Desertstone Academy

An Academy for Art, Science, and Self Sustained living


My options for efficient housing will be based off the Earthship concept. This is a home that is off-gird and self-sufficient. Though these homes have often been criticized as being ugly or unsightly, not every home looks the same or is built with exposed recycled goods as some are. These homes are often built with packed dirt within used tires and glass bottles in the walls to let light in. That kind of building comes from the idea of being cost-effective, different looking, and using material that would other wise be put in the land fill.

Resources for the people in these homes come from the land itself. Examples being water welled from the ground, food grown in a greenhouse, and electricity through solar. These houses often need no heating or cooling no matter the exterior weather condition. Earthships are generally built from the ground that they sit on and are usually built in the country, outside of city building codes and regulations. With this freedom, building designs are much more extravagant.


Construction Types:


  • This is the cheapest option and yet the strongest, but the most labor intensive
  • Cob is used in all of these options as the final layer and can be used as a design feature
  • It is also used in the home for many uses like rocket stoves, tubs, furniture, etc


  • This is the second cheapest option for a high-efficiency home, and also the newest option
  • This is basically standard adobe, but instead of using bricks you’re making long continuous brick
  • This process is much faster then molding, drying, and placing bricks
  • This is also far stronger than standard Adobe but not quite as strong as cob, though cob is used for the exterior and interior


  • This is the third cheapest and has been around for long time
  • Usually built with don’t like structures, these are poly bags filled with dirt or gravel with Barbwire and between the hold them from sliding and lastly coated with cob
  • This is very time-consuming and relatively expensive which is why hyperadobe is slowly taking over


  • This is the most expensive option, but at least labor-intensive and building is very similar to Standard housing but with much thicker walls
  • This option requires a lot of lumber and tools but yeah is still far cheaper, more efficient, and easier to build than standard home
  • These homes are still very efficient and surprisingly have a better fire rating then any standard home

Compressed Earth Block

  • This process uses a machine to compress adobe to make bricks
  • Having these brick pre made can save time when it comes to building and allow for square structures


  • This option rarely is used with cob unless doing a dome strawbale home
  • The dome shaped homes give the least surface area providing maximum heat conservation
  • They can be built of standard wood or steel and still be far more efficient than a square home with a vaulted roof
  • Having this Cob based would make this the best bet for efficiency and cost effectiveness
  • In addition, this design would be best fit for Hyperbaric Living due to the fact the the sphere shape would hold the pressure

An alternate option for simple living as well as having the option to be mobile is Tiny Houses.

  • This could also be used as temporary living for when you’re building your earth ship and could be used later for vacation or just as you only home
  • These homes generally run from $2000 – $5000 depending on where you get your materials and how much accommodations you plan to install
  • These houses can generally accommodate 1 to 4 people.
  • They’re built on standard trailers and act as very small mobile home.
  • Most builders try to stay as green as possible by using recycled wood, cellulose or other natural insulation, solar for energy with low power consumption
  • The people who plan to use a house like this for everyday living, are generally those who only require basic needs and plan to spend their time outdoors or on the road

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