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August 12, 2002
7:17 PM   Subscribe

Trash homes a.k.a. earthships sound like the way to go. Now if they would start building them here in Seattle...
posted by folktrash (15 comments total)

 
They may look a little mad max-y, but i think they're dreamy.
posted by folktrash at 7:19 PM on August 12, 2002


These kinds of homes have always fascinated me...very cool. "Dreamy" is the word I'd use as well.
posted by gummi at 7:33 PM on August 12, 2002


I definitely think one would be cool as a vacation home in the country, where zoning requirements would allow for it. However, I also think there's not a snowball's chance in hell they'll ever be built anywhere near "normal" houses, at least around here. It's hard enough to get a permit for a house using typical construction techniques that just looks a little different, let alone one built from garbage.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:26 PM on August 12, 2002


i think you just hit on the whole problem mr. davis
posted by folktrash at 8:35 PM on August 12, 2002


i saw these first hand while out in new mexico last summer. they were very cool.

ok.

i have nothing else to say.

thank you very much.
posted by mlang at 8:35 PM on August 12, 2002


So what do these people do with their "trash"? Slap on an extra bedroom, maybe a parlor?
posted by Witty at 8:41 PM on August 12, 2002


folktrash, a friend of mine wanted to build one of these on a long-ignored vacant piece of land in an older subdivision. It was unsightly, full of trash and weeds, and generally an eyesore. He went to the planning commission with his blueprints, letters of support from other homeowners in the neighborhood, even a scale model of the subdivision with his proposed home in place, and they still voted him down 6-1, because it wasn't "in keeping with the character of the existing neighborhood".

I guess they preferred the empty lot, which is still empty nearly ten years later.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:49 PM on August 12, 2002


crash, i wan't trying to imply that your previous statement was particularly your point of view. i can totally buy the idea that these homes, while better in every capacity that they can be better, are not accepted by the people that decide what kind of homes you can build.

it was the opinion of "these people" that i think is the problem. why? that's what i don't get. sometimes the world seems so hopeless.
posted by folktrash at 9:00 PM on August 12, 2002


folktrash, we're actually in total agreement, I think. I was just relating an anecdote that seemed to underscore the problem, which, as you also stated, is that "...these homes...are not accepted by the people that decide what kind of homes you can build."

I too wish I knew why.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:08 PM on August 12, 2002


Okay... okay... A few years ago I was convinced that I was going to lead some totally "off the grid" life style - so I did all this research about alternative homes and what I decided was that concrete dome homes were pretty much the way to go in so far as affordability and sustainability. They are so versatile - they can either be modest or luxurious - withstand heavy winds and other environmental threats and can either be on the grid or off the grid with adequate planning.

So what happened? Well I decided that living in a major city was best for me in the short term - but perhaps someday I’ll do the wilderness/dome house thing...
posted by wfrgms at 9:28 PM on August 12, 2002


I'm still waiting for people to design and build a Launch arco from SimCity. That'll be what I'm moving into.
posted by gluechunk at 9:43 PM on August 12, 2002


That's so funny, the picture made me think of the Darco Arco.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:04 PM on August 12, 2002


They are very cool structures. I wanted to build one myself back when I was a college kid, but nowadays I've decided I've got more money than time so spending 3-5 years building my own house in my spare time just doesn't sound as good as it did when I was in college. Also, the guys who run the earthship biz are real money grubbers in my personal experience. My wife and I visited the Taos display house about 6 years ago and they were pretty rude when it became clear that we were cash poor. Lame. Of course now they're paying for it-today we could easily afford the plans and such but part of our apathy is due to their piss poor attitude. And they get me here bitching about their customer relations, when 6 years ago I was screaming praise for their product. ;-)
posted by ehintz at 11:07 PM on August 12, 2002


Some friends live in a roundhouse in Pembrokeshire, built on similar principles to the Earthships but with even less in the way of external inputs. Apart from a rubber sheet and some recycled bus windows, their house was grown on the farm where it stands, will decompose within 40 years, they reckon (they're in their 50s, so this doesn't worry them) and is already so much part of the landscape as to be invisible from 50 yards away. Despite this, they have been refused retroactive planning permission by Pembrokeshire National Park.

The last time I saw them, they said they'd given up and were preparing to move out. It seems they've changed their minds.
posted by ceiriog at 2:46 AM on August 13, 2002


Slightly OT, but the I always thought that the Launch Arco from Sim City 2000 always looked like some kind of robot with crossed legs holding onto a walking stick. (The thing on the left, in that pic.)
Maybe I'm just mad.
posted by Mwongozi at 5:55 AM on August 13, 2002


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