7 Low Impact Living Models
Low impact development housing is housing we consider for The Highest Good because it is more cost effective, lasts longer, and is built from resources that are readily available. Our goal is to operate as a think tank of sustainability and demonstrate the low-impact development of 7 different communal living mini-village models of 15-100 residences as examples and prototypes for self-sufficient and duplicable teacher/demonstration communities, villages and cities to be built around the world. Each village model will represent a different ecobuild methodology that incorporates food production, sustainable energy, and ultra-affordable and eco-friendly living. All structures are designed with four things in mind: our open source goals and the creation of duplicable and cost effective eco-village and alternative housing options, showcasing of the diversity of eco-building methods, demonstrating innovative designs with unique aesthetic beauty, and maximized functionality while each contributing something unique to the recreation aspects of One Community. Foundations of our model of building beyond structure self-sustainability are:
|• It must be duplicable||• Theme based Village/Pod distinction|
|• Off-grid innovative energy saving designs||• Food production as part of each design|
|• Building as an expression of art and beauty||• Maximal use of sustainable building materials|
|• Maximal use of recycled and reclaimed materials||• Communal living vs. individual living structures|
|• Common area kitchens, computer rooms, etc.||• Cohesive building with nature, not over nature|
|• Community built for efficiency and socialization||• Compact living surrounded by tons of space|
|• Every new pod built using a different eco-building method and renewable construction material|
|• Every new pod used to create an easy to duplicable model of that building method through affiliation with materials providers, establishment of “simple order” complete-materials kits, step-by-step instructions for working with local governments and planning commissions, and a comprehensive archive of free and open source plans, instructional videos, and other tools and tutorials|
7 UNIQUE SUSTAINABLE VILLAGE DESIGNS
The seven different eco-approaches we are planning include earthbag, straw bale, cob, adobe brick/earth block, subterranean construction, earthship and bottle home/reclaimed materials construction, and tree-houses. Each pod will have its own unique appeal and design in support of our 4-phase strategy for world change and creation of self-sufficient and self-replicating teacher/demonstration communities, villages, and cities that can be built in almost any environment and with a diversity of budget and design options. The Earthbag Village (Pod 1) is the simplest so we can start building immediately while we are simultaneously designing and applying for permits for the much more complex construction designs like the Straw Bale Village (Pod 2), the Pyramid Village, and Treehouse Village.
The foundational architectural plans for the Earthbag Village and Straw Bale Village are finished and we are now digging into the details necessary for permitting. The rest of the village/pod designs will wait to have the creative input of the entire team (with consensus deciding the specifics) so every person that is a part of the community can contribute to the artistic design, appearance, and location. In addition to Pod 1 and Pod 2, we will be building a cob “hobbit home” village, a subterranean village, an adobe brick/earth block pyramid village, an earthship village made from reclaimed materials, and a treehouse village for a total of 200+ full-time adult members and 50-100+ tourism/timeshare/scholarship/part-time residents. As each village/pod is completed, Community Pioneers will have the option to “upgrade” their ownership and provide their previous residence to incoming new community members and visitors allowing us to continue to offer free housing for new members as we grow proportionate to our infrastructure.
POD #1 – Earthbag Construction
|CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE EARTHBAG VILLAGE DETAILS|
POD #1 – Semi-subterranean Earthbag Village and Central Tropical Atrium
Sacral (2nd) Chakra / Water Element -“sui”&“mizu”-“shuǐ” / Orange Accents / Earthbag Construction
The purpose of Pod 1 is to demonstrate maximum affordability and a diversity of earthbag designs that will be able to be duplicated almost anywhere in the world without the need for permits. We will begin building Pod 1 within the first month as a living/rental pod for the initial Community Members, visitors, and students. This pod is projected to take 12-24 months to complete and will provide our first rental residences as well as homes that our initial Community Members (The One Community Pioneers) will own if they remain members of the community for 18 months or longer.
COMPLETE DETAILS AND OPEN SOURCE HUB
Pod one is designed to consist of sixty-four 150-200 square-foot semi-subterranean earthbag “hotel room” style cabanas organized as seen above. These low impact development bungalow style buildings will connect with spoke like walkways into a central semi-subterranean 40′ Diameter Tropical Dome/Meditation Center housing coconut, kiwi, mango, banana and other tropical fruit plants and trees. In the center of the dome will be a platform where an instructor will lead yoga, meditation, and other classes. The bungalows will be heated with rocket stoves and the tropical dome will be heated by a combination of passive heat and recycling of the warm shower water from the Pod 1 communal bathrooms.
This Pod will demonstrate a beautiful hand-built minimalist design without hard plumbing and incorporating off-the-grid solar power energy so it can be constructed anywhere in the world, by anyone, for under $1500 per living structure (without the solar power infrastructure). The 150-200 square foot size allows us (and people in most US counties) to build these structure without permits. Subterranean design minimizes heating and cooling needs and all water and waste is recycled for use by the tropical dome and/or repurposed using our evolving vermiculture bathroom designs.
POD #2 – Straw Bale Construction
|CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE STRAW BALE VILLAGE DETAILS|
POD #2 – Straw Bale Village – Hacienda Style Straw Bale Construction
Heart (4th) Chakra / Air Element -“fū” or “kaze” / Green Accents / Straw Bale Construction
Pod 2 will begin as soon as Pod 1 is complete and is being designed as long-term resident housing, visitor rentals, and an example of modular sustainability that we will build to completion as a demonstration of the largest straw bale construction in the world (2x the size of the current largest building) utilizing approximately 20,000 straw bales to demonstrate a torus within a torus/circular design including 42 residences and 9 common areas including a common kitchen, computer room, laundry room, children’s art and playroom, reading room, meditation room, greenhouse, game room, and central fire pit and social area. The circular and semi-subterranean design of this pod is heating, cooling, and resource efficient with space for fruit trees and additional recreational areas. The circular design helps with temperature control in the center of the torus as well as keeping animals away from the orchard. Heat from the computer room, kitchen, and laundry facility will additionally contribute to temperature control in the greenhouse structure.
COMPLETE DETAILS AND OPEN SOURCE HUB
In the process of building this Pod we will demonstrate a system of straw bale homebuilding that is affordable and expandable. Using the torus design we will build the first few units to completion to show what is possible on the small scale, and then add onto those units to demonstrate how this style of communal housing could be expanded as a community expands, adding additional units as needed while simultaneously improving energy efficiency and creating a protected growing space in the center of the torus.
POD #3 – Cob Construction
POD #3 – Hobbit Home Pod – Cob Construction
Solar Plexus (3rd) Chakra / Fire Element-“ka”&“hi”-“huǒ” / Yellow Accents / Cob Construction
Cob is an ancient building material composed of dirt, straw and water that may have been used for construction since prehistoric times. Some of the oldest man-made structures in Afghanistan are composed of rammed earth and cob and still standing! Pod 3 is being envisioned as 20-30 cob constructed bungalows utilizing the remaining straw from Pod 2 to demonstrate what is possible with large-scale sustainability and cob. They planned to be organized based on sacred geometry, centered on the community outdoor fire-pit, and built to represent the 3rd chakra, or navel center, and the element of fire (“ka” or “hi” in the Japanese system and “huǒ” in the Chinese system) with red and yellow accents to represent both fire and the chakra correlation with yellow.
POD #4 - Earth Block Construction
POD #4 – Pyramid Pod – Earth Block Construction
3rd Eye (6th) Chakra / Sky-Void-Heaven – “kū”&“sora” / Indigo Accents /Earth Block Construction
Pod 4 is being planned as a feat of ingenuity and creativity that will expand on the Auroville Earth Institute earth block structures pictured above to demonstrate a new level of artistic and functional creation for the eco-construction world as an appropriately designed brick pyramid and representation of the 6th/third eye chakra (also the element “kū” or “sora” meaning “sky,” “void” or “heaven” in the Japanese 5 element system). This pyramid will feature 12-15 living/rental spaces, shared common space kitchen, dining area, and a central greenhouse and reading/meditation area, indigo accents, and internal earth block decorative arches and pillars. This Pod is still in the early design phase.
POD #5 – Subterranean Construction
POD #5 – Underground Pod – Subterranean Construction
Root (1st) Chakra / Earth Element-“chi”&“tsuchi”-“tǔ”/ Red Accents /Subterranean Construction
Pod 5 is scheduled to be a subterranean pod designed to demonstrate the affordability, beauty, and energy efficiency of living underground. It will represent the 1st/root chakra and elemental earth (“chi” or “tsuchi” in the Japanese 5 element system and “tǔ” in the Chinese system). It will feature a central functional pond maintained through permaculture and natural red rock accents. This Pod is still in the early design phase.
POD #6 - Reclaimed Materials Construction
POD #6 – Earthship Pod – Reclaimed Materials Construction
Crown (7th) Chakra / Element Metal-“jīn” / Purple Accents /Earthship Construction
Right now we are planning to build the first 20 home earthship in the world as representing the 7th, or crown, chakra and the Japanese element of “jīn” or metal. We will build the earthship from a combination of reclaimed materials with key features being passive heating and cooling, wall space utilized for growing food, overall low impact artistic design and violet accents. This Pod is still in the early design phase.
POD #7 – Tree House Pod
POD #7 – Tree House Pod
Throat (5th) Chakra / Element Wood-“mù” / Blue Accents / Tree House Construction
This pod will most likely be the final pod completed but we would like to start on this pod as soon as possible as it will be the treehouse pod representing the 5th, or throat, chakra that is Ether in the hindu system and wood or “mù” in the Chinese system. We are currently thinking of 12-15 interconnected residences built as one massive treehouse for maximum space utilization and structural integrity. This Pod is still in the early design phase.
There are several videos on the various ecobuild and low impact development options HERE.