Gallery: Earthquake Resistant Tire Earthships for Haiti Disaster Relief

This earthship is a prototype of what could be in Haiti and it was largely built by locals and could easily be replicated.
This earthship is a prototype of what could be in Haiti and it was largely built by locals and could easily be replicated.

Early in July, Reynolds, two builders and a cameraman journeyed to Haiti to do research and see what could be done. They ended up building a whole house with the help of 40 locals, ranging in age from four to 50, in just under four days. Locals gathered tires and plastic water bottles, while Reynolds and his team directed the construction efforts. The earthship is 120 sq ft and made from 120 tires packed with dirt and topped with a dome roof (an easily replicable design). Reynolds said of the locals who helped, “They had nothing to do. They were all eager to learn, and it turns out all the skills we could do, they could do.”

Reynolds has built over 1,000 earthships through his firm Earthship Biotecture around the world, and even homes for other disaster torn areas, like on the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean after the 2004 tsunami. Earthships are constructed from discarded materials like tires, which serve as the foundation and structure of the building. Typically built in a round with a domed roof, the buildings are also able to withstand earthquakes. For the homes in Haiti, Reynolds also has plans to include rainwater harvesting, solar power, sewage treatment and food production. He and his team will return in October to add the remaining systems to the existing home, including adding plaster to the exterior, a screened-in veranda with flush toilets and water and solar collectors.

+ Earthship Biotecture

Via Wall Street Journal


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  1. Nakita Joubert April 18, 2013 at 7:52 am

    why do I have to pay so much for the plans for a Earthship, if it’s made from recycle material!

  2. Earthship Biotecture March 21, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    New Video: Haiti Earthship Project overview.

  3. ecowarriorwithahead March 6, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Hey guys- i agree it does look resourceful BUT it does not look earthquake proof. These structures need to be reinforced with i hate to say it…some non eco materials to prevent this structure from collapsing in a magnatude 7 earthquake- the UN call for say ‘BUILD BACK BETTER’. And this means in order to prevent deaths these buildings need to be safe- its all well and good to be green but if it is going to collapse and kill the inhabitants – it is not better for the people. And this is a proto type? Where is it located? looks like a compound away from the people- I hope in the very least- if it is actually safe- a local family gets to test it out- otherwise what it is the point?

  4. rdustinwind July 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm


  5. good and green radio July 25, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Hey all Inhabitat folks – You MUST put the EB Block on your radar – the most exciting sustainable & humanitarian concept I’ve seen in a long, long time: Environmental Building Blocks
    A container made from recycled food-grade plastic that transports food & water for disaster relief, then can be used to build structures or as conduit to move water. AND!!! When filters are fitted to the ‘connectors’ on the Building Blocks, non-potable water can be filtered through the block walls, and becomes potable. The EB Block is a structurally sound ICF concept, and is suitable for building in earthquake prone areas with addition of rebar in the pre-located places designed into the blocks. This method of construction is excellent in areas prone to hurricanes and flooding. Another great thing about ICF construction, is that the buildings can be aesthetically appealing, too, with multiple options for siding to integrate into the environment wherever the structure may be. We all need to look at Sustainable Design from a totally holistic point of view, and integrating the humanitarian piece is important. I hope you all get as excited about the EB Block as I am!

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