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 seventy-two 150-200 square foot (14-18.6 sq meter) earthbag hotel room styled cabanas. They are arranged in three-dome and six-dome clusters 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:
- 72 living units
- Earthbag construction
- Only requires a 1-acre footprint
- Artistic, durable, and easy to build
- Completely ecologically friendly and sustainable
- Can be constructed for under $7,000 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)
Da Ku: Mechanical Engineer (www.kudakk.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
Mike Creedy: Earthbuilder, Electrical Engineer, & Commercial Mushroom Farmer (FloridaDomeHome.com)
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 and backup space 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).
Beautiful and maximally space efficient furniture will make these spaces attractive, cozy, and super functional.
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
- The purpose of these living units 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: If One Community is supposed to be an example community to get the mainstream interested and for others to duplicate, how will you motivate people to live in low-tech residences like earthbag houses?
We expect the lifestyle One Community provides will be the primary motivator (initially). The Duplicable City Center also caters to those wanting a more “high-tech” living environments. The Straw Bale Village (Pod 2) is also a much more high-tech approach.
Q: How much will it cost to build the entire village?
Please see the materials list and cost analysis page for these details.
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 seventy-two 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: Why is the village designed to fit on only 1 acre?
With the growing population of the planet, we see maximizing space efficiency as an essential component of sustainability. From a Highest Good society perspective, we also see people choosing to live closely together versus distancing themselves as a growth and communication opportunity. Other reasons for this choice include:
- Makes replication easier
- Reduces environmental impact
- Lowers costs for energy and plumbing infrastructure
- Lowers costs for road infrastructure needed for fire code
- Maximizes space for food forest creation and other purposes
- Places all homes closer to the communal bathrooms and showers
- For properties (like ours) that are zoned agricultural and commercial, property taxes are based on the specific use of the land. The higher the agricultural-use to residential-use ratio, the lower property taxes will be
Q: How will privacy be addressed with the dome clusters being so close together?
Privacy will be addressed primarily through grouping of like-minded people and communication with each other. The domes construction also makes them very good for containing sound and easy to make private by pulling shades. It is also important to note that additional private spaces, socialization spaces, and recreation spaces are all within a short walk.
Q: How do persons living in poverty go about building the communities that One Community suggests?
Our goal is to keep bringing the prices down for those who want to build with their own funds while also providing enough financial benefit for investors so that they’ll fund building them also. Both cases will provide opportunity for those who have nothing but time and labor to contribute.