Design Principals


“…the Earthship is the epitome of sustainable design and construction. No part of sustainable living has been ignored in this ingenious building.”
~ Michael Reynolds

Earthships are self-sustaining all the way down to the primary design of the building. Each dwelling creates its own electricity, water catchment, a contained sewage treatment system, and production of food. Owning an Earthship can help reduce or eliminate utility bills by:

  • Generating electricity from the sun and wind.
  • Catching water for drinking, bathing, cleaning, flushing, and other water needs.
  • Storing and treating all sewage produced using a healthy and natural method.
  • Maintaining comfortable temperatures year round, typically between 68 and 72 degrees.

The main systems that allow this to happen are heating and cooling, electricity generation, collection and treatment of sewage, building materials, water, and food production. While there are detailed explanations of each on our systems page, here is a brief overview:

  • Solar and Thermal Heating & Cooling System: No matter the climate, an Earthship will sustain comfortable temperatures. Our planet has two sources for temperature: the sun and the planet itself. The sun is similar to a nuclear power plant source, while the planet is a thermal stabilizing mass that is able to distribute temperatures without the use of wires or pipes.
  • Solar and Wind Electricity: Earthships create electricity using a prepackaged energy system. It uses Photovoltaic and wind power. Energy created is stored via batteries and supplied to the electrical outlets in the Earthship.
  • Contained Sewage Treatment: Earthships use both indoor and outdoor treatment cells to use, store and reuse all sewage produced in your dwelling. This helps with food production, as well as the ability to landscape without polluting aquifers. Please note rules controlling the use of gray water have not been codified in El Paso County, Colorado. Earthship Village Colorado is working with El Paso County to develop and pass regulations which can benefit all parties.
  • Construction Materials: The primary building blocks of an Earthship are natural and recycled materials. By restricting the type of materials used to build the dwelling and using only local materials, it eliminates the need to ship materials. This reduces the overall resource usage.
  • Water Collection: Earthships catch water from rain and snow. Each drop of water gathered is used four times. All water is heated using one of three sources: the sun, biodiesel, and or natural gas. The source used is based on the homeowner’s personal preferences. This allows Earthship to avoid adding to the pollution and contamination of the underground aquifers.
  • Please note in El Paso County, Colorado current laws regulating water catchment are not yet codified.
  • Food Production: Earthships use planters that hold water from sinks and showers. Each planter can hold and clean hundreds of gallons of water. The planters are a source of irrigation for all areas that require water. This includes: greenhouses, gardens, bird baths, and even fish ponds.

You can find more information on any of the systems mentioned above by clicking here to go directly to our Systems page.