Ecological Living and all that goes into it. Here are some of my favorite Architectural Plans and ideas for rural sustainable living, off the grid. Surely, if I had it to do all over again, Architecture would have been added to my metier. It's never too late!
Feel free to comment or make suggestions.
If you would like to post your own notices here, or useful company info, send an email to CTodd1000 (at) gmail.com. Gracias!
By natural law, energy is neither created nor destroyed – it simply transforms from one medium into another. No matter where you are, it is always there for the taking. One might even say that it is so close, that most people are unable to see it! One should always use all the locally available energy first – tap all locally available resources first – before even thinking of bringing in energy from somewhere else. In that spirit, here is what Gaviotas has done recently:
For years, Gaviotas has been generating its electricity by means of a steam turbine running on wood culled from its forest. This year, the villagers have developed a novel fuel mix made of turpentine (distilled resin tapped from the pine trees in the forest) and plant oil (extracted from the fruit of the palm trees in the forest or from recycled cooking oil) that now runs all their diesel engines – electric generators, tractors, and soon trucks as well. All that was needed were stainless steel filters (developed in-house) to replace the regular paper oil filters in their engines. This new fuel mix doesn’t require any changes to the engines’ diesel fuel injection pumps.
Gaviotas features a community dining hall that is very popular with the villagers. Its kitchen makes about 200 meals a day. The massive cooking stoves have now been equipped with internal piping through which water is heated to near boiling and is then circulated without a pump, simply via natural convection (thermosiphon). This new heat exchange system replaces the 30 solar collectors that used to sit on the roof of the dining hall. The old collectors (also thermosiphon with no moving parts) are still in top shape, so they will simply get a new paint job and be sold for $1,000 a piece!
Biodiversity in the Gaviotas forest continues to increase. The villagers have planted a mix of pine and palm, and now fruit trees, and nature is adding the rest: hundreds of native plant and animal species are emerging that had not been seen on these arid plains in ages.
This review is from: Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World (Paperback)
In 1998, journalist Alan Weisman collected and presented information about a little known, yet quite monumental, village known as Gaviotas. To get there, one must travel 16 hours by car from the nearest major Columbian city, Bogotá. Even then the path there is not a smooth one; rough, muddy roads and severe political unrest serve as some major barriers in getting to Gaviotas. So why then is such an arduous trip worth it; in essence, Gaviotas is yet another tiny village located in a generally uninhabitable region and possesses none of the modern modes of transportation or communication that we are accustomed to. While in a sense these aspects may be true of Gaviotas, it is also undeniable that this community holds as one of the most efficient, supportive, and thoughtful communities on the planet.
Started in 1971 by a group of Bogotá scientists, Gaviotas originally was created as a sort of scientific experiment, a reaction to the way things were - which clearly wasn't working. A Gaviotas saying goes "the real maturity in life is to realize your dreams" and the founders of Gaviotas did just that when they decided to create their own society. The harsh life and extreme poverty that had been rampant in developing urban areas paired with the blatant depletion of natural resources was enough to spark the idea that maybe there should be a change. Yet instead of trying to make changes in the system already in place, this group of determined individuals took on the radical notion of creating an entirely new, segregated, yet completely self-sufficient, place to live. And that is just what happened.
My comment on this excellent review: makes me not only want to read the book but live it!
Another interesting excerpt from an Amazon review:
Alan Weisman, a journalist hired by NPR to investigate solutions for environmental crises, spent years collecting information in a tiny, remote village at the eastern edge of the war-torn country of Colombia. That village was Gaviotas; this book is his result."