A sustainable dwelling requires the use of locally
found materials native to the area.For centuries, we have built our dwellings from materials we find throughout the world, materials such as rock or wood. In today’s society, we have large, mountain sized piles of man made by-products (used tires) already available.
Any Earthship dwelling uses used tires with techniques anyone can learn how to use. Access to all materials and how to use them are features of Earthship construction that can appeal to everyone.
One of the primary building blocks of an Earthship is recycled automobile tires. When filled with compacted earth, it forms an earth brick, a solid piece of earth encased in a steel belted rubber. These earth bricks are the major building pieces to the overall structure of the building. The walls created with earth bricks are virtually unbreakable.
Offgassing is not a problem, because although tires give off noxious gas when new, they lose their toxicity by ten thousand miles, and in an Earthship they are encased in plastic and adobe.
Glass, plastic bottles and aluminum cans are a wonderful way to make bricks, and these bricks are used to create non-structural walls in the interior of the Earthship. As surprising as it may seem, aluminum cans make very sturdy walls. For a special added touch, you can use colored bottles to create beautiful built-in wall decorations or to have colored walls.