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Who we are:

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 Michael Reynolds and a staff of top Earthship builders, electricians, plumbers and plant specialists. We are building an Earthship Army and the Academy offers education for those who are excited to learn and live the Earthship philosophy and help expand it globally.

Who you are:

The Academy has trained over 1400 students from around the world. Students come from diverse backgrounds, many are architects, municipal planners, artists, teachers, industrial designers, professional builders, community and environmental activists. Applicants must be self-reliant and prepared to work in an intense group environment and take care of themselves physically, financially and emotionally.

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. Some students both graduates and non-graduates have been hired here at our headquarters or on individual out-of-town and out-of-country Earthship builds. 

Graduation Requirements:

TAOS 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).

FIELD STUDIES: Students receive credit towards this requirement by participating in an official Earthship Biotecture Field Studies project. Field Studies opportunities are intended to help further students’ knowledge of hands-on building techniques by inviting them to work alongside the Earthship Crew on a new 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, which have no fees involved and humanitarian builds, which have fees that go directly towards materials and nominal wages for EB staff leading the build.  For either type of Field Studies, students are responsible for their own transportation, food and lodging.

INDEPENDENT STUDY: The Independent Study may take place anywhere in the world and may be concrete (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.

Taos Academy Sessions

Tuition $2,500

The curriculum for each session is identical and consists of classes, labs, hands-on construction and tours of many Earthship and pre-Earthship buildings. You only need to attend one of the sessions.

Sessions are intensive and are six days a week for four weeks. Half the time is spent in the classroom and half learning hands-on techniques on the construction sites.

Please email to request a PDF of the Earthship Academy application.

Earthship Academy Sessions



Session 4: September 1 - 28

Session 5: October 1 - 28

Session 6: November 1 - 28  



Session 1: April 1-28

Session 2: May 1-28

Session 3: June 1-29


Youth Academy: July 9-27


Session 4: September 1 - 28

Session 5: October 1 - 28

Session 6: November 1 - 28  




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.

Partial list of Academy classes:

History and Evolution of the Earthship Concept

Thermal/Solar Heating and Cooling

Building with Natural and Recycled Materials

Water Harvesting, Storage and Filtration

Contained Sewage Treatment 

How to Read Earthship Construction Drawings

Earthship Types

Earthship Finishing Options and Techniques

Food Production in Earthships

Introduction to Aquaponics

Solar and Wind Electric Systems

Basics of Electricity

Earthship Village Ecologies, Test Sites and Colonies

Sustainable Retrofit for Conventional Homes

Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Projects

Project Planning and Staging

Plans and Permitting Process

The Owner/Builder Earthship Experience



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.



Students participate in guided tours of at least 20 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.



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. One site for 2016 hands-on will be an Earthship for a local family whose home was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.

Optional Housing

Optional housing is available during your session through the Earthship Academy at a few locations in the area. We select your location for you but you may choose a shared room, private room or double occupancy private room. Prices range from $450 - $800 for the duration of your session. 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 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.

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