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Tour 'Earthship,' the 'World's Most Extreme Passive House'

As something of a renegade green crusader, architect Mike Reynolds of Taos, New Mexico is quick to criticize others in his field for their lack of foresight when it comes to building eco-friendly structures. Reynold's own creations, after all—called Earthships or, as Architizer has crowned them, the "World's Most Extreme Passive Houses"—are made from 100% natural and recycled materials, including dirt, old car parts, aluminum cans, and plastic bottles. Rainwater and snow are funneled into water organization modules, while a series of roof panels and wind turbines generate all the energy the funky little huts need to run the washing machines, computers, kitchen appliances. "what these kinds of houses are doing is taking every aspect of your life and putting it into your own hands," explains the architect. "A family of four could totally survive here without having to go to the store."

In an effort to keep the homes cool sans electricity, the walls are built from stacks of used tires packed with soil, which work to soak up heat during the day and radiate it at night. Breezy, open walls done up in "bottle can masonry" also help with cooling efforts, and also distinguishing the rainbow-hued, New Age dwellings from the many other passive structures across the country, which generally opt for a more traditional and less wizard-on-a-desert-vacation appearance. Learn more about the wild building process, this way.

· Witness the World's Most Extreme Passive House [Architizer]
· 'Garbage Warrior' Star Constructs Off-The-Grid Earthship [Curbed Ski]
· All Passive Houses posts [Curbed National]