Earthship Architecture in Punta Cana

  • Gabriela Villalobos
Keywords: architecture, sustainability, earthship, punta cana


Earthship, developed by Michael Reynold in the 1970s, is an experimental architecture design that seeks sustainable housing. This movement is known for using passive solar methods, earth sheltered facades, and recycled materials for building. This paper explores the possibility of applying this architecture that was originally developed in North America, in the tropical areas of the Dominican Republic. The northeastern region of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana is the home of a growing informal population due to the increasing service sectors demand to support the tourism development. Earthship architecture focuses on small scale homes satisfying need for multi-family and single-family housing in the area; however, Earthship was designed for dryer climates that go through considerable seasonal temperature changes. Extended research shows that to accommodate Earthship homes in Punta Cana is unadvised. Building a thermal wall has not had significant benefit on climates with little daily temperature changes. Making an earth-berm building would make the humidity overwhelming, and the transparent south facade would overheat the inside spaces. 


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