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. Here is a video walkthrough of this village:
To learn more about the Earthbag Village, check out the following sections on this page:
Here is a book overview about the entire One Community project also:
If the above plugin doesn't allow fullscreen, try a different browser. If that or anything else still isn't working for you, you can download a copy of the above book here: Book PDF download (128 MB)
The Earthbag Village consists of seventy-eight 150-200 square foot (14-18.6 sq meter) earthbag hotel room styled cabanas plus four communal eco-shower structures, 2 vermiculture waste processing toilet structures, two net-zero water use toilet structures, and the central Tropical Atrium. The living domes 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. Visit our furniture design page for the furniture designs for these domes.
Some of the key features and intentions for the Earthbag Village design include:
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 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.
Here’s a view of the whole village looking down and to the Northwest:
Here is a 3-D interactive showing the general layout and some features for a 6-dome village cluster:
The advantages of Earthbag construction are many:
Earthbag construction also has some limitations:
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 eco-shower structures, vermiculture waste processing toilet structures, net-zero water use toilet structures, and Tropical Atrium. Specifics for making replication of this village model as easy as possible are below:
|What we’re working on now|
|Remote construction camp setup and maintenance|
|Building plans for all components|
|Detailed materials list and cost analysis for all components|
|Do-it-yourself multi-media resource and information hub|
|How to work with local government if permitting is needed|
|Detailed tools and equipment list, best place to buy, and cost analysis for all components|
|How to clear and prepare your site for your build|
|Detailed build-time investment needs for each component based on our building experience|
|Excavation and construction of the footer and foundation|
|Flooring setup, construction, and maintenance|
|Detailed plans for how to build custom furniture to maximize home beauty and functionality|
|Dome home and complete Earthbag Village plumbing design and setup|
|Window and door framing|
|Dome home and complete Earthbag Village electrical design and setup|
|Earthbag construction structural engineering details|
|Detailed dome-home heating and cooling research, plans, and adaptations|
|Detailed shower dome and toilet dome maximally energy efficient water heating specifics|
|How to install and utilize water catchment for each structure and the whole village model|
|Plastering, sealing, and weather proofing the inside and the outside of your natural home|
|How to install and maintain internet and a WiFi network for an off-grid community/village|
|Automation, monitoring, and control systems design, setup, and data gathering and sharing|
|All of the above for the Earthbag Village eco-shower designs|
|All of the above for the Earthbag Village vermiculture toilet designs|
|All of the above for the Earthbag Village net-zero communal toilet designs|
|All of the above for the all natural greywater processing and reuse system|
|How to make your build easier than ours and how to solve any problems we encountered in our build|
|Complete and on-going maintenance and upkeep details per our experience with all village components|
|Eco-laundry design, setup, and maintenance|
|List of everyone who helped us design and build this so they can be contacted to help with modifications|
|Archive and database of others building similar structures including their experiences, adaptations, etc.|
|Comprehensive remote-village-construction emergency fire, medical, and evacuation plan|
|Shower Energy-Saving Measures: Thermostatic Mixing Valves|
|Open source community water-saving eco-shower head page|
|Open source community water-saving sustainable eco-toilet page|
|All of the above for the Tropical Atrium food production and social gathering space|
|All of the above for complete renewable energy infrastructure|
|All of the above for complete sustainable food infrastructure|
All aspects of the Earthbag Village are being open sourced for replication as either individual components or as part of the complete village. As shown above, we are producing complete materials lists, build-time and labor details, construction plans, permitting needs and strategies, and much more for all components.
Here are additional images and overviews of some of the key components of this village. Links to their respective and detailed open source hubs can be found above and following each of these sections of images and descriptions:
The Earthbag Village will feature the following three different layouts: 6-Dome Cluster, 3-Dome Cluster, and ADA 3-Dome Clusters.
(click each to enlarge)
Within the three layouts there will be 3 different open source and DIY furniture layouts. This image shows a 3-dome cluster featuring one of each of these layouts.
This 3-D interactive experience shows the 3-dome cluster and highlights some of the features within the different furniture designs.
Here is a view of a 6-dome cluster.
Earthbag construction also has a lot of flexibility for artistic external aesthetic options. The diversity that is possible is not realistic to show in renders, but demonstrating this diversity on the outside of these same foundational designs is something we will fully explore and demonstrate once we’ve addressed and open sourced all the structures exactly as shown here. Enclosed multi-room designs, designs with attached bathrooms, and designs with other modular add-on options like a hot tub or large outdoor dining area are also being created.
This Murphy Bed couple’s layout contains a queen-sized Murphy Bed, built-in nightstands, shelving, a loft storage area, and a combination closet/dressing area. Here you see the bed folded down to provide comfortable and spacious sleeping for two. 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.
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 it 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.
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.
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 an 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.
The goal of the open source Tropical Atrium is to create an aesthetically pleasing and multi-functional center for this village. It is designed to grow food, collect and store rainwater, pre-heat water for the Earthbag Village showers, and provide a beautiful and energy efficient year-round recreation space. It will be affordable relative to its size, within easy walking distance of all the Earthbag Village homes, produce herbs and tropical fruit as part of the One Community open source botanical garden model, and provide a beautiful place to sit and read a book, attend a class, or enjoy a relaxing nap in a year-round tropically maintained environment.
Here is a 3-D interactive sharing some of the primary features of the Tropical Atrium:
Here is a view of the rooftop seating area that will provide views of the entire village.
Here is a view of the South entryway that has been designed with the upper walkways and sloped entry creating a mini-amphitheater space able to host events and classes. Seating and standing areas in and around this area are designed to accommodate 200+ people.
Here is a view looking South from the main Tropical Atrium entrance.
These images show the Tropical Atrium with the fully developed planting plan and being used for a diversity of social and recreational uses.
The village will also feature 4 heat-recycling and water-saving community showers. These multi-shower structures will recycle the shower water heat for pre-heating incoming water and heating the Tropical Atrium, demonstrate environmental and design elements for increasing comfort and reducing water use, and function as testing space for comparing and identifying the most user-friendly and effective water-saving shower head designs.
In the North side of the village will be two ultra-eco vermiculture (worm composting) solid waste processing toilet structures. These structures will demonstrate and open source indoor worm composting as an option for large-scale repurposing of human waste. They will also include a traditional septic option for people that want one and counties that need one.
In the South end of the village will be two net-zero water use toilet structures. These are called “net-zero bathrooms” because the water used for these bathrooms can be supplied entirely by rainwater collection, so the net water use will be zero.
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 home clusters minimizes land needs and adds to the efficiency of this design.
Q: Where can I get more information about your philosophies for world change?
Please take a look at each of these additional pages: (click icons)
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?
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 environment. 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.
The Earthbag Village will be built within a 10-minute relaxed walk of the Duplicable City Center.
Q: What is the bathroom and shower to living-unit ratio, and how far are they from the homes?
For this seventy-eight 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 aren’t bathrooms included with each residence?
Bathrooms were not included with each residence to demonstrate maximum affordability, simplicity for replication, and speed of construction for this village.
Q: What about composting toilets that don’t require plumbing?
Our county said doing this for the whole village would require us to still install plumbing for regular toilets. Having communal toilets available as they are though makes this additional plumbing no longer necessary, so people could include a composting toilet in their dome if they want to.
Q: What about designs with toilets?
Multi-dome residences are being designed with a small “wet-dome” that includes a shower, toilet, and small kitchen. These home options will be available for those who want to pay for the additional expense and do the additional work to construct them. Group labor will assist in building the base unit parts of the homes, the parts without plumbing and as described above, once everyone who wants a base unit home has one.
Q: Why is the village designed to be so compact, why not spread it out more?
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:
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.
Q: After some duplicable earthbag structures have been successfully created, will there be ‘flexibility space’ for individual design expression as well?
Yes, but adhering to the current design footprint and assuming new designs are agreed upon through the consensus process.
With 7 villages to be designed, and a desire for artistic and unique appearances that also had a deeper relationship to the purpose/intent of each village, we drew inspiration from the 7-chakra system from Hinduism and Tantric Buddhism and the Japanese 5-elements philosophy.
Note: One Community does not endorse or subscribe to any one spiritual philosophy. You can read more about our philosophy on spirituality and religion on our Spirituality Page.
The Earthbag Village was designed thinking of the Root (1st) Chakra from Hinduism and Tantric Buddhism and the Earth Element (“chi” & “tsuchi”) from the Japanese 5-elements philosophy. These ideas coincided with the earth building material and the focus of maximal affordability and durability. The associated color of “red” helped develop the color palette for this village and we further aligned, diversified, and distinguished the purpose and intent of the village by looking at One Community’s core values and focusing on the values of Highest Good for All, Open Source, Sustainability, and Community.
To further share the design process for this village, here are some of the initial renders and design drawings:
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
Adolpho Maia: Mechanical Engineering Student
Alena Thompson: Mechanical Engineer
Amauri Tavares: Bachelors of Science and Technology and Aerospace Engineering Student
Amira Kessem: Mechanical Engineering Student in Israel
Ana Flavia Almeida: Architecture and Urban Planning Student
Antonio Zambianco: Civil Engineering Student
Ashwini Ramesh: Civil Engineer and Project Manager
Bahy Ahmed: Senior Architect
Beatriz Michel Rocha: Mechanical Engineering Student
Betty Lenora: Earthbuilding Instructor and Author
Biko Casini: Sustainable Building Expert, Permaculturalist, and Journeyman Mason
Bupesh Seethala: Architectural Drafter & Designer, BS Electrical Engineering
Carol Nguyen: Civil Engineer
Christian Ojeda: Mechatronic Engineer
Da Ku: Mechanical Engineer (www.kudakk.com)
David Na: Project Management Adviser/Engineer
Dean Scholz: Architectural Drafter and Designer
Dennis Wohlfeil: Earth Builder, Sustainable Technologies Expert, and administrator of TerraForm.org
Devin Porter: 3D Graphics Design Specialist
Dijimba “Joss” Kabuyi Ilunga: Electrical Engineer
Diogo Rozada: Civil Engineering Student Specializing in Hydraulics
Diwei Zhang: Mechanical Engineer
Doug Pratt: Solar Systems Design Engineer (see our Energy Infrastructure Hub)
Douglas Simms Stenhouse: Architect and Water Color Artist
Dominick Banuelos: Civil Engineering Intern
Eric Puro: Sustainable Builder and Co-founder of ThePOOSH.org
Erika Yumi Tamashiro: Architecture and Urban Design Student
Falgun Patel: Mechanical Engineer
Fernando Carvalho: Mechanical Engineering Student
Fernando Remolina: Industrial Engineer specializing in Project Management
Frank Roland Vilcapaza Diaz: Mechanical Engineer
Gabriel Madeira: Industrial Design Student with a Technical in Graphic Design
Gilberto Martini de Oliveira: 3D Animation Design Student
Hannah Copeman: Structural Engineer
Hemanth Kotaru: Civil Engineer, Structural Engineering Masters Student
Israel Silva: Electrical Engineering Student
Izadora Carvalho: Civil Engineering Student
Jingwei Jiang: Landscape Designer
Jarot Tamba: Civil Engineering Intern
John Paul D. Matining: Civil Engineer Intern
Jorge Antonio Ricardo: Mechanical Engineering Student
Jose Luis Flores: Mechanical Engineer
Lin Xu: Mechanical Engineer
Loza Ayehutsega: Civil Engineer/Assistant Civil Engineer
Marcus Nguyen: Civil Engineering Intern
Matheus Manfredini: Civil Engineering Student specializing in Urban Design
Mayke Balbino: Architecture and Urban Design Student
Mike Creedy: Earthbuilder and Electrical Engineer (FloridaDomeHome.com)
Mike Kowalski: Game Developer (3D Renderer and Designer)
Philip Gill: Interior and Furniture Designer and Owner of Philip Gill Design
Renata Maehara: Civil Engineering Student and AutoCAD Drafter
Robert Seton: Solar Design Engineer and Owner of Solar Hybrid Design
Ron Payne: Mechanical Engineer and HVAC / Thermal Designer
Sal Rubio: Industrial Designer
Samuel Soroaster: Permaculturalist, Sustainable Builder, PhD, and founder of Green New World
Sayonara Batista de Oliveira: Architecture and Urban Planning Student
Scott Howard: Sustainable Building Expert and Owner of Earthen Hand Natural Building
Scott Thomas and the Shadow Ridge Signature Architecture Program
Shadi Kennedy: Artist and Graphic Designer
Sheng Xu: Mechanical Engineer
Song Dong: M.S. in Mechanical Engineering
Vidhi Bansal: 3D Visualization Artist
Welma Nascimento: Chemical Engineering Student
Yifei Zhu: Analyst and Researcher
Yomi Sanyaolu: Mechanical Engineering Graduate and Technical Researcher/Writer