Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Geography and Geospatial Sciences

First Advisor

George White


Addressing the issue of housing deficit while providing affordable and sustainable homes is a significant problem in the United States today. This has prompted architects to design homes with less adverse environmental impacts despite their affordability, hence the birth of sustainable housing. Earthships are sustainable homes built from recycled materials, utilize solar or wind energy, and function as self-sufficient units. The study's main aim is to assess residents' perceptions of earthships and their willingness to adopt earthships in Brookings County, South Dakota. The research employs online surveys to garner data from residents, and data are analyzed using mixed methods. Results indicate that the most significant benefit perceived was the use of renewable energy resources, while the most significant barrier was the county's extreme cold temperatures. Factors affecting willingness to adopt earthships include age, homeownership, view of sustainability, annual gross income, and years of residency. The adoption of earthships in Brookings County will go a long way to contribute to the sustainable lifestyle of the community and release pressure on the County’s natural resources.


South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright