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Last Updated: Friday, 29 October, 2004, 10:02 GMT 11:02 UK
Summit on eco-friendly buildings
Earthships are built from waste materials and discarded tyres
The results of 30 years of building eco-friendly houses in the US are being shared at a summit in Brighton.

Experts at the Earthship Summit are looking at issues from building regulations to dealing with waste and water harvesting.

One session in the three-day event at the University in Brighton will look at how to heat and cool a building in any climate without using fossil fuels.

The city is already home to the first major Earthship project in Europe.

Earthship Brighton
April 2000 Earthship pioneer Mike Reynolds gives presentation in Brighton
August 2000 A site is identified at Stanmer Park
September 2001 City councillors grant draft planning permission
July 2002 Funding is fully confirmed and full planning consent is given
October 2002 Funds are released and designs are made
April 2003 Building the Brighton Earthship begins

On Friday, conference delegates were being given an overview of the Brighton Earthship project.

Organisers have said the event is "for anyone interested in architecture, climate change, autonomous buildings and beautiful, affordable homes".

The Earthship creators say that the autonomous buildings are designed to reduce people's impact on the planet and increase their connection to it.

The energy of the sun and the thermal mass of their walls is used to heat and cool and the buildings - solar energy is used to generate electricity.

Rainwater is harvested and the buildings have systems in place to deal directly with their own waste.

The walls are constructed using discarded tyres and other wastes.

Earthship designers say the homes can be built by most people for a relatively low cost.

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