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Earthship Biotecture
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All reviewsoff gridsustainable livingrecycled materialsunique architecturegreen househigh desertcomforts of homenew mexicovisiting taostaos areagreenhousecommunitysolarbedroommountainsgravelchickens
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Reviewed April 26, 2013

We recently managed to stay at HelioHouse, one of a growing number of earthships dug into hillsides in the desert just north of Taos, New Mexico. It was a truly "sustainable" home and an exciting "green" experience. What do we mean by that? Insulation was provided by earth-filled used tires, walls built from earth-packed used bottles and cans, electricity from solar panels and windmills, water for drinking and washing from captured and treated rainwater and other recycled sources, large indoor gardens whose sunlight is provided by a long wall of large clear windows, with window blinds for the hottest times, also ceiling fans and hand-operated skylights for general cooling, and a wood fireplace just in case it got chilly at night, And little did we know what else was in store for us! Each night, from every window we were treated to a gorgeous display of brilliant light from countless stars in the completely dark sky! We had never before been able to find a place free from the lights of civilization. This even beat watching sunrises and sunsets from the windows and porch chairs. Jill, our gracious host, and her husband live in their own earthship nearby and set up the beautiful interior perfectly for our stay, including many tasty treats, books, games and of course, basic information and advice. We were able to use the kitchen and its complete set of tools and utensils, and to obtain properly grown and raised food at Cid's busy grocery, on the main road just north of Taos. We wish we could have stayed longer! A final note: everyone should pay a visit to the stimulating exhibits at the Earthship Biotecture visitor center at the entry point to the earthship residential roads. It even has a gift shop, and you may be able to walk to a nearby cutting-edge earthship under construction. To put it mildly, we learned a lot on this trip, and we had a great time, too.

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Room Tip: There are apparently at least a few earthships which rent out rooms or even an entire house, such as HelioHouse. One can check on the internet or contact Earthship Biotecture, which arranges rentals itself, for advice. Note: residents ask that we do not drive around their homes just to look.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank nmsandh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

I first heard of Earthships when I read the actor Dennis Weaver was selling his back in 2004. Earthship? A sustainable home built from recycled materials? As an old hippie I was interested to learn more.

I saw the video "Garbage Warrior" on PBS a few years ago and was happy to see the architect, Michael Reynolds was still building.

On a recent trip to Albuquerque I decided we had to make a pilgrimage to Taos and the Earthship community. I wasn't disappointed.

The young lady working the visitor center was helpful explaining the systems of an Earthship and construction techniques. I was expecting an intern but she is an owner, who learned about Earthships and rented one during winter to make sure they performed as advertised. She said after spending a few nights in freezing weather, and being warm and comfortable inside without additional heat she was sold, and decided to move to Taos to live in an Earthship.

They're quirky, colorful and beautiful. Built of old tires filled with pounded dirt and plastered with adobe. The natural wood viga ceilings accent curved walls. And everywhere the light, entering from the south facing greenhouse.

An Earthship is self-contained. No utility bills! The home collects it's own water and recycles it 3 times before being sent to a septic system. Filtered grey water is used for the plants in the greenhouse, the plants filter it again and it's used to flush the toilet!

Solar panels generate electricity that is stored in batteries, converted to AC and distributed throughout the house.

It's magic.

Earthships have been built around the world, from high tech European countries to the jungles of the Far East. They are adaptable to any environment.

Someday, perhaps sooner rather than later, people will realize what an amazing, progressive concept Michael Reynolds has developed.

Someday...

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank hoz49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2013

We went with a group of friends for a ski trip. It is about a 20 minute drive from the mountain (10 minutes into Toas the town). I strongly urge families, couples, and friends to consider staying at the Earthship. We rented the entire Phenoix, which comfortably holds about 10 people, and had a great time. The experience of living in an earthship for a weekend leaves you with knowledge that is valuable and inspiring. We went in the winter and the house stays at about 65 degrees. Some people on the trip needed extra blankets but found it generally very comfortable, especially the second night when we did not open the door to the greenhouse and let the cold air in!!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank beachbm99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2012

Glad we were able to stay one night in very comfortable digs. Spending a whole day learning about how earthships are built, and the concepts behind the structures was very enlightening. From this point forward, I keep looking at everything else (conventional construction) and wondering why we build things the way we do, and how did we get to this point? Cheap energy I guess. But those days are numbered...

Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
6  Thank LucRensonnet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2012

Our trip was amazing, we stayed in The Studio Earthship and it was so beautiful! It had everything we needed and gave more of an understanding on sustainable living and the construction of the Earthships. We stayed 4 nights and got to explore around the community of Taos, only 15 mins away as well as the Rio Grand Gorge. Beautiful scenery as well as many outdoor activities. I recommend to stay at one of the Earthships. It's a good experience as well as progressive thinking and building.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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18  Thank Flynnyflynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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