Why are earth ships so expensive

Alternative building : The waste product

It's like being on an anthill. People are bustling around everywhere, hammering, sawing or dragging something. Rock music fills the construction site. Many of the workers wear long manes and frayed clothes. The mood is great. So a house is being built here?

Yes. But not a normal one. It's an Earthship, a completely self-sufficient building.

"Earth Ship" - the name is reminiscent of the 1970s, when the American Michael Reynolds developed the concept. At first he was thought to be a freak. Today the man with the gray mane and the frayed straw hat is taken seriously: there are now around 1000 Earthships - from Haiti to Malawi to Australia. “People feel that the world is changing, that it cannot go on like this,” says Reynolds. Soon there will also be an Earthship in Germany: on the grounds of the Tempelhof Castle community in southern Germany.

There are constant changes, everything has to be immediate

About 140 people live there. Most in normal houses, some in construction trucks and trucks. What all residents have in common is their sense of nature, of a sustainable and self-determined life. An "Earthship" fits in well with the concept. The 180 square meter house will serve as a kitchen, bathroom and common room for the 28 residents of the mobile units. “This is an experiment,” says Roman Huber, co-founder of Tempelhof and owner of the Earthship, which costs around 300,000 euros.

Thanks to their construction, these buildings do not need conventional heating. The sun is enough to bring the interiors up to temperature. Rainwater ends up in cisterns, is filtered and is used first as drinking water and for showering, then for watering the plants and for the toilets. Photovoltaic modules provide electricity. The buildings can be built anywhere and by anyone within a few weeks - from materials that others throw away.

Max Thulé, who builds mobile housing units with his company, is one of the future "earth ship" residents. He is in charge of purchasing and tool procurement on the construction site. “Almost all decisions are made during ongoing operations. There are constant changes. Everything has to be immediate. I didn't know that. But it works."

The construction is a kind of workshop, a temporary community

Around 70 people have been working on the Earthship since the beginning of October. The shell should be in place at the end of the month and the interior should be ready before Christmas. You hardly ever see machines on the construction site, manual work is the order of the day. It's Reynolds' concept: building is a kind of workshop, a temporary community. The helpers, almost all of them volunteers, learn how such a building is made - and can then carry the idea out into the world afterwards.

Like Felix from Passau. The 29-year-old works in the restaurant business and has taken four weeks of vacation for the construction project. “I wanted to do something useful,” he shouts against the noise of the construction site, which is currently being sounded with Queens “We will rock you”. There are hardly any hierarchies, just a few knowledgeable foremen who know what to do. Everyone else lends a hand wherever they want or wherever a hand is needed. People work, dance and celebrate.

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