Earthbag Village – One Community Pod One
The earthbag architecture village (Pod 1) is the first of seven different sustainable village models to be built. The earthbag village was chosen as the first village to be built because we believe it will be the most affordable and easy to duplicate. It demonstrates the earthbag method of construction along with many eco-artistic external and functional internal options. This page contains the following sections related to the earthbag village:
- Related Pages
- What is the Earthbag Village
- Why an Earthbag Village
- Ways to contribute
- The Earthbag Open Source Portal (Collaborative resource and information hub)
- Additional Earthbag Village Details
WHAT IS AN EARTHBAG VILLAGE
The earthbag village consists of sixty-seven 150-200 square foot (14-18.6 sq meter) earthbag hotel room styled cabanas. They are arranged in trios (plus 2 pairs) with a central sitting area designed for relaxation, a fire pit, and/or growing a small shared garden. Once the straw bale village (Pod 2) is complete this village model will ultimately serve as a rental, student housing, and/or new Community Member living Pod. Like a hotel or dorm room, each dome will primarily consist of a sleeping area, dresser(s), a small sitting area, and a desk.
Some of the key features and intentions for Pod One’s design include:
- 67 living units
- Earthbag construction
- Artistic, durable, and easy to build
- Completely ecologically friendly and sustainable
- Can be constructed for under $5,000 per structure
- Demonstrates 2 different eco-waste disposal systems
- Communal use bathroom and shower designs and layout
- Reuse of greywater for the Tropical Atrium and agriculture
- Central Tropical Atrium doubles as meditation and class space
- Should be completed in 18-24 months so we can start on Pod 2
- Maximization of artistic external and internal design exploration and use
- Goal for 100% water to be supplied by surrounding water catchment from all structures
- Materials can be locally sourced or easily and affordably shipped anywhere in the world
- A tropical growing zone in the Tropical Atrium producing herbs, fruit, flowers, and more
WHY AN EARTHBAG VILLAGE
Pod One’s primary focus is to demonstrate maximally affordable sustainable housing that can be duplicated as easily as possible. Building with earthbags is easier to to duplicate than most other methods because the bags are easy to purchase and ship, earth is free, and the mixture needed to stabilize the earth (lime or cement) is also affordable and globally available. Additionally, although we are currently working on obtaining permitting for our buildings, we chose the 150-200 square foot (14-18.6 sq meter) size to allow most people in most counties in the US to be able to duplicate our designs without permits. We will also open source share information from dome homes and earthbag villages that other people and communities build using our open source earthbag village blueprints to increase interest and global support for this method as a duplicable construction option.
CONSULTANTS ON THE EARTHBAG VILLAGE DESIGN
Amira Kessem: Mechanical Engineering Student in Israel
Betty Lenora: Earthbuilding Instructor and Author
Biko Casini: Sustainable Building Expert, Permaculturalist, and Journeyman Mason
Bupesh Seethala: Architectural Drafter & Designer, BS Electrical Engineering (BupeshSeethala.com)
Dennis Wohlfeil: Earth Builder, Sustainable Technologies Expert, and administrator of TerraForm.org
Devin Porter: 3D Graphics Design Specialist (DevinPorter.com)
Doug Pratt: Solar Systems Design Engineer (see our Energy Infrastructure Hub)
Douglas Simms Stenhouse: Architect and Water Color Artist
Eric Puro: Sustainable Builder and Co-founder of ThePOOSH.org
John Chambers: Experienced Earth Builder
Philip Gill: Interior and Furniture Designer and Owner of Philip Gill Design
Scott Howard: Sustainable Building Expert and Owner of Earthen Hand Natural Building
Victor Herber: Mechanical Engineer
EARTHBAG VILLAGE OPEN SOURCE PORTAL
As we continue open source project-launch blueprinting the earthbag village and all of its components, build it, and problem solve and evolve all the different aspects of this village model for One Community (and with others around the world) we will use this page as the portal to complete details for duplication. We are also including the additional portals for the vermiculture bathroom designs and eco showers and the Tropical Atrium. Specifics for making duplication of this village model as easy as possible include (links added as details become available):
ADDITIONAL EARTHBAG VILLAGE DETAILS
The bungalows will be heated by passive solar with backup electric heaters. They will be kept cool via the semi-subterranean construction and passive cooling. Electricity and heat for all homes and the central Tropical Atrium will be provided by solar (see energy infrastructure page).
Maximally space efficient furniture is also planned. Here are the first three designs that have been completed (compliments of furniture designer, Philip Gill):
MURPHY BED DESIGN
This first furniture design is meant to accommodate up to two adults. In this version, it contains a queen-sized Murphy Bed, built-in nightstands, shelving, and a combination closet/dressing area. A full-sized bed option is also planned for those wishing to conserve space or perhaps for a single person living alone in a dome.
When folded down, the bed provides comfortable and spacious sleeping for two. When the bed is up, the underside displays a picture-frame design that is both decorative and functional. Decorative in that it enlivens what would otherwise be a plain surface with a pleasing design, and functional in that also disguises a fold-down worktable large enough for two adults to be working on their laptops, one at either end, at the same time. The overhang above contains three recessed lights that provide illumination on the table to work, and at bedtime (with the bed folded down) to read in bed. On either side of the Murphy Bed are built-in drawers that double as storage and nightstands with built-in down-lights and shelves above. Behind and to both sides, each adult has his or her own personal closet/storage/dressing area, and on one side, there’s a ladder that leads to the loft above that could be storage, a small play room or child’s room, or even a guest bed area.
CHILDREN’S SHARED-ROOM DESIGN
This second furniture configuration provides two single beds suitable for children (though not toddlers) up to their teenage years. Below each bed are ample storage drawers on wheels and/or gliders and, behind the bed against the wall, a built-in bookcase with adjustable shelves that takes advantage of otherwise wasted space left by the bed against the curved wall. Each child has his or her own desk with a pencil drawer and a desk chair, and together they share a chifferobe for hanging clothes and other storage. Completing the set is a ladder on casters that provides means to the loft storage above.
STUDENT’S SHARED-ROOM DESIGN
The third furniture configuration is designed with two students in mind, ranging from high school through college or university. It is basically the same as the children’s configuration above, but it adds and additional rolling file cabinet/storage unit on wheels. It also has a folding top that opens to an approximately 2’ x 2’ table space. By placing the cabinet on wheels, students can move it anywhere in the dome for their personal use, allowing them to work on their laptops while sitting on their bed for instance. On the front side of the rolling cabinet there is one small and two large drawers for storage, and one file drawer that accommodates standard letter-sized pages. On the back side, it contains a small, six-inch deep locking cabinet door that allows students to secure personal belongings.
Currently we show these custom furniture designs in a variety of wood finishes or paint colors. Regardless of the finish an individual choose, they will be built using sustainable woods, low-VOC paints and varnishes, and other similar materials.
ADDITIONAL EARTHBAG VILLAGE DESIGN ELEMENTS
● Electricity will be provided by solar (see our energy infrastructure details page)
● We will demonstrate a diversity of earthen and other floor options to determine the best ones
● Retaining walls along the walkway will be built in a stair or terrace like method using earthbag layers
● We are shooting for 100% water for the entire village to be supplied by surrounding water catchment
Once Pod 2 is complete this pod will ultimately serve as a rental, student housing, and/or new Community Member living Pod.
MORE IMAGES OF THE EVOLUTION OF THIS VILLAGE MODEL
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
Pod 1 is designed to demonstrate affordable, sustainable housing that can be duplicated as easily as possible. The earthbag construction method and cozy size of each unit are used for these reasons. The arrangement of the pods minimizes land needs and adds to the efficiency of this design.
FREQUENTLY ANSWERED QUESTIONS
Q: Will the individual units have electricity?
Yes, the individual units will have electricity. See our energy infrastructure details page for more information.
Q: How long will it take to build the entire village?
Please see the Earthbag Village Time Investment Page.
Q: Why are the living units so small?
- To demonstrate maximally affordable housing
- To demonstrate maximally space and resource efficient housing
- To demonstrate a size most people in other US counties will be able to build without permits
- Their purpose is primarily for sleeping and intimacy – socialization areas, entertainment rooms, recreation space, kitchens, etc. are instead incorporated elsewhere (see the SEGO Center, Tropical Atrium, etc.) and the fulfilled living model and other design elements of One Community is focused on providing an unparalleled diversity of options for both active lifestyles and private spaces for retreat and relaxation
Q: How much will it cost to build the entire village?
Current estimates are less than $300,000 and we are working on confirming the details now.
Q: How far will individual units be from the SEGO Center City Hub (dining and recreation hall)?
The earthbag village will be built within a 15-minute relaxed walk of the SEGO Center.
Q: What is the bathroom and shower to living-unit ratio and how far are they from the homes?
For this sixty-seven unit village there are 24 bathroom stalls and 20 showers built into the layout. The units the farthest away from the showers are about 120 ft (36.58 m) away. The units the farthest away from the bathrooms are about 150 ft (45.72 m) away.
Q: How will privacy be addressed with the three-dome clusters being so close together?
Privacy will be addressed primarily through grouping of like-minded people and communication with each other. It is also important to note that additional private spaces, socialization spaces, and recreation spaces are all within a short walk.