Grand Design 2018 - Coromandel: Earthship
Minced, your design. They. Say that, one man's trash is another man's treasure so. What would you do with a bundle of old stuff like this cardboard, boxes some old bottles, use. Tires and, some, mussel shells. Well. If you're really clever you. Can build a house. The, beguiling charms, of the Coromandel, Peninsula and, summer are hard to resist. Originally. From Carrie Carrie ferry driver Gus Anning settled here after spending most of his life at sea I've. Been sailing. Professionally. Now since. I was 19 and. Has. Taken me all over the world I've been up to Antarctica. Seven times now and I've took three times and, everywhere in between really. It's. Been a great life no regrets but, now I found myself on the Coromandel. It, was not so much the place as a woman who lured Gus to, this coastal, paradise, Gus. And fiancee, Sarah Road now, have a son Theo they. Live in the village of Tyria with Sarah's two older, children briny, and Tony. They've, been living in a separate, cottage on Sarah's parents property while they saved to build their own home, mum. And dad have said we can stay as long as you like which has been. Lovely there's been no pressure to speed things along but, we're quite keen to develop my. Space of our own and, then. In turn, be able to look after mum and dad down the line I've. Always wanted to design and build my own house and I. Just thought this surely some cheaper. Way of building a house in New Zealand then using, your. Basic New. Zealand building code and timber we, just couldn't afford that for the size of family didn't we have Gus. And Sarah have, a budget, of just three, hundred and twenty thousand, and they, want to build a four-bedroom, family, home Gus's. Nicknamed up north is mustard because. He's Tina's and he is a dreamer, that's. What I love about him. Typical. Coromandel weather a bit of rain well. The beaches are the glamorous side of coromandel the, hills have long been a retreat, for alternative, lifestyle, us and it's, here that Sarah and Gus are embarking, on their own alternative, build, they. Both have Maori ancestry, and have named their land totem, a tongue for the beginning, now. This has to be the ultimate hippie hanging up. Guys. Nice. To meet you guys hi. Such. A wonderful, sight ahead. And very deep. In the heart of the Coromandel how on earth did you come across this this, actually was. Handed down to me through my mum and daddy without, them we wouldn't have been able to realize that dream like this a dream.
Site Which has already lettered, with the building materials, for their future home we're. Building a nest yet an Earthship. So tell, me what that is an Earthship, is a, house, that's built out of recycled, and natural materials. It's. A house that can, make. Its own energy and grow, its own food and recycle, its own water made, out of the things that society, throws away so, you're making a house out of rubbish yeah, pretty much. Earth ships have been touted, as the epitome, of sustainable. Building early. Models resemble, alien, dwellings from another planet, and as, far as Gus and Sarah's build is concerned, they, may as well be these. Prototypes, were mostly built in the American, desert where, it's extremely dry, and flat, Sarah. And Gus's site is cut into a clay bank beneath a grove of native rainforest in, a valley that is frequently, well, very. Wet. So. No essentially, they were developed, first and in the desert but unlike. There we have slightly different, conditions. Here how, are you dealing with this we'll, be wrapping the whole thing in a waterproof. Layer I think, we decided to pretty, much put the house on Montgomery yeah. So. It's got a couple of good wellies. Gus. And Sarah's rainforest Earthship, will be protected, by a custom-made, waterproof, membrane for, gumboot, broken. Mussel shells will provide installation. Under a poured concrete floor, roll. Out 1,300, recycled, tires which, are rammed with earth to form the exterior, walls these, will be packed with earth coal and coated, in a clay render, mud. Bricks will form internal, walls of this 4-bedroom, home incorporating. Glass bottles, to create some pretty natural. Light. Apart. From the living area all the rooms run the length of the building opening, to a North facing corridor, which doubles, as an internal, greenhouse. Angled. Windows, allow, for maximum solar gain and provide, views, opening. Down into the valley. Timber. Logs will hold up an insulated. Roof and solar panels, then. Gus and Sarah can move into their alternative. Recycled. Utopia. Where. Huge, nature lovers and we. Feel I think most at home amongst, nature. It. All sounds, very idealistic. But, it's easier, said than done using. Recycled, products, means saving, in material, costs, but there is a catch ramming, tires and making, earthen, homes is extremely. Labor-intensive so. Gus and Sarah are tuning it build into, a workshop. People. Interested, in the Earthship concept, are making their way from all around the country and even overseas each. Paying, two thousand dollars to live on-site and learn on the job from paid experts. Gus. And Sarah are hoping this army of workers will finish their home in under three, months good. Luck I say Sarah. And I would. Like to welcome everybody, here today as the, start of a long journey this. Team here Sarah, and I chose to. Come and navigate, this journey with us and they're, all very, experienced, earth ship builders we are going to run an amazing, course to, let everybody up. School and, take. It to their communities, so. Thank. You to all of you guys and welcome I, can't. Believe you've.
Made It this far and now we're here we've been talking about it first three. Years now. And it, started so, we've had about 20 arrived today I thank you we, get more and more and more as the workshop. Progresses, which is gonna be great. Hosting. And skilled, interns, to help build the houses one thing to. Hope that they can pull off an extraordinary, build in less than three months is another, I, admire. Gus and Sarah's optimism, but, I suspect they, may have underestimated, what. Lies ahead. The. Magnificent, Coromandel Peninsula is, rugged, and isolated. Which has made it a haven, for alternative, lifestyles. Like Gus and Sarah this. Project, is essentially, creating, a very spacious family, home on a very modest budget, but. It represents, a powerful statement of sustainability. And environmentally. Conscious living. There. Pretty much only need to go to here. Gosh. Looking very, very, impressive, Gus. Within. A week Gus, and Sarah's Earthship, workshop, is in full swing things. Are happening yeah things, going faster than I ever expected really yeah. So we're ahead of schedule at the moment we've. Never built a house before you know this is our first time at it and it's going pretty easily and it's. Got you know amazing energy at the moment that's good just, bash, this down around the side so it's the same height as this one Australian, Ben Garrett is the project's construction manager. But, in this case that comes with an extra job description, he, and the other international, Earthship crew are teaching, the novices including. Gus and Sarah all they know about this unusual building, technique so. Just take this down a second. So. The cynics amongst us would, say you, know this workshop system is, just. Cheap, labor to build a cheap house yep. That would be a simple way to look at it the. Other way to look at it is that it's a community building it's like an old school fundraising most, people in society have no idea to how to build their own houses these days because it's all been chopped, up into separate traits yeah, and this way people get an overview of how. They can do it for themselves, there's. An education, element there that that. We try and bring to all the workshops there's, so many people out here and there's so much to learn from all, these awesome people that have come over as well it's. Just quite. Awesome being on-site heaps of energy, it. Runs here for good timing to build. The house for, the coming weeks everyone's, focus, is on the grueling, task of pounding, 1300. Recycled, car tires with do, these, earth bank tires will form a thick and dense wall of thermal mass that will naturally regulate. The temperature, inside the house. This. Is a pretty labor-intensive, part, of the building but, the. Big payoff in, the end is that the house is heating. And cooling itself. Each, tire can take about 10 minutes to pound I figure. 1,300. Tires at 10 minutes each means it's going to take about two hundred and sixteen hours of grueling labor, to, create gas on Sierra's tire wall. Wow. This. Is serious, serious. Hard, labor. People. Pay. To, be here to do this it's.
A Unique experience I. Feel. Like when I'm doing, this that. I'm, doing something. Helpful. For the world and. Sharing. Skills with people that. Will enable. Them to, perhaps. With their life more fully, it's. A worthy cause you, don't look tired yet but. If I'm honest I'm, not sure that I'd pay to come and do this. As well, as recycling, rubbish earth ships are designed to be capable of going off grid these. Huge, ditches, are part of that plan these. Are the cooling tubes, so. Each of their rooms has. One of these coming up the front so, this is a really key, ingredient. And Earthship, design isn't it yep, that's keeping the building cool in summer it, works through a convection so. We got a greenhouse, at the front of the building which is generating. Heat from, the Sun as. Soon as the windows, are open there the, hot air is escaping and, dragging this cool air through the building. That. Simple, I. Get. A sense that for gas Sarah and the build team there. Is more than just a house at stake here which might explain the level of enthusiasm for, the task at hand. Well. Today it's full steam ahead I've, discovered that Gus and Sarah may be heading towards a major roadblock the. End of the build is around about eight weeks away March, the 14th, I've. Got a good feeling about her sorry mother, I've, got one big question for you though if you've. Got to consent for what so far a stage, 1 which is our subfloor, concrete. Pad and our back retaining, wall right yeah and your architect, is still, drawing the roof and so on is that right she's. Finalizing. The documents, to hand and to the engineer to sign off to hand in the council right so, the. Plan is to have the roof on in 8 weeks right yep but, has it been submitted, yet should we write that should we up Wow. Their worst-case scenario, what. Happens if that can, see doesn't. Come through we'll just cross that bridge when it come when we come to it I don't think that. We're. Going to have, their problem I think that we're just going to everything's, gonna fall into our lap on. Gus. Is certainly not lacking an optimism, and I hope he's right because, if they consent doesn't come through it could put a stop to the whole project. Blissfully.
Unaware Of, how close to the wind the build is sailing, the, interns are still pounding, tires to. Keep their energy up New Zealand Earthship coordinator, Rosa, Henderson, has, brought in a DJ. Everywhere. I've been and filled with earthships, Africa. Guatemala, Philippines, States Australia workshops. Are full of people wanting, to learn, about new ways of building new ways of living new, ways of collaborating and. Just being their hands dirty getting stuck in and it's so well supported it's just a red idea and everyone's came to get him behind it I've, certainly never seen it build quite like this before, it sits somewhere, oddly between, a chain gang and a Summer Festival. So. Far it's proving, very effective. But, the party, may, be about to end because, it looks as though their weather luck is turning. We're, working an extra day today at Saturday we've, looked at the long-range forecast, and it. Looks like a tropical cyclone is coming down from Fiji, quite. Quickly it's about five, days away. Exactly. When we're looking at pouring the slab so, we're trying to bring everything forward and keep. To our program as fast as we can underneath. The concrete slab, they first need to lay the waterproof, timothean, membrane, known, as the gumboot, it's. Actually, a farming, product designed, to lie in irrigation, ditches but. This one has been cut to size especially for, Gus and Sarah if it rains heavily it's just going to come down behind, the house down the drainage middle but there'll, be no water getting, inside the house moving at a damp house. This, will be vital in protecting, the Earthship from rising damp in such a rain prone environment. If. We, don't, get the gumbo, down today is gonna set us back at least a, week I push. It this way the. Membrane, is of utmost importance. To this build and one, hole could spell disaster. Everyone's main concern, at this point is. Protecting. The waterproof membrane it has, got so many opportunities to get the shell you, know piercer, or the, wheelbarrows, the pecks the shovels the rebar we. Have to protect, it as soon as possible for. Extra. Protection the, perma theme is going to be covered with a retired, sail that Gus scored from some of his marine contacts. Gus. Has connections. I think, it's commercially. Around, $200,000. Worth of sail it's, not good for sailing, anymore but amazing, to protect this Gumby. On. Top of the sail comes a 250. Millimeter layer of a surprising, locally, source installation, we're just bringing mussel shells in, to. Dump on top of the sail. This is for. Insulating. Under our floor, the. Sales to protect it and. We've. Got about. 5,000. More wheelbarrows, to go. Mussel. Shells have proven to be an effective natural insulator, and as, a byproduct, of the local fishing industry it, was, an appealing, choice for Gus and Sarah. For. Sarah the excitement, of seeing their dreams begin, to become a reality has, brought a fresh, burst of energy, pretty. Stoked right now this. Is some, progress we've made today high-five, team. Going. Really well the. Way I feel at the moment is I don't want it to end, I'm. Hoping, Sarah can keep hold of all that positivity, because, with just four weeks until the interns, leave there's, a long way to go and, it's about to become a race against the weather. Gus. And Sarah's, build team are racing, to lay their concrete base before the arrival of a tropical cyclone which. Is tracking, in from the Pacific there's. A steady line of trucks coming I think we're up to our last truck which is. 735. Metres concrete, the, decision, to go with a concrete floor is a bit controversial, when it comes to sustainable, building usually, we don't, use concrete if we can avoid it the. Engineering, in. New, Zealand with the seismic. Earthquakes. Said, that we have to. But we prefer to use earthen, floors. An earthen floor, brings. With it more positive ions so it's. More like a walk in the forest, we. Had to take a few boxes, that were a conventional, building code but, just so we can keep on track with our timeline. The. Poor marks, the halfway point for, Gus and Sara's eight-week, Earthship, workshop, which, is supposed to see the house pretty much finished, in that time using, a team of trained builders teaching, keen interns. They've. Had a big stroke of luck the. Cyclone, that was bearing down has weakened, out to sea and moved away keeping. The build on target, we've been watching this weather for the last full. Eight days I, think. There's, some sort of underlying, luck factor, involved, with our project so far yeah, we're pretty happy it's, gone really well this was our goal is to get the tire wall pounded out bond. Beam and the floor set. In concrete but. I'm struggling to believe they could possibly be finished in less than a month.
By, The following week the, concrete, is dry but. They've only just submitted. Their building considerate location for Stage two. It'll. Be on the disk of the guide, processing, it, this. Afternoon, I hope. In. A bid to try and speed things along they've, invited the local mayor to visit the site I'll get a clean how, you're doing Gus good night gonna see ya good to be here. Well. They don't want to discuss the consent process directly, they're, hoping to unless some support, the. Concept, is great from when I first heard about it and just listening, to the team that I've been talking to and to come on-site and see, what you're achieving and, if some idea of want. It to be able make me feel good - yeah I'm just glad you picked on us yeah. We. Just wanted to live in the car me know and, it's, a beautiful place to look wish you all the success, yes. Well, done. We've, been told that times were a little alternate, on the Coromandel so. This is in tune with the thinking and I'm. Pretty proud to think that our team could pull together, with. Gus from the team and actually make this happen. The. Yet to see whether their charm offensive, will turn into results, but, with the consent process at least now underway, it's, on with the build. Gus, has come to collect a stash of mud brakes from nearby hot water beach which, he bought secondhand. These. Mud bricks, from. Huachuca. A friend. Of ours had bought them from a project, that didn't end up using them and so, we bought them off them and we got 65 pallets of mud bricks for 5 grand so. We're pretty stoked for that it. Just made sense to build. Our internal, walls of mud gross. Mud. Brick building, is an ancient technique dating, back thousands, of years, the, bricks are made from earth play, and straw, they're, fireproof, durable. Non-toxic, and offer, great, thermal mass. They're. Ones that break we can soak and turn, it into our slurry, and our mortar to bind the bricks together so, it's, a sort of a blessing in disguise really. But. Gus, handling, the bricks is a welcome, return to the very key thoughts that began this project and lies at its heart building. Literally, from the earth. Sarah's. Also, getting back to basics in her, case, scavenging. At the local rubbish tip for glass that can be repurposed today. We're collecting, nicely. Wine, bottles, we're making the. Glass bottle, bricks for the walls so we're looking for the larger bottles which is your wine and your olive oil spirits.
Pull, These up bottle. Breaks are a popular, feature of many Earthship, homes Sarah. And the team are looking for bottles that are both strong, and eye, catching we, also like to just scope, out people. Recycling. Them on, a Sunday evening because. That's where you find the accent, pieces you may might find a lovely red bottle something a little bit unusual. Yes, I hope to get one and of course trends within so noticing where. The. Bottles will be cut in half and the thicker ends tape together to form a brick it's, a labor-intensive process, but. The reward should be walls which not only make use of strong, recycled. Materials, but, also allow, natural light to filter through the interior, of the house. Back, on-site Earthship, enthusiast, Rosa is on hand to teach the interns and me, how. To make natural cob, to pack out the tie walls. I've. Never done this before you have to educate me well. The clay that we've got here has. Actually come straight from the site when. They dug the cooling tubes here that went really deep and I save the clay if you feel it you can feel there's. Some sand in it it's. Not super fine clay it's a bit silty, yeah okay, this is wood, shavings, macrocarpa. Which were gifted, free which, is the. Binder and, this is a grit get normally, up to 5 mil as the best sort can be sandy, and. Some chunks is really good so there's always a ratio of aggregates. And your binder, and your subsoil, clay and. Together. It makes. I've. Done a lot of things in this industry but, I've never made cob with my feet before I guess, there's a first time for everything. Whoa, that's, tasty between the toes. Have. You worked out a special dance for this, sometimes. I find digging your heels and is quite nice when it sticks together okay, sometimes. A bit of the Highland. Fling what would be better about this then I. Don't know a jib for example. The. Material, was a natural, which is a whole different kettle of fish from them being not natural, being, breathable, especially, interior, walls being, able to regulate temperature, it's. Good thermal mass and they can regulate humidity, as well it. Just takes a bit of foot stomping and you can do a lot of building for very very cheap right, I was expecting, it to be much tougher on your feet but in, their, bed. The. Tires need to be packed out in stages, to achieve a flat finish to the wall between, each, layer a clay, slipper supplied to help it stay in place by. Simply checking. It at the wall there we go absolutely. Out fire in one of those oh yeah. Nice. Shot. What. A man's right to build what, a fantastic way to be we're, going to build the wall out until all. The tires are gone and there's a beautiful flat walls coming down impressive. Very. Impressive one, two. Three. I. Had. Been wondering what would possess someone to give up this summer to build someone else's, house for free. But. I'm starting, to see the appeal for the interns and being part of something like this the. Sense of community and, the unique. Skills involved, make this quite an unparalleled. Experience. Unfortunately. For Gus and Sarah its nearing, the end of the golden weather summer's. Almost over and they're, dedicated labor force will soon be heading home. We're. In the beginning of week seven and we've, got two weeks to. Get this thing with. A roof on it covered. Walls. Closed and. I. Think. That. Will. Be pretty much the, bar. The glazing I think, you'll be lucky. Said, with amazing confidence. Ultimately. And we know everything's gonna be all right I. Love. Gus and Sarah's optimism, but, I'm struggling, to believe they can pull the rest of the spell together and under two weeks like. A bought one Gus. And in Sarah, and their team that they've felt have, achieved an enormous, amount over the last six weeks however. What. Is still to come is quite, significant. Not. Only have they got yet to close in the halls and get the roof on but. They also have, to get permission, from, Council, to. Even put, the roof on. Short. Of a miracle, I'd say the deadline for this earth ship has already sailed. It's. Now the final, week of Gus and Sara's Earthship build the. Week that they had hoped to be celebrating, its completion, but, they don't have a roof yet and autumns. On its way you know we had to put. Our start in the end on this whole workshop, otherwise they'll just sort of roll over and ever no end and. Everyone had to have an end so they can put buses and flights and you know people have come from all over the world to help us. But. We're not encapsulated. Very. Close. Well. Gus is perhaps blindly. Optimistic about, this oncoming, disaster, Sara, is more concerned, I could say I'm not stressed worried, and that I'm quite happy though.
There's Some layer in here I think, it's been quite a long time. While, Gus has been supervising, the build Sarah's, been the breadwinner. Spreading. Her time between several, part-time jobs, including. A local nursery. We still need to bring the bacon home. So. We decided that I would sort. Of take along with my jobs, because. Gus, is really the. Project. Manager, he needs to be on site and that's. That easy task I. Battled. So much with, feelings. Of guilt not being there and there's. The new people, on site wondering, where the hell I was, you. Know whether the beach or getting, my nails. With, the roof structure underway before the council has signed it off just, received, some very welcome, news where, you got consent today, which. Is amazing. News. Good timing and, awesome. To get it pushed through so quickly, the. Consent, felt a little touch-and-go, we. Were expecting it to come through but, we were biting our nails a little bit if it wasn't coming through this week. By. The end of the week I'm pleased to see the roofers finally, put in place. Before. Things have changed it's ours last year like, the concrete slab Gus, and Sarah's practical, decision, to go with an aluminum, roof as outside. What might be expected, of an Earthship build there, are a lot of serious, industrial. Building materials, like. The structurally insulated panels, it's all polystyrene, yeah. I agree. I would, have been nice to go through, you, know putting some natural decking down some stockings, but we did have the money could really go completely eco, but when, we look when you looked at the budget this was just fast it was easy and it, was a job done in two days, Sarah. And Gus and their team of willing workers have achieved a huge amount, in the eight weeks of this build. But, as summer, comes to an end and the interns start to hear home there's, still a lot of work left to do. Autumn. Arrives and almost. On cue so. Does the rain. With, the house still not sealed they, can only hope, that the moisture which will be working, its way in doesn't. Cause permanent, damage. A hardcore. Group of enthusiasts, has offered, to stay on a bit longer to help finish the build but, the caterers, have left for other work leaving. Sarah to juggle Kemp mother duties, with her part-time jobs. Sound. Cooked hot meals in the evening in, return, for big. Bass, we've all got big days to get this house in close. Final. Push, but, the energies I. They. Want to be here we're. Going to find that community. Without, the festive summer camp atmosphere, the reality, of what still needs to be achieved is really, starting to bite for Sarah and Gus, there's. No choice but to push ahead as best they can and try, to get the house sealed as soon as possible. Two. Months later they're, on their own and there's, been limited, progress. And. Then. Kind. Of plateaued and it was all this. We, didn't really. Imagine. The, amount of hours, involved with all the, Cobbing, and the drying process in. Between and, the. Plastering. And bottles. Between. Three. Kids two jobs it's. Been quite hard to find four hours I don't. Know and a lot of money but, what I have and has helped offset the costs of this build the, sacrifice, is required to, achieve a build like this are, often far higher than people imagine and, it's, taking a toll on Sarah in particular some, days it's, not just been about not, having been productive emotionally. - it's been a little upsetting at times because I really did imagine, that I'd be hands-on, every, day building, our home I'm, really, worried for Gus and Sarah that their build is still, not sealed the, entire front of the house is open to the elements raising, the risk of mold and water damages, every day goes by.
Although. They're already, over budget as they head into winter they. Make the sensible decision, to bring back some of the interns this time paying them to help finish the build they couldn't get rid of me just love it too much we're, going into a change of season now so it's taking a lot longer for the cob to dry and I'm really noticing that wall. That we carved probably, two weeks ago is still not dry yet and you. Know whereas during the summer that would have dried in a matter of days I mean. It's really showing now so we. Need to get the glazes and here so he can geyser having. Some workers back on board is giving Gus and Sarah a much needed burst of energy. Sensing. The kids could use the morale boost as well, sara is introducing, bronies school class to the Earthship concept, we can, gather, and use a water. Ok, create, our in energy, through, the solar panels, and the heat that's entering, the house are, you ready to get muddy. When. What are evil cos for for learning getting, the kids out and getting involved in things and then of course back, in the classroom we can investigate. Design, and, the processes, and the benefits environmental, need and. They're proving a handy addition, to the labor force as well I, had, someone say to me it's like. That's. It. That's. Really nice the kids have involved this kind of building you. Know it's not many building, sites that's the. Suitable place it's. Kind of like everyone's, had, a bit of lovin, to the house. Six, months after the start of the build the moment has arrived for the glazing. This, is huge today getting the glaze again the weather has changed considerably. And, it's been very muddy, here the, holdup, mainly. Has been on my side, to. Try and design a. Wooden. Block for, the glazing, to sit on so. The double glazing units aren't sitting in a pool of water because. It's on an angle I think. If. I had had been. Around. A. Bit longer I think. They probably would have melted it out but we've come up with a really good, design. That, can shed the water away from the windows once. The glazing goes and then the fashions can go on and once officials can go on we can flow, out chimneys, and. Meaning. That we can light the fires to dry out our carb in our mud brick walls. Becerra. Whose parents gifted them the land being. Able to show them around something that is starting, to resemble a livable, house as a big, moment. They've. Just done so well you know and it's the dream through all. Been. Great there's, not the way I would have done it because some you know I'm sort of the old school, would, have sort of seen if there was probably. An easier way of doing. There. Is an easier way to do this trip you just have to get in and. You. Know get muddy yes I think what Gus. Brings to it as well that Sarah recognized, is the big dream and. It's. All very well being a sensible builder and the rest of it but if you don't have dreams then you don't go in here and beyond that. That. Night the team celebrates a house that is finally, safe from the elements it's. Really important, that you've all been around the last couple of weeks I think not so much just the physical bills but for morale to. But. There's still a long way to go, in a midwinter Rosa, makes a devastating. Discovery. This. Is the layer of cold that got put on when the glazing, wasn't, in you can see it's growing moles because it was wet for too long some. Of this wall is adhered quite well and some, of it some. Of that's not adhered well at all. It. Comes off the wall anything. That comes off will tear off if, you're doing renders on anything that's not actually stuck, on the wall even. If you get it beautiful and nice it's, gonna pop off eventually if it's not stuck, really well back here, weeks. At the house sitting unsealed, have allowed moisture, to creep in and permanently, damage the render, on some of the tyre walls the. Only option is to pull them down and start, again. With, the fireplace still not installed, Gus's, cabling, and some lamps to try and speed up the drying process I, think, it's going to pray take another month to dry this card out as we go and I. Don't, mind hey good, things take time and it's fun and we've. Met so many beautiful people along. The way and, an extra month isn't going to hit you. Can really feel just, how close Gus and Sarah are coming to realizing their vision of a warm peaceful. And sustainable. Family paradise, it. All comes down to how long these final, stages take and whether, the re-rendered, walls will be able to properly dry out.
It's. Been nine months since, Gus and Sarah embarked, on a dream, to build an Earthship, in this beautiful remote, coromandel. Valley so. The last time that, I saw Gus and Sarah it was starting, to look like a real building but with a huge amount yet, to do of, course their. Original, goal to build the house in just eight weeks was. Never realistic. But. With a second summer now around the corner I'm, keen to see just how far they've come. Oh my. Goodness. This, is, incredible. I've. Done it. Hello. I. Can't. Believe it it's finished. I love. The solid, feel of that the big timber. Beams the beautiful, rocks along the front of all the glazing, it's fantastic, the proportions, in general are just big and gutsy. You know it's, the setting in the mountains and I tell you what on a really windy day when. You're inside you, just have that wonderful feeling like it ain't going anywhere it's so solid it's, just so nice and calm and quiet, just. To be surrounded on earth it's, just the best, feeling show. Me around, I can't wait oh. Gosh. Look at this is wonderful, I love it it has such, a warm feeling to it like a big farmyard. Kitchen, with its family room this. Is quite, different to the average Earthship isn't it I mean it's much more connected to the outside it. Really lends itself well for. Play, for the children to run outside and for. Us having that fresh air through the kitchen and, easy, access to the sunshine, it's great we love it in, a way it's a Kiwi Earthship. Totally. I agree it's the supermodel. Gus, and Sarah have done a fantastic job, of turning recycled. Car tires mud, balls clay, in old bottles into, an unconventional. First home for their family every. Detail is playful. Artistic. And personal. Gosh. Look at this it was made by a good, friend of ours up in Cary Cary, he's. Put so much time and effort and. Love, and making. Our kitchen as well as that touch your doors boy. It must be wonderful to be finally. Into, your own kitchen, absolutely, you dream come true I don't think we'll know ourselves. But. Sarah and gases home is also, a machine a house that not only provides shelter it, creates, its own energy, recycles. Its own water and grows, its own food oh look. At this it almost. Feels, a little bit pollination. South. Pacific oh, it is it's a really lush, garden. And I love the reed ceiling, too and, no bottles. In here it's incredible, it's come up so well, what. Kind of plants, and so on have you got here well we've gone for mostly tropicals, and native but. Down. The line we'll be integrating it with lots of good, stable. Food production, year-round tomatoes, lettuces, or just whatever takes a fancy I'd like to get breakfast, on my way to the kitchen and just pick a passion fruit off the finest I walked down the hallway so. Into, the cave. Gosh. What. A magical room yes my first impression, is really you know these extremely.
Different Walls this, one here being mud break were three and I love, the rustic finish. To it and then in total contrast the bottle wall has come up so, superbly, I love these big swaths of green and I suppose, that these, would be all your beer bottles that you been drinking it's. Wonderful, it really feels like a kaleidoscope yeah. And how about this back. Wall here I mean I can see that that's quite a mottled, color as, that still very drying. Sarah. And Gus have done a great job of, making the rooms feel as bright as possible but. The design keeps them out of direct Sun. If I'm honest, I'm still, worried that mold could make an unwelcome, come back in the cob walls sometime, in the future, for. Now though the result is delightful. This. Was always a bold and ambitious project. It may have taken nine months instead of eight weeks to build but. Now the family's moved in their, dreams of organic, living are being realized. Congratulations. Guys you've, pulled off a, really. Impressive. Bespoke, alternative, build in nine. Months, how. Does that feel. Like. A pregnancy. For. Me the, house has this wonderful ambience, it has an amazing, that and having. Learned and thrown, mud it bubbles that as you know it's a bit of me in there too which is a really lovely feeling there. Are things, about it though that that. I kind of still, wonder. About you, know like the detailing the challenges, that you had with the windows which meant that the final, glazing. Details etc weren't quite as elegant as the original drawings, but. The bottom, with, all your rocks which wasn't in the original proposal at all is beautiful, and really ties it into the land feels like it's come out of the River Valley you know that's really evolved, over tomorrow it has when, I was here last. You. Are having to pull down walls I mean it was that dramatic I remember someone on one of the workshops had been to quite a few earth buildings, said it usually takes two years to build a nice house no matter what and use you said to me. It's. Gonna take a good year to dry it out you. Can definitely feel the humidity in, the rooms and. It's, going to take a while for that moisture to release out of the walls to dry it right out learning. How to build with. The natural materials, around you, is. Actually quite, easy it, just takes a lot of Labor. That's. A good point how did you do it how, did you just so.
Many People, building. For you they were really, isolate. Committed to I think that the Earthship. Concept just attracts. A lot of good people I think that it's wholesome, it's, intelligent, it's the way forward and, there's. A big, following. Out there and the ins people. Want to know okay, but then what does an Earthship cost to build actually it. Came to about 340. Yeah. And that was including. Excavation. That's an extraordinary, square. Meter right to, reach a. Build. Cost of 340. Clearly, isn't the real cost because the real cost is in the labor mmm I think, that. Was one of the things I learned is that. Having. All these people come and help us all these strangers you know it's our TMT, you. Know repay. The favor. And help them build their dream we're, gonna be founding a lot of toys for their silos I think. Every. Corner, of this house has a memory attached, every. Bottle that was found every, mud-brick that was laid by hand only, time will tell where the some of the untried, materials, will stand up to the Coromandel high rainfall but, that's the risk you have to take as pioneers, no. Matter what you think of the process, or the house you. Have to admire Sarah and Gus for their bravery, they've. Taken the road less traveled. To create an outstandingly. Unique, family home, the. World needs more, visionaries. Just like them.