 hands and the help of friends of family. We hope to avoid the expense of professionals and contractors where possible. This is an effort on our part to put the ability to construct a house back in the hands of the homeowner.

Include our community.

We want to make our local community aware of alternative construction techniques and more sustainable building practices. It is our hope that alternative building options will eventually be considered conventional.

We are maintaining this blog, have done a presentation in Kamloops for the BCSEA, and plan to participate in the Kamloops Energy Fair in Kamloops on May 23rd. We hope to open the construction process to visitors and volunteers.

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