They always say that one man's trash is another man's treasure, but it's not often that you can find something really great going through the garbage. Although, in this case, trash can be used to build a fully sustainable home making use of old materials and other people's garbage. Ferry driver Gus Anning and his wife Sarah Rowe wanted to build a home for themselves and their three children. The only thing was, they wanted it to be completely sustainable and self-sufficient with energy, waste and water supply. So they did their research for about 3 years and took 2 more years to plan before they set out to build their sustainable ecohouse in New Zealand. It took them nine months to build their home, which is deemed an Earthship since it embraces some of the concepts of traditional Earthship building. The home was shown to New Zealand on the first season of television show Grand Designs, and people absolutely loved it.
When you think about sustainable homes or homes built from recycled materials, you may have a picture in your mind of a home that's not all that attractive. This Earthship home shows that these sustainable homes can be made using recycled materials, and they can be quite beautiful works of art as well. The couple built their home in a beautiful oceanside paradise to live in with Sarah's two older kids Bryony who's 14, and Toby who's 12. The couple also has their own son together named Whio who is 4. They decided to build their home in Hikuai, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand, and they made it a 240 square metre home, which is about 2,583 square feet in total on 1 hectare of land. The home has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and an atrium for the family to enjoy and live in happily. He got the help of architect Graeme North and also the help of Earthship builders Ben Garratt and Rosa Henderson from Sculpted Earth. Building designer Harriet Pilkington from Young and Richards also helped a lot in the design of the home too.
They lived in a separate cottage on Sarah's parent's land while they built their home. They have a piece of land out in the country which they have named Te Timatanga, which means new beginnings. They were lucky enough to have the land handed down to them through Sarah's mom and dad. The site is quite wet compared to the original Earthship homes that are built in the desert. To prevent the water from damaging the home, they created a water barrier using various recycled materials, including a custom waterproof membrane with crushed mussel shells and then a layer of poured concrete. The also used 1,300 recycled tires that are filled with earth to create the walls and to make a thermal barrier to the outside world.
Inside, they used mudbricks to make the inside walls, and they'll also include some recycled glass bottles to let in some light and create some natural stained glass. All of the rooms face the exterior of the building to a north facing corridor that is plated in glass for an indoor greenhouse. The angled windows provide maximum solar gain and gorgeous views of the surrounding property as well. The roof will then have solar panels on it to provide energy for their home. The final result is incredible and absolutely beautiful. They are creating their own food with their own garden, and the kitchen is awesome. This is a great sustainable eco home that proves these self-sufficient homes can be very beautiful. Would you live in a home like this?