Project treads new ground

By AUT Journalism Student, Hayley McElwain

Building a tool shed will take on a new meaning for the Hannah Bay Reserve Community Garden this weekend.

The shed will be built from old tyres filled with compacted dirt using a process called Earthship building.

Project manager Ian Hewison said the new building was a great way to show the concept of recycled construction.

"Earthship buildings are machines that look after humans as they catch water for drinking and cleaning, store heat through thermal mass and provide a sustainable way to live," he said.

"They are made from materials indigenous to every country, such as bottles and cans and are virtually free to run."

The community group is also working with the Rotorua City Council to ensure the Earthship meets building standards.

Council parks and recreation manager Garry Page said the community group had worked closely with the relevant departments to ensure the structure was safe.

"We are helping them through the process and making it as smooth as possible," Mr Page said.

Mr Hewison said the main goal of the project was to bring the community together.

School groups will be involved in the construction as well as any volunteers who wish to take part and learn how the process works.

"People need to be educated. The way we are living is not sustainable. Dirt is free, so why not use it?"

Local businessman Bill Rigney has provided the community group with 20 cubic metres of dirt needed for the building and local tyre shops have provided dozens of used tyres.

The Earthship building workshop and construction will take place on August 17 and 18 at the Hannah Bay Reserve Community Garden.

More details can be found on

- Rotorua Daily Post

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