Yesterday I watched Garbage Warrior, a documentary about Michael Reynolds and his Earthships.
(Earthships are passive solar homes, often made of recycled materials and employing “renewable energy and integrated water systems [to] make the Earthship an off-grid home with little to no utility bills.”)
Though you do see Earthships in the film, the story is mostly about Reynolds’ battle with the state of New Mexico to pass “housing test zone” legislation that would allow for experimental building projects that don’t fall within current building and subdivision codes. In the midst of a grinding legislative battle, the Earthship team travels to the tsunami-devastated Andaman islands and then to New Orleans to build rainwater-catching garbage houses. You can watch the whole film on YouTube.
In response, I added a garden room to the south side of my dream house design. The idea of an indoor garden is a little confusing – What about bugs? Where does the water go? Would the garden get too hot in the window? Should there be a door between the garden and the house? – but there would be some very cool things about being able to grow food so close to the kitchen. Also, my grandfather says the front door should be on the east side of the house, where it’s more shaded, and adding a solarium across the south side was a way to do that.
Although my dream house is rectangular and not domed, I am pretty excited about the possibilities of superadobe and hyperadobe. Both apparently perform very well in earthquakes, which is a plus in this area.