An Earthship is a type of passive solar earth shelter that is made of both natural and upcycled materials such as earth-packed tires, pioneered by architect Michael Reynolds.
Earthships are predicated upon the idea that there are six human needs which can be addressed through environmentally sustainable building design:
Earthship structures are intended to be "off-the-grid-ready" homes, with minimal reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. They are constructed to use available natural resources, especially energy from the sun and rain water. They are designed with thermal mass construction and natural cross-ventilation to regulate indoor temperature, and the designs are intentionally uncomplicated and mainly single-story, so that people with little building knowledge can construct them.
The architect Michael Reynolds wanted to create a home that would do three things. First, it would utilize sustainable architecture, and material indigenous to the local area or recycled materials wherever possible. Second, it would rely on natural energy sources and be independent from the "grid". Third, it would be feasible for a person with no specialized construction skills to build. Eventually, Reynolds's vision was transformed into the common U-shaped earth-filled tire homes seen today.