Whimsical, off-grid earthship is made out of reclaimed tires and bottles
It’s not everyday that you get to stay in an earthship, but if you’re able to travel to Ironbank, South Australia in the future, make sure to check out the amazing Earthship Ironbank. Made out of reclaimed tires that were pounded into a curved shape, this unique, off-grid Airbnb property is located on about four acres of native bush land and surrounded by native wildlife.
The beautiful property, which is the first council-approved earthship in Australia, is made out of various reclaimed materials, such as discarded tires and old glass bottles, and is completely self-sufficient. Created by Martin and Zoe Freney, the design was inspired by the work of Michael Reynolds, who is known for starting the earthship movement years ago.
With the help of about 60 volunteers, Earthship Ironbank took shape using, by definition, many reclaimed materials. To start, the frame of the 750-square-foot structure was built primarily from stacked discarded tires. Filled with earth and coated in cement, the tires were pounded into a curved shape. From there, Martin created a strategy to take the earthship off of the grid.
According to Martin, a tight thermal shell was key in reducing the need for high-tech energy and water systems. The residence relies primarily on solar power. There is also a solar hot water system. Various windows and skylights allow for natural light and air ventilation, which further reduces the need for electricity.
The south side of the structure is tucked into the ground to add thermal mass. This earth-bermed section is covered with natural plantings and gravel for optimal thermal stability. Another bonus to embedding the house into the landscape is the added resilience to bushfires. An expansive rooftop conceals the home’s integral gray water system, which includes various filters that lead to underground water tanks.
The off-grid home has a gorgeous design, too. A path made of natural stones leads to an arched doorway with ornate patterns of colorful glass bottles. Inside, a warm hallway leads to the greenhouse, which was planted with lush banana trees as well as other edible plants. The garden is irrigated through the built-in graywater system.
The unique Airbnb accommodation has one bedroom for up to two guests, who can enjoy a lovely round lounge area with an open kitchen. The kitchen is equipped with standard amenities, including a wood-burning stove. When they aren’t taking it easy inside the tranquil earthship, guests can enjoy wandering around the grounds, exploring the local landscape and observing wildlife.