In this video, we tour a mini earth ship style cabin at the Terra Perma community ( to learn how the building is designed to produce heat, water, and power; all while being 100% off-grid.
The interior design of the tiny house is not only functional, but incredibly beautiful as well: It features relief cob sculptures on the interior walls, a dazzling recycled bottle wall, and floor to ceiling south facing windows.
The tiny home away from home was built using over 200 recycled tires that were filled with earth and stacked in a semi circle to create the main wall of the cabin. This wall was then covered (backfilled) with a mound of earth to create a thermal mass that will store energy from the sun and help keep the home at a stable temperature year-round.
To mitigate temperature fluctuations, there is a wood stove and radiant in-floor heating for cold months, and when it’s warm out, there’s a low-tech air conditioning system that cools indoor air by circulating it through a pipe that is buried under the mound of earth at the back of the house, and bringing it back into the house at a cooler temperature.
The metal roof is built on an angle to optimize rainwater collection (their rainwater ducts had not yet been installed when we were there), and the overhang at the front provides shade to the structure during the summer to avoid overheating.
To power the in-floor heating system, the air pump, the lights, and the electrical outlets, there is a 1000 Watt solar power system installed behind the cabin.
You’ll notice that there is no toilet or shower inside the earthship. To keep things simple they built an outhouse toilet, and a communal shower block for all of the eco-lodges (kind of like what you’d find at a campground).
Terrasol is one of several miniature green building structures at Terra Perma that are rented to the public as vacation rentals. They’re also a great way for people to experience living in different types of sustainable, hand built structures to see what living off grid is like. In addition to the earthship, they have a mini cob and straw bale house, 2 yurts, a tiny house, and a mini cordwood cabin.
Terra Perma has property lots for sale for anyone who wishes to live in the permaculture community, and they also have cooperative business opportunities for eco-entrepreneurs.
Mat and I met Elan from Terra Perma during the tiny house festival in Lantier, Quebec in July 2016 and adjusted our filming schedule to stop by and check out the super cool buildings he was helping to put up in Harrington, Quebec, Canada. We camped in our van at Terra Perma for 2 nights and had fun exploring their mini sustainable buildings, swimming in their private lake, and tasting their homemade maple syrup!
To learn more about the Terra Perma project and their eco-lodge rentals, check out their website here:
You can also follow Terra Perma on Facebook here:
If you’d like to book a stay in the Terrasol mini earthship you can rent it out on airbnb here:
Thanks for watching!
Mat & Danielle
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Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat of Exploring Alternatives.
Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives
Mat of Exploring Alternatives
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