off the grid housing

hello all,

Looking for a little insight, I have been reading up on off the grid housing and came upon: Earthships are green buildings that meet standard building codes.

Did not know Tires filled with earth were code compliant.

Does anyone know what this is in any residential code book??? USA or Canadian.


Take that article with a huge grain of salt!
IMO, it is misleading and factually innacurate.
Just the simplist explanations are wrong, eg. automobile tire sizes used… is totally wrong! With tires being the basis for this construction method, getting that wrong, throws the whole idea out the window as being suspect.
Also, read very carefully. They admit there is no actual “Code” for the foundation (the tires as materials part) just the rest of the home which is UBC mandated.


Someday I hope to retire OFF THE GRID :slight_smile:

On a piece of land that I can sustain my family off of. Maybe a mountain top or hill top. I would like a natural running water source to draw power from and a well for earth fresh drinking water :slight_smile:

Heck Maybe a whole hill, valley and lake :slight_smile: Lots of acreage and hopefully wild animals:)

You ain’t gonna have running water at the** top** of a mountain.

Thats where the valley / lake part come in. I wrote it a bit out of order. I could make do with a good well if I had enough land and animals. Solar is getting reasonable and so is wind :slight_smile:

If I had the top 1/3 of so of a hill or mountain there may be a sufficient stream with good water flow and maybe even some fish. I’ve seen some places like that in NC.

I just want to live out in nature and feel alive and connected to the earth and it’s seasons. Growing or harvesting what I need from my environment would be great and peaceful. It would likely add 20 years to my life.

I am tired of being around so many people. I would much rather be around way fewer people and those around be the likeable neighborly sort at least 20+ acres away from my front door. Maybe backing up to a National preserve or park or wildlife management area. Somewhere I could set up an outdoor shooting range without bothering people. Where I live now even my Umarex .22 Octane Pellet Gun with silencer seems loud :frowning:

Best think about that. I own a cabin in the RM that is at 10200 ft elevation.
Get my water from a running stream that comes out of a natural spring at about 11000 ft., just about 300 ft from the top. You never know where a spring will pop up.
Mike, living off the grid is not all that easy. My son and I built his home ( a modified stick built earthship) and it is completely off the grid. Solar panels, batteries, catch water. You have to be pretty hardy to handle it. I my age, I wouldn’t do it now.

Yes, I know, but we also know that my post was in reply to Meeker, and we all know how he talks without thinking first…

There is an earthship near me. I’ve read about them quite a bit. supposably there is no threat of off-gasing. Earthships, even though they have been in production for thirty years are still considered “experimental” housing. It doesn’t exclude them from any local building codes but it does protect the earthship designers from litigation.

Funny I thought last night after I went to bed that there is no reason there could not be a spring on a mountain :slight_smile:

A buddy of mine built the Earthship home for Dennis Weaver in Ridgeway, Colorado back in the early 90’s. Very interesting and totally off-grid. You can’t do it here in San Diego. You are “required” to connect to the grid.

Can you locate the main outside and just turn it off after hooking up? Essentially hook it up, kill the main and have your battery/solar system supply a main panel in the house set up like a sub panel in relation to the grid power?

Possibly. It would be required to be inspected. And the inspector probably wouldn’t approve it. And if you did it on the down-low, your insurance carrier would probably not honor any claims if the worst was to happen. Look how much of your electric bill is taxes and fees. They’re not giving that up without a fight.

I’m not taking about on the down low. Everything permitted and inspected. For instance, in my area a lot of manufactured homes have the main disconnect right by the meter, usually on a freestanding post outside of the home. I assume it’s real for ease of getting the utilities in ahead of the home actually showing up. Then they just wire the house panel into the main disconnect. I don’t see why an inspector would have trouble with it.

I would tend to agree that you can kill the power to your house anytime you wish just for safety situations. The you just run your “BACK-UP” system full time. It would be interesting to see if they could stop you, hell some places will buy back the electricity from you if you have a surplus. Weird, Weird World out there. The older I get the more I dislike most regulations. They never seem to be in my best interest :frowning:

You could disconnect from the meter and utility company, but then you would miss out on the net metering. This is where they pay you for producing electricity in excess of the amount you use. In California anyway, I don’t think you can get truly “off grid”.