Rammed Earth Tires Earthships

Used car and truck tires can serve as permanent forms for rammed earth, providing a long- lasting, stable, and strong building system. A style of building dubbed "earthships" was developed in the US by Michael Reynolds. Using rammed earth car tires as massive retaining walls, earthships are typically arranged with the north side of the building backed into a hill, or buried under the earth, with the south side exposed for passive solar gain. Earthship designs also tend to incorporate systems for renewable energy, water harvesting, and waste processing that make them very self-sufficient structures. These systems are excellent models for anybody trying to lower their environmental impact, and worthy of investigation.

Rammed earth tires can also be used to create foundations for above-ground housing, like straw bale homes. The tires can be laid

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continuously to create a full frost wall foundation, or stacked in columns to create pier- style foundations. Often, an owner will be paid to take the tires, and the earth to fill them is free, so this is an option well worth exploring.

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