South-facing windows covered in snow
When it snows at my house – an Earthship that I built in 1995 as little as one inch of snow will, given windy conditions, cover my front windows with snow.
While I’ve seen many books and websites about how to build a passive solar Earthship, or similar, type home, I’ve seen few books or articles that discuss living in one. Since many people, once they hear that I own an Earthship, ask me about living in one, I’ll share my experiences.
Living in the Earthship has both advantages and disadvantages. I’m at between 9,400 and 9,500 feet in the Colorado mountains, with the expected cold and snowy winters. When it snows, it often blows, and the windows (my heat source) become coated with anywhere from a few inches to a foot or two of snow.
Thus, first thing in the morning, I need to sweep or shovel the windows to clear the snow. After a big storm, we’ve had several feet of heavy wind-packed snow (think 50 – 60 mph winds with 80 mph gusts) that my son has struggled to excavate and remove. I asked Solar Survival Architecture (Michael Reynolds company in 1994, when I bought my plans) for vertical glazing, but at the time they refused to sell a design with vertical windows. Had I known how difficult it would be to shovel my windows after every snowfall, even a small one, I would have waited until vertical-glazing designs became available. I believe that they now offer vertical glazing.
After a storm