Community One Earthbag Pods

Community One Earthbag Pod plans have been completed. (click to enlarge)
Community One Earthbag Pod plans have been completed. (click to enlarge)

Newest Pod One plans (click to enlarge)
Newest Pod One plans (click to enlarge)

Pod One cost estimate (click to enlarge)
Pod One cost estimate (click to enlarge)

“Pod one is designed to consist of thirty-two 200 square foot semi-subterranean “dry pod” earthbag hotel room styled cabanas placed in a circle with thirty-two separate 200 square foot “wet pod” bathrooms forming a second inner-circle. Like a hotel, the dry pods will consist of a bed, a closet, and a small sitting area and desk. The wet pods will be a solar heated passive shower, sink, passive toilet, and walk-in closet/storage. Additional storage will be available between the two Pods with a small patio and additional sitting area.

These bungalow style buildings connect with walkways into a central semi-subterranean 40′ diameter Tropical Dome/Meditation Center housing starfruit, kiwi, mango, banana and other tropical fruit plants and trees. This dome is sunk 11 feet into the ground with North and South ground-level doorways opening onto a 7-foot ground-level walkway that travels the circumference of the dome and looks down upon a platform (9 feet off the ground – 2 feet lower than the walkway) where an “instructor in the trees” will lead yoga, mediation, or other classes from just above the treetops.

Why we chose this size and earthbag design:
The 200 square foot size, and elimination of hard plumbing (no septic tank; rather composting toilets, recycling of all water) allows us (and people in most US counties) to classify these structures as agricultural buildings that we can start building week one without the permits we will be immediately applying for to build Pod 2. We will still be working with the county on this Pod with a full disclosure of what we are creating and why but THEIR hands won’t be tied by existing regulations and rules so we can all move forward faster.

We chose earthbag construction and this design as our first pod because they can be built for under $500 for each structure, are easy to construct with very little training or experience, and will be easier than ever to duplicate anywhere in the world as we achieve our open source goals.

● Earthbag construction
● Solar showers provide passive hot water
● Reuse of all water for the Tropical Dome
● No hard plumbing – composting of all toilet waste
● Should be completed in less than six months so we can start on Pod 2
● Central Tropical Dome doubles as meditation and class space with the “teacher in the trees” feature
● The most minimalist and easy design of any pod demonstrating a model that will be able to be duplicated and produce a home that can be built anywhere in the world for under $1,500”

More details at the source: Community One
Previous blog post on Community One

12 thoughts on “Community One Earthbag Pods”

  1. Call me a skeptic, but it sounds like a scam to me. They want buy ins and donations to raise 6.5 MILLION to buy land for an ecovillage where the houses will be uber cheap. ?? My goal has been to find land that is cheap (but not desert) so I won’t be in debt forever and don’t have to ask anyone’s help buying it before starting a village. 6.5 mil is insane. I wouldn’t donate, that’s for sure.

    • It’s good to be wary of any land development plans. Many fail, even those with good intentions. How long will it take to raise 6.5 million? 10-20 years? What do you do in the meantime?

      My general advice in previous blogs is to search for places with like-minded people. Spend lots of time on research, then go visit the most promising places. Take your time thinking things over. You don’t necessarily have to buy into the community directly. You could buy land nearby.

    • Laura: I’m the Executive Director of this project. We’re a non-profit and there are no “buy ins” – we are seeking donations or large-scale investment. The 6.5 million figure is for sufficient infrastructure to make us sustainable indefinitely – open sourcing the complete process and providing open source tools, tutorials, blueprints, and resources that will stimulate the entire earthbag construction industry.

      The next step for us is running a crowdfunding campaign that will help us spread the word more and further support our open source creative process that is producing resources like this:

      Here’s the most up to date village plans too: The ones above are from 3 years ago.

  2. I like the approach of utilizing existing codes (for phase 1) and simultaneously working to change or get a variance for phase 2. I would think that using scoria instead of earth would make this model applicable for most climates, assuming the pipes are buried deep enough and/or insulated?


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