An earthship is a house that powers itself

A rare earthship listing hit the real estate market. Earthships are self-sustaining, off-grid homes.

An earthship-style home in Santa Fe could be yours for $3.4m+. But…

An earthship is a house that powers itself

What’s an earthship?

Architect Michael Reynolds, founder of eco-construction company Earthship Biotecture, came up with the concept in the 1970s.

He saw 2 problems — lack of affordable housing and too much trash — and figured he could build homes out of discarded materials.

This idea evolved into the “earthship,” a self-sufficient, eco-friendly house with 6 basic design principles:

  • Natural or repurposed building materials (e.g., used tires, mud, reclaimed wood or metal)
  • Thermal or solar heating and cooling (not electricity or gas)
  • Solar- and wind-powered
  • Water collected from rain and snowmelt
  • Contained sewage treatment (i.e., gray water is used and treated by plants, then collected in a well and pumped to toilets for flushing)
  • Interior, in-home farming

Essentially, live in one of these babies as intended, and you’re pretty much set for off-the-grid life.

Why so expensive?

This particular home, known as Desert Flower, wasn’t built by Reynolds, but designer John McGowan. And it’s huge, with 5 bedrooms and amenities including a hot tub, pool, sauna, and art and music studios spread across 2 dwellings.

Earthships are also rare, with less than 10 on the US market now, per

Several are located in the Greater World Earthship Community, an off-grid subdivision near Taos, New Mexico, where 3 are on the market. Those are all asking under $1m and are much smaller.

For the earthship-curious…

… you can book a stay in one through Earthship Biotecture, including one called the Hobbit House for $150 per night. The Desert Flower is also listed on Airbnb for $1k+ per night.

BTW: Here’s Reynolds discussing his designs at TEDxCaboPolonio.

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