Table of Contents

For those who wonder what all we cover...        
Free Chapters and Research Links are in blue.                        

Background and Methodology  
       Our Earthship Survey    

The Earthship Reality Project
The Mythos       
     The Myth of “The Most Economical Building Design in the World... (which will) cost about the same as a conventional non-sustainable home…” 
     The Myth of “A Radically Sustainable Home Made of Recycled and Natural Materials…” 
     The Myth of Earthships and Recycling    
     The Myth of “The Most Efficient, Easy to Build Construction Method on the Planet”       
     The Myth of Build-Out Time      
     The Myth of “Will Perform as Expected in Any Part of the World, in Any Climate” or, Reality Check:      There is no such thing as a Global Model
     The Myth of “Will Provide You with What You Need to Survive…”             
     The Myth of Thermal Comfort  
     The Myth of Performance: Known Issues in Earthships Worldwide          
     The Myth of Custom Design       
     The Myth of Education 
     The Myth of Getting it Built by People who are Willing to Pay     
     The Myth of “A Higher Resale Value.”   
     The Myth of Awesome Community         

“Just the Facts, Ma’am”               
     Issues with the Data      
     The Tire Issue   
     The Earthship at the End of its Life          
     Earthship Life Cycle Cost Assessment    
     Earthships are not for Everybody            

Motivation: Why we have to do something MORE        
The Science: Academic Research and Tire Off-gassing    
Academic Research on Earthship Performance  
Earthship Ironbank         
Research Conclusions   

A Way Forward
Earthship .: Reinventing               
Home Design with YOU in Mind
Sustainable Home          
        Working towards a Better Definition of Sustainability     
        Cost Effective Sustainable Features        
        Minimizing Waste and Pollution               
From Vision to Reality   
        Where You Live Now     
        Wish List             
        Setting a Vision
        Idea Book           
        Site Diagram      
Where is the Money?  How to Afford to Pay Cash for Your Home             
        Mortgage Financing       
        Tools to Facilitate Financing        
        Creative Funding Solutions         
         Pick the Right Materials
         Homeowners Bill of Rights          
         Tax Incentives for Green Design              
         Budgeting for a Contractor         
         Deciding Factors              
Insurance for the Non-Traditional Home              
Planning a Build               
Regulatory Forces –The Code     

The Building’s Context and Site
Land Uses          
         The Best Design of All: At the Intersection of Two Ecosystems   
Choosing a Building Site               
         Topography and Climate              
                  Working with Microclimates       
         General Site Design Criteria        
                  Growing your Own: Dan’s EPIC Garden 
                  Outdoor Living 
Fire-Wise Design             
Vernacular Design Principals      
         North Pacific Vernacular Zone   
         Rocky Mountain Vernacular Zone            
         Southwest Vernacular Zone       
         Great Plains / Prairie Vernacular Zone   
         Lakes Vernacular Zone 
         Northeast Vernacular Zone        
         Southeast Mountain Vernacular Zone   
         Southeast Coastal Vernacular Zone     
Passive Solar Design      
         Ultra-Tight Construction              
         Other Ways of Staying Cool        
         Other Ways of Staying Warm     
Thermal Mass versus Insulation               
         Thermal Mass for Heating           
         Thermal Mass for Cooling            
Earth-Coupling and Earth-Sheltering      
Natural Ventilation Strategies and Indoor Air Quality      
         Other Means of Ventilation       
         Earthship Ventilation Issues       
         Earthship Cooling Tubes and Alternatives            
         Indoor Air Quality           
         Humidification Matters
Thermal and Moisture Protection            
         Roof Thermal Performance Improvements         
         Framing for Thermal Performance          
         Thermal Bridging             
         Choosing Insulation       
         Earthship-Specific Thermal and Moisture Protection Issues         
Acoustics - Sound Insulation    
The Structural System   
         Rubble Trench Foundations       
Floor Structures               
The Enclosure System    
Secrets of Great Curb Appeal    
Natural versus Sustainable Materials     
         Insulating Versus Thermal Mass Building Materials          
         Strawbale vs. Cob           
Traditional Earthship Building Blocks       
         Tire Walls            
         Earthship Greenhouse 
         Glass Block and Bottle Walls       
         Can Walls            
Other Types of Walls     
         Soil Factors for Rammed Earth, Adobe, Cob, and Earthbag Construction
         Expansion and Control Joints     
         Rammed Earth 
         Wood Block Concrete Forms      
         Wood and Log Construction       
         Timber frame   
         Log Buildings     
Earthship Roofing Considerations            
Roof Structure 
Roofing Types  
Doors and Windows      

Rooms, Spaces, Colors, & Textures         
Create an Efficient Floorplan      
Starting Small    
         Easy Spaces       
         What about All My Stuff?            
         Living Simply with Less  
         Other Interior Considerations   
Hallways & Hidden Hallways       
Living Room       
Dining Rooms   
Great Room      
Kitchens and Baths         
         Second Floors and Lofts               
         Laundry Room  
         Root Cellar         
         Stairs and Towers         
         Standard FurnitureDimensions
Details of Design             
         Planning for the Long Game        
                 Assembly Occupancies
Universal Design             
         Paints and stains             
Wall Coverings 
Floor Coverings

Mechanical Systems      
Mechanical Heating and Cooling               
Mechanical Rooms         
Mechanical Heating       
Fireplaces and Stoves   
Mechanical Cooling & Air Conditioning  
Typical Earthship Mechanical Systems   
Electrical Systems           
The Art and Science of Outlets and Switching     
Water Flow        
Water Heaters 
Waste Management     
Rainwater Harvesting and Collection      
Maximizing Efficiency in Water Use        
Final Notes on Mechanical Systems      
Imbuing Space with Spirit            
What is Happy, Anyway?             
Your Core Desired Feelings         
Locating “Power Spots"
Creating Sacred Spaces
Vaastu & Feng Shui        
Feng Shui            

Conclusion: A New Set of Earth-shelter Building Criteria

Overwhelmed? Need Help?      
Hiring an Architect or Designer  
Stages of Design              

     New Home Design Worksheet
     Site Design Checklist  
     Suggested Reading
     Earthships around the World      

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