The Earthship Biotecture Academy offers extensive training in Earthship design principles, construction methods, and philosophy.
Academy classes, labs, tours, and hands-on construction techniques are led by top Earthship builders, electricians, plumbers, and plant specialists.
World class education for those who are excited to learn and live the Earthship philosophy and help expand it globally. The Earthship Academies happen several times a year in Taos, and in different countries (International Academies).
“Having completed an Academy session 2 years ago all I can say is, go do it…Incredible experience learning from Michael Reynolds and his team of Earthship experts (Warriors). You’ll meet like minded individuals and learn new skills which will give you the confidence and know how to build and promote these beautiful sustainable buildings.”
The Academy has trained over 1400 students from around the world. Students come from diverse backgrounds, many are trained architects, municipal planners, artists, teachers, industrial designers, professional builders, community and environmental activists.
There are no prerequisites to attend, however applicants must be self-reliant and prepared to work in an intense group environment and take care of themselves physically, financially, and emotionally.
Hands-on in Taos
Students typically work on at least two different Earthship construction projects, usually a Global Model Earthship and a Simple Survival Earthship and/or an experimental project like E.V.E. (Earthship Village Ecologies). Instructors divide the class into smaller groups and work on a variety of aspects like such as pounding tires, can and bottle wall construction, adobe mud pack-out and plaster, carpentry, roofing, glazing and independent power and water systems.
Classes are typically an hour and a half long.
GRADUATION FROM THE ACADEMY
There is no time limit on completing the path to graduation. Some students pursue their degrees in Earthship Biotecture aggressively, others are content with the knowledge they gain during their Academy session and do not strive to graduate.
1- ACADEMY SESSIONS:
Complete an Academy session in Taos or a Global session (95% attendance in the classroom and participation in hands-on work as well as a passing grade on the Final Exam are required). This Step 1 session will soon also be available online.
2- FIELD STUDY:
Students receive credit towards this requirement by participating in an official Earthship Biotecture Field Studies project. Field Study opportunities are intended to help further student’s knowledge of hands-on building techniques by inviting them to work alongside the Earthship Biotecture crew on a ground up build. They are usually offered 2 to 3 times a year in the US and internationally. Projects range in duration from 2-8 weeks. There are two types of Field Studies offered: client builds, and humanitarian builds. For either type of Field Study, students are responsible for their own transportation, food and lodging.
3- INDEPENDENT STUDY:
The Independent Study may take place anywhere in the world and may be physical (launching a demonstration project in China, staging and facilitating a relief project in Haiti) or digital (designing a CAD model of an Earthship city in Turkey, mapping Pockets of Freedom in Australia). Students may propose their Independent Study after they complete the Academy Session and Field Studies requirements. Independent Studies must receive written approval from Academy Staff and are subject to review to qualify for credit.
The Labs give students a chance to go in-depth with technical aspects of the Earthship systems. With guidance from our Plumbing Specialist, students build a Water Organizing Module and learn about all filters, pumps and valves. Students also do hands-on basic electrical wiring for lights and switches. During the Earthship Maintenance Lab students learn all aspects of caring for an Earthship building from servicing the batteries for the solar system to cleaning out the grease and particle unit of the gray water system.
The Earthship Academy is based at the Greater World Earthship Community which is the world’s largest sustainable, approved subdivision and home to the world’s first Sustainable Development Testing Site. Classes are held at the Academy Classroom which is housed in a modular Earthship at the entrance to the community. Hands-on building takes place within the community, on the the Test Site and at other locations in the Taos area.
Students participate in guided tours of at least 15 different Earthships and pre-Earthship experimental buildings. These tours showcase a variety of Earthship types: Packaged, Modular, Custom, Global, and Simple Survival. On many of the visits, the residents of the Earthship are present to answer questions about their homes including modifications they have made and how they have made their lifestyle fit their building.
We offer very basic, dormitory-style housing to Academy students for an additional fee. The accommodations include early Earthship attempts, Earthship-inspired buildings, and our latest Simple Survival models. These spaces are rustic and experimental, and you must be prepared for camping-like conditions. Some of the water and power systems of these buildings are designed for minimal use only, not for ideal comfort.
We consider living in the Earthship accommodations during the Academy session, to be part of your education in understanding Earthship concepts.
Prices for these accommodations are lower than equivalent housing in the Taos, New Mexico area.
Location is selected for you, but you may choose:
Double Occupancy Private Room.
Prices range from $450 – $800 for the duration of your session.
These units are available on a first come first served basis.
Should you choose to camp or find your own housing, we can provide a list of recommendations. Please note camping is not available on the Earthship campus itself.
Also, if you are planning on finding your own housing outside of what we offer we strongly advise having a car, as Taos is quite spread out and there is no public transportation.
Frequently Asked Questions for the Academy and Internship Programs
The short answer is no you will not be able to build your own Earthship once you finish the Academy. However, this really depends on your skill level going into the Academy. There are many components that go into the construction of an Earthship including plumbing, electrical, carpentry, masonry, etc. You will learn the basics of all of these, but you will likely want to hire a professional for many aspects of the construction of your own Earthship.
We do allow voice recordings of the classes, video recording is prohibited.
You are expected to be in the classroom or on the job site before 9:00a.m. Classes and work start at 9:00.
Michael Reynolds does teach classes for many of our Academy sessions; however, we have clients all over the world and Michael may be traveling during your specific session. There are many other very skilled instructors that have been a part of the Earthship movement for numerous years. If you wish to have a special consultation with Michael please contact our receptionist at (575)751-0462.
We are unable to allow students to stay after their session in our student housing. We have a new group Academy students or Interns coming each month.
Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate you before 10:00a.m. on the first day of your session. We recommend you contact the Abominable Snow Mansion at (575)776-8298.
Tuition is expected to be paid in full before the first day of your Academy session.
Unfortunately, we have a no refund policy but you can use your credit for up to two years, on any program or product.
We offer field study opportunities 2-3 times a year. Keep an eye out in your e-mail or on our website for the most up to date information.
The majority of our beds are twin sized.
Each situation is different; however, we are willing to make reasonable accommodations for families. Please contact us to discuss your circumstances.
We have WiFi in the majority of our buildings. Our classroom and most of our student housing units has WiFi. If you end up staying in a unit where there is no WiFi, you will still have access via communal areas in your housing compound.
No. There are two laundromats in Taos. Spin & Sparkle and The Pinch Penny.
The Greater World Community (Academy Campus) is about 20 minutes North of Taos. Taos is the nearest town where you will be able to buy groceries & do your laundry.
The plants are watered from the bathroom sink and shower (and occasionally the kitchen sink). You do not have to buy specific soap simply to come here. Be conscientious of how much soap you are using and putting down the drain, large amounts can be harmful to the plants. Do not pour bleach or photography chemicals down these drains.
Our power system is not made to handle these high wattage appliances. When you build your own Earthship, you’ll be able to put more batteries and solar panels in them in order to power your needs. You’ll learn more about this in your Electrical courses.
No. Once you choose whether you want to live in a shared or private room, we will set up where you will stay. We have to make arrangements for housing based on the number of cars in each group.
Camping is not allowed on our property. This includes campers, RV’s, buses, tents, etc.
You can contact Carson National Forest: 575-758-6200; ask for a spot closest to the Gorge Bridge.
If you decide to camp, you will need to have your own vehicle to get to and from our property.
These recommendation letters are more of a character reference than professional references and are more for us to start to get to know who you are.
Your application needs to be submitted by the 1st of the month prior to the Academy session you wish to attend. If you are submitting your application via mail you need to ensure that we will receive it by the 1st. If you are submitting your application via e-mail, you can send it on the 1st. (I.e. You want to attend the April Academy session, we need to receive it by the 1st of March).
You will receive your certificate in Biotecture from Earthship Biotecture.
You are able to to apply this credit toward graduate school. We have a partnership with Western States Colorado University, specifically with their Masters in Environmental Management Program. Even if you are not enrolled at WSCU, you may be able to apply the credit to your program.
You will also be able to give public talks about Earthships. We have had many of our graduates share their knowledge of Earthships with others.
The Academy is a 4-week long program that includes time spent both in the classroom and on the job site. The Academy is $2,500, plus the cost of accommodations.
The Internship is a 3-week long program that is solely spent on the job site. The cost is $500 which includes accommodations.
Our original education program was the internship, but many of the interns thought it would be extremely beneficial to have some days spent in the classroom learning the theory and methodology behind the Earthship concept. Therefore, the Academy is a much more in depth educational experience.