ASPEN CENTRE Permaculture Construction



What is the Greenship?

The Greenship is a self sustainable passive solar greenhouse and multi-use space. It applies thermal solar design for heating and cooling, collects rainwater, utilizes solar power and takes a focus on building with recycled and sustainably sourced material. The project aims to demonstrate the widespread resilience achieved in sourcing, salvaging, up-cycling and building with viable waste material from local sources and in collaboration with local business. The building process and completed multi-use space are meant to facilitate accessible community learning as much as provide an example of an effective rammed-earth tire style growing space in our northern climate.

Where is the Greenship?

The site is located on the Aspen Centre for Integral Living permaculture demonstration grounds 40 minutes west of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Temperatures can range from 30C in the summer to below -20C in the winter.

Who is the Greenship?

You are! The build’s main focus is to provide a local, hands-on building opportunity; to spur the fabled Earthship conversation into action in the Edmonton area. What started with just one person continues growing as a collective of individuals actively curating their roles to support the project and personal development goals. Those involved range from complete newbies to experienced builders of all kinds: permaculturalists, natural builders, curious volunteers, newcomers and members of Aspen Centre, Earthship Academy students, workshop attendees and anyone who hears about it and jumps in!

The (current) Greenship Team

Laryssa Toroshenko - Greenship & Aspen Centre CIO (Earthship Academy)

Dori Lavy - Construction Captain & Treasured Team Lead (Long Way Home, Guatemala)

Alex Fraser - Steward of Space & Secret-ary Team Lead of ACIL

Bry Rousselle - Greenhouse Guru & ACIL Vice President

Katrina Pablo - Super Volunteer (Earthship Academy)

Rachel Krahn - Super Volunteer

Kurtis Ewanchuk - Land Owner (arborist, permaculturalist, builder)

Taylor Will - Crew Colonel (Earthship Academy)

And many many more…

The central organizational crew for the Greenship aim to gather experience in building design innovation, project materialization, leadership development and community curation for the purpose of future builds and collaboration with rammed-earth warriors around Alberta and the globe...


Involvement is entirely participant driven and those interested are encouraged to curate their role. Talk to us about how you’d like to make your mark! [email protected]

Steer the Ship…

  • attend planning meetings and learn about project curation
  • weekend work parties (starting April 2017)
  • workshops with focused instruction and learning opportunities
  • communications & outreach
  • materials sourcing & pick-up
  • event coordination
  • with your personal magical powers, tell us what they are!

Greenship WISH LIST

Along with utilizing salvaged and upcycled goods, our goals include promoting environmentally responsible construction by engaging local construction companies in  alternative commerce by redistributing residual material, while supporting community initiative. Our sponsors have generously donated excavation, gravel, geo-textile, polyethylene vapour barrier and a variety of additional materials.

To complete the building in 2017 we seek sponsors for the following materials:

  • Mortar mix (approx. 1-2 cubic metres)
  • Portland cement exterior render
  • Rigid insulation(4-4x8 sheets; 540ft²)
  • ⅜” rebar (18 - 20’ lengths ideally)
  • Pencil rod (14 sticks)
  • 6” cooling tubes (45m)
  • 5-9 mil polyethylene vapour barrier (50ft²)
  • 3”-6” pipe (6m; any material)
  • Glass  or polycarbonate (large panes)
  • Lumber (ALL types)
  • 200 - 2x6x12 pine
  • 15 - 2x6x8 treated
  • 13 - ½” 4x8 OSB
  • 50 gallon drum cow manure
  • Large construction tarps
  • Rope
  • Flexible conduit
  • Fasteners (1”-4” screws; nails)
  • All framing hardware (bond plates, joist hangers, etc…)
  • All sealants (silicone caulking, tars, etc…)
  • Used inner tubes (20+)
  • Coloured glass bottles
  • Used aluminum cans (1000+)

Time Frame

The Greenship will take roughly two years to build, given the short snow-less season, full-on activities schedule at Aspen Centre and volunteer based, weekend warrior task force.

We started in 2016 and the photos throughout demonstrate our successes! An estimated 60+ people got their hands dirty on the Greenship site and news of the build is spreading across Alberta.

May 21, 2016  -  September 2016: excavation, drainage, ¾ completion on main tire wall, 2 footings poured

Spring, Summer & Fall 2017

April - Tire Pounding 101
May - Bond Beam Workshop
June - Community Build Days
July - Stem Wall Workshop; Beauty of the Bottle Wall Workshop
August - Framing Tire Structures
September - Glazing Workshop
October - Winterization
ONGOING into 2018 - Cob & Adobe Plaster, Mass Rocket Heater, Interior Finishes and more...

Learning-focused workshops include hearty vegetarian meals and will be discounted for Aspen Centre members.

Contact [email protected] to inquire about your involvement!


Thank you to the sponsors that have made our project possible: