History of the project
The becoming of the Äerdschëff can be divided into three phases: the dreaming and design phase (2014-2017), the construction phase (2019-2021), and the post-construction phase (2020-).
During the LEADER funding phase (2015-2016), we designed the project and trained two people with Biotecture in New Mexico (USA) at the Earthship Academy (October 2016). Thanks to LEADER funding, we were able to set up the initial budget and design, and to receive additional funding both from the Oeuvre nationale de Secours Grande Duchesse Charlotte (a philanthropic foundation) and from the Ministry for Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development for the construction. We got the offer from Atert Lycée Redange (ALR), the secondary school in Redange, to use public land and gathered a citizen steering group. We made a model of the Äerdschëff and showed it in various fairs and at school. The approach was to make the design as participatory as possible and the team ensured that communication between the professionals and the citizens was happening.
Between 2016 and 2019, we designed the adaptations for the Luxembourgish earthship, and sought to obtain the permits for commencing construction. Given the pioneer nature of the project, this was a fairly lengthy process. We collected and stored various reclaimed building materials. In 2019, we used the dry, hot summer to build the foundations with a bunch of international and local volunteers. This was a large celebration with many people from around the world who joined for a sort of camp during the summer to help build.
In 2020, we continued building the outer shell (roof structure, flooring, clay plastering, cisterns and outer drainage) and despite the pandemic, things moved along. As of December 2020, we are nearing completion of the building in about six months’ time. In 2020, we got awarded the prestigious PSP-Flagship programme by the National Research Fund to develop educational programmes around circular design for teenagers (Äerdschëff Circular and Regenerative Science).