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Want to Build an Off Grid Home for less than $10,000? Try this

My name is Ryan Halpin. I am building an off-grid sustainable home. It’s called the bachelor ship and I plan to do it
for under six thousand dollars. Originally I found this many years ago
when I was working at my dad’s tire shop back in Wisconsin when green
buzzwords were all out. Solar, sustainability, self-sustaining. I was searching that and Earthship kept popping up. I was like holy cow this is everything I’ve been
looking for, I just finally found it. Years later I went to a seminar in
Denver that Mike Reynolds put on. Ended up helping with the slide show. He bought
me dinner, margaritas, gave me a book and a t-shirt and I was hooked. I was like, “all right, I’m coming to Taos and will be hard to get rid of”. Three years later here in
Taos New Mexico I have purchased land and start building
my own place. I moved out here mid June of this last summer. Started tire work, as
far as laying it out, and pounding the tires for the dirt. I was two weeks away
from getting the roof on this October and I had a backhoe driver incident. I’ll
just leave it at that. So at any rate we took 60 tires down and
now I have to repack 60 to 70 tires and get to the point where I could put the
roof on. It should have been by Thanksgiving, but I hope to be in by early
June as far as enclosed, basically camping with a roof. This is going to be the inside of my
Earthship inspired Bachelor Ship. We got the tires that are packed full of dirt,
packed to a point where they’re about 90% compacted so they’re pretty stiff.
Each one weighs about 300 pounds when you get done pounding them so with that
amount of weight coming down on them it’s important to have them staggered so
they lock into each other and give you that structural integrity and support
that the walls should give you. I got the tires somewhere in town here. There’s
two tire shops that were more than happy to let me take them. I worked it out with
them like, “Hey guys I will stack up, I will make this a prettier pile than it was I got here” and sure enough it was and every time I came they, they were
pretty happy to see me. Once we get the tires packed out we then get into it
with an adobe mixture. This is just to save money. A lot of places you’d use concrete, but I don’t feel like concrete is necessary out here. I have all this adobe
dirt at my disposal so haul out a pile of sand, get some straw, cut that up, water,
adobe, and just start throwing fast balls into the tire work. Once you do that you
can also put rocks in and that way you’re not using near as much adobe mix.
Then I’ll keep going with that adobe work until it’s flush with the tires and
then at that point I can start plastering it over. That’s going to cover
up the tires alleviate any concern of off-gassing from the tires. So here we
have the cooling tube which is a 10-inch culvert pipe, 20 feet long. What that pipe
is going to do is bring in cool air in the summertime so I’ll have the front face,
which faces south, that’s going to have a door and a bunch of windows. Above that
door is going to be operable window that the heat is going to go up and out that
window and it’s going to draw a cool air in from the cooling tube here. Basically
convection and science are going to work as my air conditioner. I’m not going to
have a mechanical forced air system. I’m just going to let science do science and
cool my space down and then have a lofted bed above the cooling tube and my
closet underneath the bed and then I’ll open up all this space in front of it
for table and chairs, sofa, a small kitchen area. I’ll be using either a
rocket stove if I can figure out how to do that in here or the isopropyl alcohol
stoves. You know a jug of water hanging gravity-fed so I don’t have to have
pumps for that. You know, really simple systems to get
me through, get me enclosed basically camping with the roof until I upgrade my
systems. I have the living space here which is 16 feet deep 13 feet wide. Not
much space in there for growing so that’s why from this wall I’ll go about
10 to 12 feet wide and that’s where I’m going to put my Aquaponics system. Grow all my food whether it’s in the gray water planter cell, which is water that
will be coming from the sink into the gray water to feed and water the plants
and then someday move that to my toilet to flush the toilet using gray water
multiple times before I finally expel it to the outdoor landscaping. So with this
big green house it’s also going to increase the performance of the bedroom
area because that green house acts as a buffer. Winter time when the Sun is low
and shining right in, it’s going to increase the heating and comfort level
of both spaces, the greenhouse and my living space, and then in the summertime
when the Sun is directly above us for the most part that’s also going to help
with the convection of that cooling tube. So the way the homes are set up facing
south you’re able to take advantage of the low winter sun and the high summer
sun for both heating and cooling and it’s just passive. So this is the back berm of
the house the berm is basically a big source of insulation. As the temperature
drops on the outside a thermal mass is going to slowly just radiate out keeping
that internal space around anywhere from 60 to 70 degrees. Along with in the
summertime with the cooling tube that travels through the berm it’s tapping
into that cool earth temperature and in turn give me my air conditioning. One of
the more important or the most important system I believe especially here in the
high desert Mesa is the the water catchment and filtration system. With our
annual precipitation around seven inches a year, if we’re lucky, I’m going to want to catch as much water as I can
diverting it to the cistern but having the cistern high enough to where the
water is gravity fed. I’m looking forward to doing an outlaw septic and by outlaw
it’s something that the earthships have used in foreign countries where you don’t
have access to a conventional septic system. You basically dig a hole, you put
some semi tires in there, you put some rocks on the side of it, pour
a cement dome over top of it with a hole that you can put the toilet on and it
has an overflow so as you’re filling the system it overflows with your affluent
water out into the outdoor landscaping. In this environment you’re going to be
able to grow trees, native shrubs, bushes, pollinating flowers. Some flowers
for the bees and butterflies and the things that you wouldn’t expect out here
in the high desert mason. I want to be able to show people that it is possible on a low budget to take control of your life, you know. I was on the grid living
in an apartment working 40-50 hours a week, short haircut, shaved face, tie and
it wasn’t for me. Moved out here, started doing this. I was like, “okay, I can be my
own boss, I can set myself free” as far as my living arrangements and do it in a
way that’s going to actually benefit the environment, you know. Humans in general are bad for the planet. Just our daily life in the normal city or town it’s
just all-around destructive. This is a way to where you can live but still give
back to the environment and take care of it allowing it to take care of you as
well. The message I’d like to get out there it’s just no matter what situation
you’re in right now whether you’re already working towards this type of
lifestyle or are just viewing this video for the first time it’s possible to get
to this point, but it’s baby steps. Like I said, I was clean shaven working in a
corporate office and I just slowly started to reduce my amount of plastic.
I would only allow myself five items that had plastic every time I
went to the grocery store so that would drastically started reducing my waste,
but also you know, made my diet better because I was getting fresher fruits
and vegetables instead of the plastic wrapped stuff. Little steps like that or if you
live in an apartment complex see if they can start a compost pile for everybody
to use then you use that to grow tomatoes. Starting locally and just
working on yourself a little bit at a time it’s just like working out, you know.
You start with two or three push-ups and you’re doing five push-ups a day and
you’re doing 15-20 and next thing you know you’re pounding tires building your
own self sustainable home. Any baby step you can make it just starts snowballing
and you can make a difference so just be the change. Do what you want to see in
the world. If you enjoyed that video hit the like
button. If you’re new here subscribe to the channel for more videos similar to
this content. Right now I’m in Joshua Tree California, if any of you guys are
out here in Joshua Tree tweet at me at @dylanmagaster and let’s go on a

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