The main material for the walls of an Earthship - tyres filled with earth. Each tyre, once filled, becomes a solid, mass 'brick' wide enough to negate the need for foundations - they ARE the foundations! They're pounded in place because once done they weigh a ton.
The earth is from the site and the tyres we picked up free from the local garage. Because our soil is so dry we had to add a bit of water so it stuck together well. But even so, we used a fraction of the water we would've needed if we were using conventional bricks and mortar.
The main hut, sited along a terrace wall to benefit from the sloping land, has been dug down 1.8m which meant we only had to do three rows of tyres along the back wall. The finished ceiling height is approximately 2.4m which allows for the bond beam.
See below for a quick overview of the whole process or the menu to the left shows all the entries to the blog.
Cuevas 1 - the one bedroom hut
The very first tyres started on the 2nd May 2007! This is the wall between the main room and the round room. Tyres were part dug into the earth at the join to make a really strong bond.
The turning of the corners! It was during the back wall process that we realised we couldn't do more than 7 tyres a day between the two of us, ho, hum.
The west wall finished, we then had to back track and add an extra layer to the back wall to allow for the pitch of the roof. And do the tyres for the round room join and front face.
The round room tyre work and the main area finished.