Thursday, June 21, 2007

My Earthship, June evening

A lovely, warm June evening up in the high mountain desert...Am rocking my solar powered wifi internet radio over my 8 car stereo speaker system (100% solar as well just like every other light and electronic in my house). Can't stop taking pictures of my bottle bathroom!!


rena said...

That bottle bathroom is way cool!

Would you share construction details?

Kirst said...

Sure thing...
1st I put a rebar steel stake in the center of my determined space (an architect helped me with the drawings for this part of the house). I tied a string line to the stake and drew a circle on the ground.

2nd I dug a circular footing below finish floor grade (using a builder's level to determine the height). I made it wider than the final wall (around 10 inches wide by 1 foot deep.

3rd I poured the footing with concrete reinforced with steel and laid a circle of aluminum cans at the top of the wet footing, using the string radius to make perfect circle.

4th I build up the bottom half of the walls with aluminum cans laid in cement making a honeycomb structure as per the techniques in Michael Reynolds Earthship Volumes 1 and 2.

5th I hired a guy to cut 2,400 clear glass bottles in half with a tile saw (using appropriate saftey gear: goggles, rubber gloves, chemical respirator) I then, with the help of friends, cleaned every half bottle, dried them, matched them by size and taped them together with duct tape to form "bricks" all the exact same overall length.

6th I laid the bricks in cement using the same technique, but carefully wiping off the ends of every bottle at the end of each hit.

7th Continued to ceiling with cans.

8th Put 1st coat of plaster on entire structure, leaving the can area "scratched" and the bottles "floated" and cleaned.

9th Finished coated the walls with Structolite (a gypsum based plaster that dries off white). Used slick troweling techniques and much help from a dear friend who is an expert plasterer. We had to use tiny little palette knives around the bottles.

10th Love the result but this project was EXTREMELY LABOR INTENSIVE, probably over 500 person/hours.

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Miss LaLa said...


I'm from Neuvo Mexico, Albuquerque to be exact. I am now living in the Bay Area (for four years) but my partner and I dream of moving back home and building an Earthship. We've finally started to make the initial plans for this process and I am so glad I found your site. I have just become a blogger myself (for my crafting - and am planning on blogging on your beautiful home there - because I think building a house, especially an Earthship, is the biggest and most awesome craft project you could take on! You rock! For the time being, I decided to blog about the amazing-ness of Earthships on my work blog. I work at Rainforest Action Network and I wanted to share the wonder, beauty and sustainability of Earthships with the folks that visit our website as an alternative to homes that continue to be built wastefully, as well as homes that promote human rights abuses against the communities that live in the forests that are being clearcut to fulfill the "American Dream." So, anyway, thanks for the inspiration and maybe I'll hit ya up in the future for some info about the whole entire process of building one (finances, zoning, building, etc.). Thanks! And enjoy all of your hard work in your beautiful new home this summer!(I'm so jealous, Taos in the summer is so lovely!)

prinzcy said...

That is cool!

Prabhu Singh said...

Nice blog. I have a lot of New Mexico photos on my blog as well. I live in EspaƱola. I have a piece of land near the Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) in EspaƱola where I plan to build a home for me and my future family. I'm very interested in the Earthships, but I'm not sure if my place is suitable for it. Also I was wondering if Earthships have to use tires or can they be just pure rammed earth? Also can you build a second story? Because the views from my land are incredible. Sorry if I'm asking too many questions. At some point it might be worth it for me to get a consultaion from somebody in your community. I'm about 40 minutes from you.

ecoOliver said...


Nice to find your blog. I'd love to put your earthship on the natural homes map here

If you like you can put a version of the map on your blog. You can get the code here

There's an example of the map for srtaw bale homes here

Regards, Oliver

newmillennium said...


I am a Sustainable Developer by trade and would like to talk with you. Please contact me directly at Thanks.

mariejustin said...

Kirst- Your bathroom is amazing as is the rest of the house. So perfect. Dwell or Natural home should feature it. I live in GA and am intersted in building an earthship. Is this an ok idea if building on the East? Anywhere east of the Mississipi River is humid. I was told straw bale might have problems- moisture = mold... Also, I would be very interested in buying blueprints from you.. are you available for that? please email me

Jens Engelhardt said...

Looove your Bathroom!