The greenhouse, south facing glazed front, of the earthship is it's radiator, air conditioner and food source. Planters are positioned in this area to benefit from the natural light and warmth. Grey water from the sinks and shower will feed these planters, who in turn will feed us - well that's the plan!
There will be opening windows along the bottom of the front face which will draw fresh air in as the hot air rises out of the skylights.
In colder climes the front face is angled to catch the sun at 90 degrees when it's at it's lowest point in the winter. Ours is vertical to help keep the heat out in the summer when the sun is at it's highest. In winter we should get sufficient passive heat in this climate.
Below is a summary of the greenhouse work or use the menu to the left for a more detailed account.
Greenhouse front face
First a row of tyres is filled with earth, then the bond beam added on top of a layer of plastic. The bond beam is fixed in with rebar the same as the roof, only that because the top of this bond beam will be the finished viewable window frame the top plank was nailed into position after chiselling out the underside to hide the rebars.
This is then ready for the rest of the front face support/window frames to be fixed in place. Metal brackets and plates were used for this. The roof beams were then put in place.
The soil (or should I say rock!) inside is then cut away to leave a shelf of 30cm out from the tyres. Part way through this process I decided that rather than cutting the rock away and rebuilding walls for the planter, we'd cut the planter out of the rock.
Greenhouse joins round room
This is a very complicated corner - we have rectangular greenhouse joining round room entrance to think about, plus the angles on the finished roof to allow for so water runs to the tank. We've spent many a day scratching our heads over this one.