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Community-Driven Effort To Build 'Earthship' In West Philly

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A community center in West Philadelphia is embarking on a months-long project to build a large, green structure run solely on solar energy.

It's called an "Earthship" and it'll allow those living there to reduce their carbon footprint.

"It produces its own food, they generate their own electricity, they have water catchment systems -- all of the plumbing is internal," says Malaka Hart, CEO of One Art.

earth ship 2
(Credit: Cherri Gregg)


The community center promotes healing through the arts and sustainability.

The group is the second in Philadelphia to embark on the effort to build an earthship. This one is located in a vacant lot behind the One Art Center at 52nd and Warren Streets.

Ras Micaiah is helping to build it using bottles, soil and recycled materials, including old tires.

"We're able to help clean up the streets and the neighborhoods by picking these tires up," he says, "These tires become three hundred pound bricks that get pounded full with dirt and create extreme thermal mass and trap all the heat."

earth ship 4
(Credit: Cherri Gregg)


If the group received adequate funding and can locate sufficient materials, the plan is to finish the earthship by the end of this year. When it is done, it'll be a two-story, four-room structure complete with bathrooms that'll be able to sustain a 70 degree temperature using solar energy.

For more on the project, CLICK HERE.

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