Save Earthship Brighton
16 November 2015
By Hayley Carmichael
We asked the Low Carbon Trust to tell us more about why they are urgently looking for funds to help save the Earthship Brighton…
What is an Earthship?
Earthship Brighton is an award-winning eco community centre that was designed and built by us at the Low Carbon Trust in 2006, located in the stunning South Downs National Park.
Earthships are made from recycled, ‘waste’ and salvaged materials.
Not connected to mains water or mains energy Earthships use natural systems to provide all their own utilities — solar energy for heat and power, and rain for water — and use plants, both inside and outside, to treat waste water from the sinks.
As well as recycling materials the Earthship also recycles ideas from the architectural past bridging the pre-fossil fuel age with 21st Century performance related sustainable goals.
Simply put, the Earthship faces south and is shaped to maximise the sun’s energies as “stored” heat in the thick walls for a steady internal temperature. And being built into the earth it makes use of the earth’s ambient temperature.
The Save Earthship Brighton campaign aims to raise £20,000 for the vital upgrade to the energy and water systems so that the flagship sustainable building can remain fully functioning and open.
Over the years the Earthship Brighton has been a venue for a number of natural building courses and educational events we’ve held in partnership with our friends the Brighton Permaculture Trust.
We recently secured a 20 year lease on the site where Earthship Brighton resides. Previously there were a series of short term leases in place.
Now the security of tenure from Brighton & Hove Council has enabled us to plan ahead and make such a unique place, in a stunning location, a thriving community venue open to even more people.
Upgrading for a greener future
The electricity generated by the working solar panels on site is stored in a bank of batteries. Since we built the Earthship battery technology has massively improved.
Our current batteries are old and at the end of their life-span, so it is the ideal opportunity to upgrade to more efficient technology for storing the solar energy.
Changes in UK law have also meant that the Earthship needs to replace its current water filtration systems to comply with revised standards.
This means the installation of a new ultraviolet water filtration system to purify rainwater to ensure that all the taps in the building provide drinking water.
The money raised through crowdfunding will go toward the following:
• Ultraviolet, chemical-free filtration system to purify rainwater – £3000
• Two new sets of cutting-edge batteries to store renewable electricity from our solar panels – £9000
• A straw-bale battery house to store our new batteries – £5000
• A veg oil powered back-up generator – £3000
We’re delighted that we’ve received the support of many of you in getting to nearly £4,000.
There’s still a long way to go to ensure the Earthship remains an off-grid building inspiring future builders and students – as well as continuing to be special place for all our visitors.
To improve and preserve the Earthship we need a little help from a lot of people.
If you’ve been to the Earthship or heard about the work we do please consider donating and help keep us tuned up and turned on. http://www.lowcarbon.co.uk/earthship-brighton