An Earthship is a brand of passive solar earth shelter that is made of both natural and upcycled materials such as earth-packed tires, pioneered by architect Michael Reynolds.
Earthships are predicated upon the idea that there are six human needs which can be addressed through environmentally sustainable building design:
Energy: Thermal and/or solar heating and cooling, solar and wind electricity
Garbage Management: Reuse and recycling built into construction and daily living
Sewage Treatment: Self-contained sewage treatment and water recycling
Shelter: Building with natural and recycled materials
Clean Water: Water harvesting and long term storage
Food: In-home organic food production capability
Earthship structures are intended to be "off-the-grid-ready" homes, with minimal reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. They are constructed to use available natural resources, especially energy from the sun and rain water. They are designed with thermal mass construction and natural cross-ventilation to regulate indoor temperature, and the designs are intentionally uncomplicated and mainly single-story, so that people with little building knowledge can construct them.
In this video, Matt and Goldie discuss their current building process and their design ideas for the final product.