Self-building an Earthship course

Self-building an Earthship is a three-day course at Earthship Brighton run in partnership with Brighton Permaculture Trust.  The course builds on the good work of Mike Reynolds and focuses on adapting Earthships to the UK and other European climates. The course dates are:
  • Friday 19th, Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st April
  • Friday 12th, Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th July
  • Friday 11th, Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th October

Self-building an Earthship is for anyone thinking about building their own home and anyone interested in learning about Earthships. It is suitable for complete beginners, as well as those who are familiar with eco-building and want to know more.  People who take the course get a copy of 'Earthships in Europe' which features 6 European earthships as case studies.


Self-building an Earthship outline

The course covers in depth the five earthship principles:
  • Low impact materials: building with local, natural, recycled and reclaimed materials.  There are practical sessions on tyre ramming, clay plastering and glass bottle brick making.
  • Passive solar design: how a building can use the sun to compliment a heating system.  This includes natural, passive ventilation.
  • Renewable energy: how it's possible to live off-grid and generate your energy for electricity and hot water.  We look at the systems at Earthship Brighton, including photovoltaic panels, a wind turbine, wood pellet stove and solar thermal panels.
  • Rainwater harvesting: how you can harvest, store and recycle water.  We look at the water systems at Earthship Brighton from the first drip to the last drop.  Systems include rainwater tanks, filtration and ultra-violet sterlisation.
  • Treating waste water onsite: using plants and natural processes to deal with waste water.  We look at the grey water planters, septic tank, reed bed and compost toilet at Earthship Brighton. 


Self-building an Earthship tutors

Rebecca Sarll is the main course tutor.  Rebecca is a qualified trainer and has an MSc in Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies (Distinction) from the Centre for Alternative Technology. She has experience of building with hemp lime, straw bale and eco renovation as well as building with conventional materials.

Jon Kalviac leads all the practical sessions.  Jon worked on Earthship Brighton, the Zwolle Earthship in Holland, the Groundhouse in Brittany as featured on Grand Designs and the Sheppey Groundhouse. Jon is an Earthship Brighton tour guide and teaches on the Building with Cob course.  Jon has extensive experience with rammed tyre walls.

Mischa Hewitt teaches the 'Making it happen' session on planning permission, project management and finance and the Earthship Brighton case study.  Mischa was one of the project managers during the build of Earthship Brighton, is the author of the book 'Earthships in Europe', and has an MSc in Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies (Distinction) from the Centre for Alternative Technology.  He is a Passivhaus Designer and has worked on many new build and eco renovation projects.