If you are considering building an Earthship house, then it is important to know exactly how they are made and what the structure can support. You might be wondering if an Earthship house can support a second floor, and this is important information to be aware of prior to building so you know whether your structure will be sound with a second floor.
Can an Earthship support a second story?
An Earthship house can support a second floor if built properly. In order for an Earthship to support a second floor, it is important to ensure that it is structurally sound. The design of the Earthship will require higher walls and a taller ceiling to have the proper room for a second floor.
Earthships are great for people who want to live in a sustainable home that allows them to be self-sufficient without the need for public resources. A two-story Earthship can be a good option for a larger family or household.
Although many people build a single-story Earthship, you can build a structurally sound Earthship that can support a second floor, according to expert Earthship companies.
Building A Two-Story Earthship
Earthships are typically made in a single-story design. However, some people have begun to build two-story Earthships with great success. An Earthship does have the potential to support a second floor.
If you plan to build an Earthship with multiple floors, then it is important to get help from an Earthship expert who is experienced in building two-story Earthships. This will ensure that the home is built properly and structurally sound enough to support the second floor.
What Is The Average Cost To Build An Earthship?
Many people choose to build an Earthship due to wanting to live sustainably. Earthships are made out of recycled and natural materials, so it can be easy to think that an Earthship would be much less expensive than a normal home.
However, Earthships can cost just as much to build as a traditional home in a residential neighborhood. Earthships cost between $150 and $225 per square foot. This can equate to anywhere from $25,000 to close to $1,000,000 to build, depending on the size of the Earthship.
An Earthship is also considered a fully custom home which adds to the cost. You must find a builder that specializes in Earthships unless you plan to build it yourself. Even if you plan to do the building yourself, you will still need to create a custom floor plan, purchase materials, and most likely hire someone else to help with the building process.
Earthships can take longer to build depending on if you are building the Earthship yourself or if you are having an experienced company build the Earthship for you.
What Is An Earthship Made Out Of?
Earthships are made out of all-natural, upcycled materials that would otherwise be recycled or thrown out.. Typically the outer load-bearing walls are made from recycled tires that are packed with earth material. The tires are then covered with cement or stucco to create the external walls.
Walls that are not considered load-bearing are sometimes made from bottles or cans and then also covered with cement or stucco. However, if you are concerned about internal walls being strong as well, then tires can be used for the internal walls of the Earthship as well.
The roof is typically made out of trusses that consist of metal beams. Most of the time, the roof of an Earthship is constructed in a way that it can catch any rainwater that falls as well.
Earthships will also have windows that are usually set to face the sun on the south side of the home. This is to allow sunlight to stream in and will help to regulate the temperature in the home.
Can Earthships Be Built Anywhere?
Earthships can be built almost anywhere depending on local regulations and building permits. If you are able to get a permit to build your Earthship, then an Earthship can be built in almost any climate. Although Earthships originated in the deserts of New Mexico, an Earthship can function properly in many different areas of the world.
An Earthship is built in order to regulate temperature. They use thermal mass as well as passive solar heating and cooling. The outer walls that are constructed of tires function by absorbing heat during the day and releasing the heat at night when the temperatures are cooler. This allows the Earthship to remain comfortable throughout the day.
The wall that is facing the sun is angled in order to allow more sun in during the winter and less sun during the warmer summer months. This means that if you build an Earthship in a colder climate, you will get more sunlight during the winter to warm the Earthship.
However, if you plan to build an Earthship in freezing temperatures, you may need an additional heat source such as a wood-burning stove or a propane heater.
Outside of being able to build in almost any climate, you will have to check with local regulations to determine where you can build your Earthship. It is important to check with your local municipality to find out if a permit is required for your Earthship. Building an Earthship without a permit, if it is required, could result in large fines.
In certain areas, off-grid housing is not permitted, so it is important to research prior to determining where you want to build. Most Earthship communities are built in rural areas because Earthships cannot be built in a typical residential community. You can always consult with architects or designers to help plan your earth ship.
Is An Earthship Considered Off-Grid?
Earthships are considered off-grid homes. This is due to the fact that they function without the need for public resources such as electricity and water.
Many Earthships use solar panels to generate energy which will then power the appliances that are being used in the Earthship. The number of solar panels that are needed for an Earthship will depend on how much energy is going to be used.
The roofs of Earthships are designed to catch rainwater which will then drain into a cistern. Once it goes into the cistern, it will be filtered to remove any bacteria and contaminants in order to provide suitable drinking water. It then goes into a pressure tank to create the proper household water pressure that is needed for daily use.
Any water that goes down the drains and is flushed down the toilet will go into greywater and blackwater tanks that are located on the property. The water that goes into the greywater tank is typically recycled and can be great for plant growth in order to provide sources of food.
Many people that have an Earthship also grow a lot of their own food. They will have a garden on the property to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables, which also contributes to the ability to be self-sustainable.