Denver Earthship Visitor's Center
The Denver Earthship vision is to create a focal point in a Denver community, which will draw eco-tourism activity, bringing people together to learn, network, and inspire individuals, communities, and public/private agencies to push for the acceptance of innovative and radically sustainable housing practices, and demonstrate fully integrated and holistic food production systems.
The Denver Earthship Visitor Center aims to serve as a catalyst for future development of this holistic housing type. Earthships, inherently have the ability to provide safe, healthy and secure housing that is non taxing on the existing infrastructure since it does not need to tap into it. Earthships collect rain and snow water, and store it for future use. The collected water is then filtered and first put to potable uses, grey water is then collected and used for plant irrigation and food production in the greenhouse space, and to flush toilets. Black water can then be stored in a traditional septic tank and overflow to an outdoor leach field. Thus making it optional to tap an Earthship into the city utility systems.
The unique south facing corridors of an Earthship, act as a built-in "green house" space, and circulation. This space helps regulate and stabilize temperatures in the winter and the summer, using thermal mass and heat collection techniques, it provide space for ample food production, and the exterior facade carries a solar system that will meet the power and energy needs of the home.
Earthships utilize a large quantity of recycled materials in their construction, namely the north, east and west thermal mass walls, which are traditionally made up of used tires filled with dirt and covered with earth plaster. Thus, construction costs are significantly decreased due to the low requirements of new, and raw building materials.
These unique and greatly advantageous features that Earthships inherently provide, directly address the demand for sustainable and affordable housing, limiting energy and water use, and reduces the need for traditional energy and water sources, and empowers individual to increase local food production. It is easy to see how a future Earthship community can help alleviate and facilitate the universal needs for Denver's growing and diverse population.