An Earthship addresses six principles or human needs:
- Thermal/solar heating and cooling
- solar and wind electricity
- self-contained sewage treatment
- building with natural and recycled materials
- water harvesting and long term storage
- some internal food production capability
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.
- The designs are intentionally uncomplicated and mainly single-story, so that people with little building knowledge can construct them