VE stands for Earthship Village Ecologies. Designed as an “urban housing environment,” it’s made up of five studio apartments that share a communal living space. In 2007, New Mexico Legislature passed the Sustainable Development Testing Site Act, written by Reynolds. It allowed Reynolds and his team to research and test sustainable housing on a two-acre plot within Earthship Biotecture. EVE is the result, but it was never fully finished.
“Unfortunately, we were giving a five-year permit to build whatever we wanted with no regards to code enforcement or regulations, with the strict requirement that we stop building after that permit expired,” Baisley says.
Today, EVE is used to grow plants and vegetables year-round. It’s the only building in the community that faces southwest instead of directly south, in an effort to pick up the most light from sunsets. And it seems to be working: The plants inside are thriving, despite the fact that the windows are made with marine-grade plastic instead of glass. “This is what you would find in boats,” Baisley says.