design » on the inside

The people that live here—we're all people who have opted out of the system... we took destiny into our own hands.

DEBORAH BINDER

SHELTER, SHIP, OR LODGE?

I had an entirely different article designed up for you, which I will save for another day—but editing Rebecca's video in the client love section reminded me of earthship structures.

When I was little, I remember my family randomly going on car rides to look at houses out in the country. Domes, A-frames, underground... if it was different looking, my dad was curious. At one point we were going to build across the street from my grandparents, and plans were even drawn up for what I now would call an earth home. No wonder I've been drawing floor plans since I was a little stinker.

Fast forward decades later, and I'm visiting my grandma in Wilson, North Carolina. I had randomly found this historic site and asked if we could check it out. Little did I know what an amazing afternoon I would have learning about the man behind the round house structure at
Oliver Nestus Freeman Round House. Freeman majored in industrial arts at Tuskegee Institute, where he met his life-long mentor Booker T. Washington and innovative scientist George Washington Carver. Embodying the best of Booker T. Washington's ideals, as a teacher and master craftsman, Freeman returned to Wilson and built not only houses, but community. What made me think of it (besides just being cool architecture and history) was Freeman would throw bottles and garbage into his masonry to add strength and clean up the area. Sound familiar earthship folks? They since have built a modern museum next to the round house that I hope to visit one day. I really hope the man who taught us all about Freeman and the round house that day is still there, though. He was the best person to learn from!
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RENT AN EARTHSHIP | ROUND HOUSE IN THE NEWS | MORE ON EARTH LODGES | EARTH SHELTER ARTICLE

EARTHSHIPS are designed to behave as passive solar earth shelters made of both natural and upcycled materials such as earth-packed tires. They are constructed to use available natural resources, especially energy from the sun and rain water.   

EARTH SHELTER (earth house, earth berming, underground house) is a home with soil against the walls, on the roof, or that is entirely buried underground. Earth acts as thermal mass, making it easier to maintain a steady indoor air temperature and therefore reduces energy costs for heating or cooling.

EARTH LODGE is a semi-subterranean building covered partially or completely with earth, best known from the Native American cultures of the Great Plains and Eastern Woodlands. Most earth lodges are circular in construction with a dome-like roof, often with a central or slightly offset smoke hole at the apex of the dome.

GREEN ROOF (living roof) is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. It may also include additional layers such as a root barrier and drainage and irrigation systems.