Building — by Julien Balmer February 7, 2011
Editor’s Note: The guys are doing some great things on Koh Phangan, Thailand. If you want to take a great PDC course in a great location, be sure to look at this quickly. Their next course starts on March 14, 2011. Find our more here.
This rather luxurious ‘cave’ artfully combines granite, wood and earth. It has a 60 square metre ground floor divided into three rooms on three levels, topped by a 15 square metre loft. While the earthbag walls elegantly fill gaps between large boulders, the double roof structure is elliptic in shape and rests on two sandalwood poles which previously served as main masts on a sailing boat. Corners are entirely absent, and a feeling of peace and tranquility prevails.Comments (7)
Building — by Lucky Tukana February 5, 2011
My name is Lucky Tukana and I run a project making natural buildings in South Africa, using traditional methods blended with modern sustainable techniques. For my buildings I use wattle tree posts for the structure. You can see in my first picture me peeling the bark off the trees, boiling it down and repainting the tree with it for protection. I follow the the moon cycle in my work so, for example, when it is full moon I cut the tree so that the centre is soft and the termites can eat the inside. When I dig the holes for the tree posts I then scorch them using fire and bend them so that it is sealed against the termites as well.Comments (22)
Building, Courses/Workshops — by Milkwood Permaculture January 26, 2011
Earthbag dome going up at the Permaforest Trust Farm in Northern NSW
The idea that you can build a structurally strong house with nothing more complicated than a bunch of bags, earth, clay and lime, plus some basic on-farm materials and plenty of hands on deck is pretty exciting for a lot of people, including me. Earthbag building might just be the answer to our dreams. Want to join us creating our first earthbag structure at Milkwood?Comments (4)
Building, Consumerism, Ethical Investment, People Systems, Society — by Peter Greg January 22, 2011
In the face of growing problems with climate change, and the unpredictable rumblings of the economy and housing challenges of the USA, there seems to be a wonderfully positive and exciting revolution/movement happening in the United States and in other places of the world: the Tiny House movement.Comments (2)
Building, Community Projects, Eco-Villages, People Systems, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Oyvind Holmstad January 21, 2011
Vandana Shiva, an internationally recognized Indian activist and philosopher, explains that planning for the human being rather than the automobile can liberate space and create community within a city. In her opinion, a sustainable city should operate as a self-reliant and self-sufficient cluster of villages.Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Building, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor January 14, 2011
On my first trip to Jordan, during a PDC course there in October 2009, I was privileged to meet Mustafa Fatih Bakir. Mustafa is one of those people who you immediately feel deserving of your confidence. He’s intelligent, capable, practical, and injects a lot of positive energy into his work. Mustafa was the driving force behind establishing PRI Turkey, and subsequently getting Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton to co-teach the recent PDC in Istanbul. He’s studied and gained experience under Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton, and is currently establishing and consulting on several projects.
Mustafa will soon be teaching a PDC in a rather interesting location — on Koh Phangan, an island in southern Thailand (see general Google images here). I’m sure not a few will be interested to hop along. Its location means a couple of things — the cost of the course is highly affordable, and there will be a great deal of interest to observe and interact with in terms of people, traditional knowledge, and general natural beauty.
I’ll throw in a few pics so you can see some of the work going on with the host’s site. See below.Comments (3)
Building, Energy Systems, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Land, Plant Systems, Retrofitting, Urban Projects — by Cecilia Macaulay January 13, 2011
Conference room, Head office, Pasona Group Inc.
With all my Japan projects bedded down for the winter, I set out for some sightseeing in my final weekend in Tokyo (Dec 4th) with a visit to the head office of the Pasona Group Inc.Comments (20)
Building, Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Land, People Systems, Society, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Sasha Rabin January 6, 2011
Editor’s Note: Sasha Rabin is someone with enviable skills in natural building. She has been building, and teaching others to build, with natural materials since co-founding Seven Generations Natural Builders (SGNB) in 2002. She recently co-founded Vertical Clay Construction. Sasha has a degree in Ecological Design from Evergreen State College and apprenticed at the Cob Cottage Company. She has taught natural building classes at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School, The Solar Living Institute, and the Institute of Urban Homesteading. And guess what? Sasha will be co-teaching a natural building course at the ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’ site (the new PRI-owned Greening the Desert replacement site) in Jordan, on a five-day course beginning 27 February, 2011. This is not to be missed. Read on, and book here to get onto the course!
by Sasha Rabin
Inside a cob cabin in CA, USA — built by Sasha Rabin with the help of many
Not very long ago, villages were built by the people who used and inhabited them. Today the buildings we live and work in are designed and built by people outside of our direct community of people who interact with those structures. How do we recreate a society that has a living relationship to the buildings we inhabit, and through that process create modern vernacular building traditions that reflect the true needs of our local communities as well as respecting the limitations of our local environments? One part of this question involves looking at the materials we build with, and the other part involves re-engaging people with the building process.Comments (3)
In this book Charles Siegel explains the history of city planning, where we are now, and most importantly, where we need to go.
Many environmentalists believe the huge problems of today’s cities are a result of lack of planning. The opposite is true — urban sprawl, traffic congestion and shopping malls are a result of exaggerated top-down planning. To solve these problems we should replace planning with political choices and the engagement of ordinary citizens, to move away from top-down planning made by ‘experts’.
What we need are generated cities, not fabricated! The fact is that more planning might increase unsustainable growth, the spread of suburbia and car dependency.Comments (5)
Building — by Rhamis Kent December 21, 2010
Further to our recent Earthship post, I’m adding this nice step-by-step video for good measure. We’ve put it at the end of the earlier post as well for your convenience.
Building, Eco-Villages, Energy Systems, Material, People Systems, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Rhamis Kent December 14, 2010
I’ve recently been doing research on Earthships after being formally introduced to them while talking to my friend Paul "Ringo" Kean. For those who don’t check this website often, Ringo is a professional earthmover who is one of our more skilled PC field operators, having worked with the likes of Darren Doherty – definitely one of our most valued, skilled, and experienced people.
Michael Reynolds is the gentleman credited with creating this concept and housing technology. It’s worth a look and is very "permaculture" in its functioning and outlook. Credit also goes to commenter Chloe Wolsey for previously introducing the topic of Earthships on this site:
Earthships 101 parts I & II:
Building, Energy Systems, Gabions, Land, Swales, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Geoff Lawton December 3, 2010
A Filipino garden — in Saudi Arabia!
Working in Saudi Arabia on a large project, in this case the Al-Baydha project, involving Bedouin People who have been resettled into villages for the past 20-30 years, is an interesting broad landscape affair as it covers about 700km2 and 9 villages. The culture of Bedouin rangeland management, with large herds of animals moving across the landscape, has been a stable culture that didn’t originally damage the environment, in fact it probably enhanced it, by good stock management and moving at the right time with the grazing patterns and seasons. The hoof prints of the animals would have accumulated manure, nutrient and seeds which would have germinated by the next rainfall, improving the landscape and therefore continuing the culture — but this relies on the people being able to move freely in a sporadic pattern that is responsive to the conditions; harmonious and regenerative.Comments (9)
Building, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change — by George Monbiot December 1, 2010
The government has abandoned its sustainable homes policy – by redefining zero.
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom
What does zero look like to you? Is it:
If the answer is a, you are an ordinary mortal. If the answer is b, you are a government minister, possessed of supernatural mathematical powers.Comments (4)
Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Building, Community Projects, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Irrigation, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Geoff Lawton November 17, 2010
The Jordan Valley Permaculture Project (aka ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’) in Al Jawaseri in the Dead Sea Valley (lowest place on earth), continues to develop as we gradually fund the project into action with our own permaculture education programs, volunteers and funding from Muslim Aid Australia and Kids are Sweet of Wisconsin, USA. The male and female shower and compost toilet block is now reaching completion using a basic faralone design system (PDF, with others composting toilet resources here, here, here, here and here). A reed bed has just been built as part of the shower block waste water system so that we can demonstrate grey-water reuse for garden crops. A small nursery has been funded by one of the volunteers involved in this project, Damien McAnany, and it is now producing a selection of vegetable, fruit and tree seedlings. Damien organized his own fund-raising initiatives in the USA then volunteered for a few weeks on site. Other volunteers Jesse and Tanya Lemieux, Eric Seider, Wade Tait, Dave Spicer have all put in time and work to help push the project along. The trees planted on the site have just survived one of the hottest summers on record and are still growing well. The lower areas of the site now have quite extensive vegetable gardens which are coming into their first winter production.Comments (8)
Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, People Systems, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 12, 2010
The team from Ecoescuela El Manzano in Chile have just sent through this fine video on progress there.
If you’re new to the site, or otherwise don’t know what this is about, you might find the ten-part article series that starts here of interest:Comments (2)