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, July 21, 2009

Phenomenal Progress Today!

Today we made great progress. I hung around for the first few hours helping Alvin and then took off for Kamloops for an appointment and to pick up more of our materials.

While I was gone, Kim, Curtis, Josh, Anna, Sean, James, Chris and Alvin filled half of the fourth round of tires. And, when it was stinking hot this afternoon (I wasn't going to work), they went back at it and now have only one "U" of tires left to fill! Wow! Every Earthship should have a tire press and great volunteers.

Yesterday I phoned the building inspector to find out if he had a particular schedule of inspections or whether or not the building authority would defer to the engineer for all inspections. Since 2005 inspections by registered professionals (engineers and architects) are becoming the norm on non-Part 9 buildings in our regional district and inspections by the regional building authority on these buildings are being phased out. This is also true for our earthship and Chris will be responsible for ensuring that the work he has specified is carried out satisfactorily, according to his stamped drawings.

Mind you, the building authority reserves the right to inspect if it so wishes, even if there is an engineer or architect on the project. We actually welcome this as we feel it's important for our building authority to become familiar with alternative designs. If all earthship projects went through the permit process--we think we may be one of the first permitted earthships in BC--then they would shed their "alternative" status and eventually earthships may not require the services of an engineer. This can often be an added cost of $5-7000!

I've questioned the value of our building permit cost- $1500-- in the past, but for the pave-the-way factor alone, it may be worth it!

Here's the west perimeter drain with the top layer of filter cloth. Next step is to start backfilling and install the thermal wrap. The second photo is the north (back) wall showing the perimeter drain partially backfilled.

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