Earthship 101- Design Principles Presentations

  • February 1, 2014 · 1:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

UPDATE (Friday, Jan. 31, 11:30pm)- I have upped the attendee limit to 45, and upped the amount of guests someone could bring to 3. We had a bit of a buffer, so this will allow all those on the waitlist to come, and maybe let some of you who would like to to bring an extra guest. We have worked hard to put this together, and it should be a really nice event. See you all tomorrow at 1pm!


UPDATE- (Jan. 26, 3pm): The event is set to go as planned, next Saturday, from 1-4pm at the Carlingwood Library meeting room. We ask attendees to update their RSVPs if you cannot make it, so as to give people that want to come a chance to sign up. If we have spaces open up, perhaps others will want to fill those. An email will be sent out to attendees on Thursday with more info on the location, getting there, parking, etc. Looking forward to this exciting collaborative event!


UPDATE (December 2, 2:45pm): I got a call from the Carlingwood Library today- they are hosting The Human Library project and there was a conflict with our event- they have had to bump all of the events happening that day. So; we've had to change our date and time for the presentations. The new date is now posted: it's going to be the following weekend, Saturday, February 1, 2014 from 1-4pm. I hope that everyone can still make it. If you are a presenter and cannot make it for the new date, please get in touch with me immediately. Thanks for your understanding!


UPDATE (November 27, noon):

After your topic is confirmed, please do your research with the following things in mind:

  • it should be wrapped up in a 5-10 minute presentation describing its very basics
  • information should be derived from Michael Reynolds' books, ebooks or Earthship Biotecture online sources
  • should be thought of as one of six intertwined aspects- your topic is one of 6 natural design principles which, when combined, form the idea/physical structure of an Earthship
  • we will have use of a computer projector, therefore a slideshow will be preferable as a visual aid, so include any interesting images that you find while researching

Please be sure that you will be available on Saturday, February 1, from 1-4pm in order to present before you contact me regarding picking a topic. We'll have a short meeting mid-January with the 6 presenters to iron out any glitches and make sure we're all on the same page before the actual event on the 1st. If any of you need help in any way, please feel free to contact me throughout.

It is my hope that we come up with a smooth-flowing event which will describe the basics of what an Earthship is in a clear, concise manner.


1.) Building with Natural & Recycled Materials (David)

2.) Thermal/Solar Heating & Cooling (Jean-Francois)

3.) Solar & Wind Electricity (Bob Levac)

4.) Rain & Greywater Harvesting (Luc-Anne)

5.) Self-contained Sewage Treatment (O'Neil)

6.) On-site Food Production (Booth)


UPDATE (October 22, 11:30am): We will have a maximum attendee limit of 40 people. Those of you who were on the waiting list are now RSVPd. As of right now, there are 22 coming and 18 spots left.

UPDATE (October 20, 9pm): Since summer has ended and things have slowed down for many of us, let's take this event up again. Those who remember that they volunteered to research and present on a particular topic, please let me know as soon as you can whether or not you are still interested in doing this. If not, then the topic will be offered up for someone else to cover.

We have had many new RSVPs; for those of you who have shown an interest in attending, you are very welcome.

We will change location from The Hub to the Carlingwood Library, as it is a bigger space for a cheaper hourly fee ($25/4hr. for non-profits). We will post a date once we know what works best for those who will be presenting. It should be a really informative event!

Also, since the library can accommodate more people, we will set a new maximum for attendees. I will double check with the venue and when I know for sure, the limit will be adjusted. For now, those who have been put on a wait list can rest easy because you will be included.


UPDATE (April 6, 4pm)- This event will be placed on the back burner for now, and we can take it up again in a bit when there is less going on.

Presenters, if you want, feel free to do the research of your topic; it will save you the work later.

Stay tuned for a date.

As for location, I think the Hub is a great place where we can have our presentations. It's in a very central location, and we can rent a room for 20 people for $45/hr. with a projector included. That's about $3 per person, so very reasonable.



We will have members volunteer to research and present on one of the six basic design principles of Earthships. These are:

1.) Building with Natural & Recycled Materials
2.) Thermal/Solar Heating & Cooling
3.) Solar & Wind Electricity
4.) Rain & Greywater Harvesting
5.) Self-contained Sewage Treatment
6.) On-site Food Production

These presentations will be 5-10 minutes long, and we will have everyone presenting on one day, back to back; that way we can get a comprehensive, clear picture of what Earthships are all about.

We'll schedule a date at a later time when we have a better idea of when everyone will be able to get their research done.

If you have an interest in any of these topics, let us know in the comments section below, and we'll get you signed up.

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  • Agata

    An informative collaborative event. Thank you to the members who worked on this and to all those who came out. I hope our guests put together the basics of what an Earthship is from what they saw and heard on the day. I'm sorry if I missed anyone on the attendance list. I couldn't tell precisely everyone that was present, due mainly to there being so many new members... if you don't see your name here, please let me know and I will add you. Photos to come.

    February 4

  • Paula

    Thank you very much to all of the presenters and organizers for this informative and inspiring event! It was great to learn from from those of you who have experience in building Earthships, and to connect with those who are thinking about it. It makes dreaming about such things a little closer to reality!

    1 · February 2

  • Suzane

    I enjoyed this very much. This was my first meeting. I left there very excited about these homes and how they fit in with the planet and sustainability. I see this as the becoming a necessary part of our future. I had to leave early because I live out of town and wanted to get home before the snow got too bad. Great information, thank you so much!

    3 · February 1

  • John

    Thanks to all the presenters, learned a lot :)

    February 1

  • Christopher P.

    Great presentations.Learned a lot Thanks Christopher

    February 1

  • Kristina P.

    Very informative! Lots to think about :)

    February 1

  • Agata

    For those of you who know you won't be able to make it, please change your RSVP to a 'No' so as to clear the spot for someone else. For everyone that's coming, see you all tomorrow!

    January 31

  • Sébastien B.

    Unfortunately won't be able to make it this week, but will attend the gathering next week. Enjoy the day!

    January 31

  • Jean-Francois M.

    We're back in Ottawa for the winter so count me in !

    November 28, 2013

    • Agata

      Nice! Would you guys like to present on any of the three topics that are left? You are both good speakers! Let me know.

      November 28, 2013

    • Agata

      One of you could present, or both together...

      November 28, 2013

  • Andy T.

    Hi Agata, I totally get it. Earthship-tech only. That's cool. Where I am it's pure sand, an earthship wouldn't make as much sense for this particular site. Heat loss can be modeled for a given climate and soil type... in areas with a high water table, for example, there is a possibility of more heat loss than gain, but I understand the general idea... with heated concrete, the idea is to send that heat upwards (insulation) not down, but ideally, no concrete is used (its one of the primary generators of GHG)... I'm a generalist, and while I'm a huge fan of Mike's life and work, I think there's value in exploring several approaches to a problem (one's own site, context, building inspector, etc)... good luck with the event :)

    November 27, 2013

    • Agata

      Earthship design does require a rational look at and adaptations to a particular site, its soil, climate, etc. One size definitely doesn't fit all. And with a wider view, yes, there is room for all kinds of construction. We need this. Not everyone will be building and living in an Earthship, so exploring many types of sustainable housing options is ideal in a situation where we many, and not just a few have to change our ways of living in order to lessen our footprints on this Earth. Thanks...

      November 27, 2013

  • Andy T.

    I'd be happy to present on passive solar/heating - I have a recent, very positive example, not an earthship but the principles are identical:­ - everything above the slab could be strawbale, rammed tires, whatever you like :) I have cost and performance data on this system also.

    November 27, 2013

    • Agata

      If you're still interested after that, let me know and I'll attach your name to this topic. Please hurry though to confirm one way or another, as we are doing this on a first come first serve basis.

      November 27, 2013

    • Agata

      Hi again, Andy- got home and opened up that link you left here... beautiful building, and great to see the whole process from start to finish; also, great little base camp! I see that you guys insulated under the concrete slab though- Reynolds advises to never do that when building an Earthship as it cuts you off from receiving the heat energy of the Earth emanating up through the ground. This is one of the reasons why I want to focus only on Reynolds' vision throughout these presentations... some things may get lost in translation if we look at other buildings as examples, and we may confuse people. I want to stick to the bare bones of Earthship design and construction for this event.

      November 27, 2013

  • Bob L.

    Hello all, looking forward to meeting everyone! My background is very technical but since there is already a presenter for solar & wind I could offer a complementary topic. Home automation as it relates to Earthships using our design as an example. This touches on heating/cooling, solar and wind power and rain and grey water harvesting. It looks like the event is already pretty full up so I'm happy just to sit in as well.

    October 23, 2013

    • Bob L.

      Sounds good to me. I am OK either way. We live in Montreal so a weekend would work better for me. Maybe if we have time on Saturday we can see if we can pin down a date.

      October 28, 2013

    • Agata

      Bob- that's great if we could talk about pinning down a date for your talk on Home Automation. I'm very excited! See you on Saturday.

      October 30, 2013

  • martin b.

    hello all, if it serves the group, perhaps I might say a few words about aquaponics and food production (within a greenhouse/solarium), let me know

    September 9, 2013

    • Agata

      Hi Martin- I meant to reply sooner (!)... lost track and forgot... I really want to stick to the actual formal structure of the 6 design principles of Earthships for this meeting. I have mentioned this to another one of our members who wanted to include information which, although highly interesting and valuable, strays from the topic. If you want to hold a talk on aquaponics for the group, let's post a meeting specifically for that. I know that there is a handful or more of us who are interested, and would definitely come out for that. Get back to me through email (just click on my picture) and let's talk if you are interested in doing it.

      October 20, 2013

    • Agata

      P.S... Two members who were at the Intentional Community meeting yesterday are very interested in aquaponics.

      October 20, 2013

  • Patrick B.

    Will depend on the date.

    March 7, 2013

  • Rylan

    Yes I put myself down for self-contained sewage , I'm not sure if it belongs in another category but I wanted to touch a bit on self contained food waste. Since I know a bit about vermiculture(indoor worm composting) from experience.

    January 28, 2013

    • Agata

      Rylan, I'd like to keep these presentations very focused on Earthships per se. BUT... how about you have a think on it and see if you'd like to put together a mini-tutorial on food waste/vermiculture for the group? That's what I was hoping for; that people with particular interests or knowledge or experience would put on these tutorials for us so that we can learn from them. Kevin has agreed to do one on small scale wind turbines, and Dianne on Permaculture. Maybe you could do one on your topic of expertise?

      January 28, 2013

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