Traditional houses generally have a negative impact on the environment and contribute to the emission of greenhouse gasses due to heating, cooling and other forms of energy consumption. Because more people are trying to cut back the negative impact of their homes on the environment, there is an increasing interest for sustainable development.
Reynolds is recognised as the brains behind the concept of Earthships. Reynolds’ vision consisted of the redefining of architecture to build houses that need little or no energy, both during the building process as well as afterwards. The name “Earthship” is perfect for these houses due to the fact that they are self-sustaining structures. This means that they use sustainable energy sources such as the sun, wind and water to supply the house with electricity.
“OUR MOTTO WAS: DON’T CONTRIBUTE TO WASTE ON THE BUILDING SITE.”
Huge environmental benefit
Earthships are made with natural and recycled materials such as unwanted tires, aluminium cans, glasses and plastic drinking bottles, but also side panels from washing machines.
The fact that an Earthship doesn’t use fossil fuels for heating or electricity (and thus doesn’t emit CO2) isn’t even the biggest advantage. The use of old tires, cans and bottles provides a much more important environmental benefit. Plus, they are proper works of art.
Hospitality branch made sustainable too
A hotel is generally a highly wasteful environment. High time to draw attention to sustainability there too. With its zero-waste ambition, the management of the new QO hotel in Amsterdam is ready to make a change. In order to meet this ambition, sustainability has to be fully integrated: from the building site to the building maintenance. One of cycles that the hotel wants to focus on is waste. The others are water, energy and food. For example, shower water is repurposed as flushing water, and vegetables, herbs and fish are grown in a closed system in a greenhouse. The hotel hopes to save 65% on heating and no less than 90% on cooling.
During the building of the hotel, the designers aimed for a minimal impact on the environment. 22 percent of material costs went to reused material. The façade of the old Shell tower on the river IJ was incorporated into QO’s concrete structure. The carpet in the hotel was made of 100% recycled fish nets. In addition to recycled material, the building material was sourced locally where possible. In this case, that meant from within an 800 km radius around the hotel. Without it being noticeable for guests, the sustainable ambition is reflected throughout the hotel: from the floor plan to what’s on your plate.