Earthship: Systems and Components, Vol. 2

Earthship: Systems and Components - Vol. 2


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Earthship Volume II by Michael Reynolds is as essential as Volume I in the construction of an Earthship home.
SKU: R18545

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by Michael Reynolds
257 pages.

While Earthship Volume I is about design and construction of earthship tire houses, Earthship Volume II is all about specific components of earthships: photovoltaics, water supply and wastewater, water heating, lighting, adobe fireplaces, stairways, . Author Michael Reynolds dives into the details about off-the-grid solar electric systems, out-lining the basics of how they work, and how to reduce your electric needs enough to make them affordable. In a chapter on water systems, he deals with the water supply and waste water, including wells and rainwater catchment systems, greywater systems and composting toilets, plus conventional and alternative septic systems. His use of planters adjacent to kitchen and bathroom sinks for immediate use of wastewater is especially ingenious for its elegant simplicity.


Reynolds also covers the basics of hot water systems, emphasizing batch heaters for solar hot water, while advocating on-demand heaters or combination systems for individuals who want to guarantee a constant supply of hot water. The batch heaters recommended by Reynolds are well-suited for southern climates, but not the best choice for northern builders where freezing is a greater concern. In regards to lighting, Reynolds shows the reader how to design a house that is naturally lighted with properly placed windows and skylights, such that electric lights are only needed at night. Reynolds also introduces efficient lighting systems.

Although earthships can be designed and built to not require supplementary heating, there is nevertheless, a great appeal to a fireplace, and Reynolds takes the readers step-by-step through the process of building a charming adobe fireplace.

Michael Reynolds extensively uses adobe-like walls made of aluminum cans mortared together, and shows how to build beautiful stairways supported by these walls. He also devotes an entire chapter to the detailed construction of no-leak skylights that hold heat in during cold weather, but can also be easily opened for ventilation during warm weather. Additional chapters cover the construction of doors and cabinetry, hand-crafted bathroom vanities and sculpted bathtubs, landscaping concerns, permitting issues, plus additional details on aluminum can construction of larger projects. Earthship Volume II is as essential as Volume I in the construction of an Earthship home. Solar Survival Press. 1990.

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