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 ...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Backfilling

We have spent the last week working (sporadically) on the thermal wrap (insulation and moisture barrier) at the back of the building.

This process has involved laying out a 'wall' of rigid insulation behind the building and covering that wall with a double layer of 6 mil poly.



We also ran the wire and piping from the utility room to a culvert located just behind the building in the bermed area. We are not ready to do anything with the services so they terminate in this culvert. When we are ready to connect the services we will make connections here. In the interim, the culvert can be buried in the berm.




After the thermal wrap is in place we are using an excavator to backfill behind the tires and to berm around the thermal wrap. We tried using the backhoe but it was an exercise in frustration. Due to its age and hard use the backhoe is difficult to control (its worn out!) and this job requires precision, otherwise the insulation gets damaged. With the tractor pushing dirt to the excavator this job went fairly quickly. The following video gives you an idea ...

video

The entire process of laying out the thermal wrap has been slow and frustrating. It is a slow job, requires a fair bit of patience and is poorly documented in the literature on earthhips. I did notice in the last couple of weeks that Earthship Biotecture has posted on this subject on their website and apparently the second edition of Comfort in Any Climate will have some more detail.

We are now ready to carry on filling tires (five more rows to go), and will start again when we get back from our kayaking trip mid-august!

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