Rebecca Lowery '15: Sustainable Builder, Philosophy Student
Rebecca Lowery '15 spent last June filling tires with dirt and spreading adobe while
an intern for Earthship Biotecture, a company that builds sustainable houses out of
Earthship houses are designed to function completely off the grid with solar panels
providing electricity and water catchment and recycling systems for water carefully
positioned and designed so that they do not require climate control.
"I wanted to do this internship," Lowery said, "because I didn't believe that these
houses could really function entirely off the grid."
After spending a month in Taos, N.M., helping build several Earthship houses, Lowery
is now convinced that the buildings work. In fact, the experience has inspired Lowery
to attempt sustainable building techniques in her own backyard. With a bench out of
recycled tires and adobe already under her belt (pictured at right), she is now constructing
a screen house around the bench with plans to install a water catchment system to
water a garden of plants native to Texas.
According to Lowery, a philosophy major pursuing a concentration in environmental
science, studying environmental science has helped ground her in the natural world
and balance out the intellectual focus of philosophy.
"I think environmental science and philosophy complement each other," she said. "The
only difference is that one of them revolves around working with the physical world,
and the other revolves around thinking about the physical world (among other things)."
Lowery plans to continue volunteering for Earthship Biotecture; she is particularly
enthusiastic about the company's non-profit operation, which builds Earthship houses
in Third World countries.