Curious about Earthships? Learn more at Comox Valley Transition Town meeting

What’s the difference between an Earthship and a Spaceship?

What’s the difference between an Earthship and a Spaceship?

While the latter soars through the Universe, the other is firmly rooted in the Earth. In fact, it gets its name from the large quantity of soil used in its construction.

Want to find out more about this remarkable building technique? Come out Oct. 24 to the Comox Valley Transition Town meeting at Joe’s Garage, 115 Fifth Street in Courtenay, starting at 7 p.m.

Ed Wishart is a seasoned veteran of Earthship building, having been involved in two builds in B.C. with the originator of Earthships, Mike Reynolds.

Says Wishart: “There is no doubt in my mind that the energy efficiency and self-sustaining features of Earthships can provide us with elegant solutions to current demands for ‘green building’ alternatives.”

Wishart’s most recent build is an Earthship on nearby Denman Island. It is located at the Denman Island Guesthouse on Denman Road, not far from the ferry. It offers a unique local example of the technique.

Wishart explains: “It’s a good place to start. As a greenhouse of 100 square feet in size, it features many of the main design elements of larger Earthships.”

These include recycled tires filled with rammed earth, walls constructed with old pop cans and bottles, cob, rainwater harvesting, and passive solar gain.

Adds Wishart: “Perhaps the biggest advantages of this design are its small ecological footprint, and negligible heating costs. All of these elements can be scaled up to virtually any size of building.”

Wishart first demonstrated these techniques at the March Transition Town (TT) meeting.

“Transition Town gave me a forum where I could explain to others the benefits of Earthships. I am also very interested in promoting other innovative approaches such as straw bale, and stackwall (also known as ‘cordwood’).”

Wishart will talk about Earthships and other low-impact, sustainable alternatives at the Oct. 24 Transition Town meeting. Ted Burch, a local engineer, will also discuss his decades-long experiences with many ecological approaches to sustainable building.

Burch has been in negotiations with the building department of the Comox Valley Regional District to bring these designs into the mainstream. Birch believes that, “The key to getting truly sustainable building off the ground is to gain regulatory approval.”

You can find out more about these innovative alternatives at  www.althousing.org. You can register for the next TT meeting online at no cost at www.transitiontowncv.org.

All ages are welcome. Call 250-336-7944 if you need more details about this event.

— Comox Valley Transition Town