Earthships Are the New Real Estate In a Recovering Haiti

by Will Smith

The first Haitian Earthship. They may be more to come.

A house made of old tires, empty bottles, and other recycled material has been constructed in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Earthships (as they’re called) are the brainchild of Taos, New Mexico-based architect Michael Reynolds. His company Earthship Biotecture has built more than 1,000 of them.

Earthships are not only constructed from recycled materials, they are also designed to be completely self-sustaining. They capture energy from the wind and sun, and water from rain and snow melt. Heating and cooling is also handled naturally from the sun and ground.

Working with Haitian locals, Reynolds supervised the four-day construction of the Port-au-Prince Earthship. (His arm was in a sling, so he couldn’t do any of the physical work.) He plans to return in October to put the finishing touches on the structure, as well as scout a site for an entire village of Earthships.

In addition to their environmental benefits, Reynolds says Eatherships hold promise for development:

Earthships could be a boon for a place like Haiti, says Mr. Reynolds, where even the capital city has little infrastructure like sewage or electricity. “The most substantial thing I saw down there was a plywood shack,” he says. [WSJ]

Following are some of the photos of the Earthship taking shape in Haiti:


This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/earthships_are_the_new_real_estate_in_a_recovering_haiti/2293


  1. CTK said at 4:17 pm on Friday July 23, 2010:

    I saw the Earthship subdivision in Taos a few weeks ago, some really cool houses.  It reminded me of the Tatooine scenes in Star Wars.

  1. jag said at 11:16 pm on Friday July 23, 2010:

    This is beyond awesome. Only concerns I see is whether it can stand up to hurricanes and whether it’s economically and environmentally sustainable to move boatloads of tires and junk long distances.

  1. Lisa LaTree said at 11:43 am on Saturday September 11, 2010:

    Earthships are a great building alternative, especially to plywood shacks.  I visited one in Taos several years ago, and I own several books on the subject.  I would think that plenty of “tires and junk” are readily available in Haiti and wouldn’t need to be transported very far.

Comments are closed.

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