Earthships heading to Canada will provide First Nation communities with low-income housing

July 20, 2016 by  
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Earthships are a unique kind of low-cost homes that are built primarily with recycled materials and produce and provide as much as possible on site. Created and marketed by New Mexico-based Earthship Biotecture , the earthship alleviates the problems of housing insecurity and environmental waste in one elegant solution. These sustainable housing units have been installed in India, Haiti, Sierra Leone, and other countries as a means to empower local communities. The Earthship team are now bringing their housing model to First Nations communities facing a housing crisis in Canada. Francine Doxtator and her family are among the first members of the First Nations to collaborate with Earthship Biotechture on such a project. “We’re all looking forward to the new home,” says Doxtator, “but I still don’t believe it’s happening.” The new earthship home, powered by solar panels, hydrated by a rainwater collection system, and insulated by recycled tires, will reduce utility bills by hundreds of dollars per month. It will also allow the family to have a more respectful relationship with nature. “We try and respect Mother Earth, says Doxtator. “Right now we’re ruining her. We have to look after her so she can look after us.” Related: First Nation builds spirited solar project in the heart of Canada’s oil sands While earthships may seem an ideal solution, there are obstacles that currently prevent their wider adoption. Earthships often do not qualify for standard mortgages or loans in Canada , which puts its cost of C$60,000 out of reach for many. Strict regulations on new housing on First Nations land also prohibits the spread of earthships. The newest earthship installation at the Doxtator homestead arrives as Prime Minister Trudeau has promised the public investment of C$554 million in First Nations communities. The earthship’s best days may still lie ahead. “I would love to see this happen for more people,” says Doxtator. Still, even the new homeowner is a bit perplexed by the unusual design. “I just hope it doesn’t look like a Flintstones house in the end.” Via the Guardian Images via Wikipedia , Flickr and  Adrienne Harper

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Earthships heading to Canada will provide First Nation communities with low-income housing

12 cocoon-shaped shelters connect visitors with nature in a Mexican biosphere reserve

July 20, 2016 by  
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Sian Ka’an, a UNESCO World Heritage site , is home to mangroves, a huge barrier reef, and tropical forests. Arqmov’s proposed project designed to stimulate introspection would allow visitors to experience the natural beauty of Mexico. According to the architects, they want visitors to experience an “awakening” through connection to nature. Related: Escape into nature with Greenland’s off-grid Amaroq cabins Each cocoon dwelling includes a living area and sleeping area, and the cocoons could be connected by suspension bridges. Notably, as the cocoons taper off where they connect to the earth, the dwellings would take up minimal ground space. The architects say this would minimize the impact on the site, protecting nature and endangered species – like the black-handed spider monkey and the Central American tapir – found in Sian Ka’an. The organic lines of Awakening’s buildings are based on geometry found in the “natural form of shelters” like cocoons, nests, shells, caves, and burrows. A swimming pool shaped like an “open bird nest,” reception desk shaped like a “hummingbird nest,” restaurant shaped like a seashell, and multipurpose building shaped like a turtle’s shell would all enhance the natural feel of Awakening. Rainwater collection systems would provide the cocoons with water. Renewable energies such as solar and wind would power Awakening. Water could be treated on-site as well; the architects describe the system as a ” complete water cycle and zero discharge to the aquifer .” Food would also be prepared on location, using healthy, local ingredients to promote sustainable eating. Via ArchDaily Images © Carlos Verón

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12 cocoon-shaped shelters connect visitors with nature in a Mexican biosphere reserve

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