Alanna McCormick spent her summer swinging a sledgehammer; pounding dirt into tires at a construction site in Collingwood. 

The earth filled tires are the building blocks being used to create what's called an “earthship”, a building which must be made from recycled materials, sustain itself and create food.

More than 1,500 tires have gone into three thick outside walls that are insulated and backfilled.

The south facing wall will be glass like a greenhouse, to capture the energy from the sun.  The tire and earth walls will help store and release the thermal energy.

The earthship concept was first developed in the 1970s in New Mexico. Since then, different variations of the passive solar house have been built all over the world

Matt Code is the man behind the Collingwood earthship and is one of the founders of the Eco Adventure Tour Company.

“The concept of growing your own food, build a house out of recycled material and sharing that with the public with teaching and educating people through the process is very motivating for me.“

During the course of construction, dozens of volunteers have come from far and wide to help and learn from the project.

Bob Sweeney wants to build his own sustainable home soon. He says most new homes being built these days can't capture the sun's energy. 

“A lot of beautiful homes around here could be facing south and cutting down on their costs but they don't they face the road,” he says.

Code is hoping to have the structure closed in by mid-November.