Eco Friendly Shelters: Earth Lodge 2.0

Today’s post is from Eco Friendly Shelters, builders of earthbag shelters. I love the look and the concept.

Earth Lodge 2.0 by Eco Friendly Shelters
Earth Lodge 2.0 by Eco Friendly Shelters

This project is a response to ever-increasing housing costs and regulations that prohibit ordinary Americans from being prepared for any disaster or emergency. The absence of a permanent foundation truly attracted us in a first place. All we have learned on this journey we are ready to share with you!

We designed this shelter with cost-efficient strategies, utilization of locally-produced tools and materials. Eco friendly approach has paid off with significant reduction in costs compared to a conventional construction. Earth Lodge 2.0 Emergency Shelter is designed and implemented as a self-sustaining project that has been complemented with concepts of permaculture and forest gardening. Over 300 trees and shrubs have been planted year-to-date.

Earth Lodge 2.0 Shelter Project goals and objectives:
– Earthbag Design – soil used for sandbags from the excavation of the site
– Made in America – focus on all products and materials that are made local to be used in this project
– Salvaged wood – logs salvaged from the property and roofing boards obtained were cut from salvaged logs from forest fires
– Rainwater collection – the Lodge has been designed with rainwater catchment in mind. It will be collected in centralized location and filtered through biosand filter
– Gray water – a discharge (not recycling) system capable of handling a large number of people
– Composting toilet – a must in this environment. The composting is healthy and responsible.
– Solar and Wind energy – to utilize off-grid set-up with solar system and wind generator as a back-up power source.
– Reciprocal roofs – we would never skip a chance to build another strong reciprocal roofs that are fun to build and tough to break
– Green roofs – a must in this project as with combination with sprinkling system will protect from blazing sun and cold winter wind
– Tubular skylights – natural light in all spaces.

Earth Lodge 2.0 video

9 thoughts on “Eco Friendly Shelters: Earth Lodge 2.0”

  1. I agree that while solving our local problems we should be careful with utilizing resources that come from elsewhere.

    Example – logs being hauled from East Coast to Evergreen State is NOT a good idea and that is precisely what we observed happening with local “builders” purchasing kiln-dried log packages from Georgia. Local Native American mills are out of business because there is no demand, as they stated. And when we mentioned the local Native American mill to one of the builders, he has admitted that he simply never gave it a thought. And the most interesting we found that the mill was able to offer similar packages for the same price.

    Another example is on a “global scale” – Chinese manufacturers that sell solar packages (1.5 KW) for off-grid set-ups. We were approached by one of them to try their set-ups for twice less the cost compared to American-made and supplier companies. Despite of it, we chose to work with a company in MO that builds them and sells directly to the public. Although the cost was quite significant, we know who we work with in case of support, warranty.

    For instance we did utilize lumber for this project and we bothered to purchase it from a local mill that harvested these resources from fire-damaged trees from a local forest.

    Utilization of local resources while keeping local jobs in communities are the key. Well here you go and hopefully this turns into a positive discussion and sharing of eco ideas :)!

  2. I agree with you, Owen. When a forest fire in the vicinity of our project burnt more than 30 log and stick-built homes and cabins, owners quickly realized that insurance companies either paid 50 cents on a dollar or didn’t cover the fire due to “Natural disaster clause.”

    The point is – only a few of them actually did rebuild their homes due to high expense of such construction types (most of them had to finance it – DEBT). Local communities helped the victims with as much as they could, but it was not enough.

    Now we are receiving calls from folks who are interested in our prototype as they saw it driving by. They were SHOCKED to learn that the cost of materials was less than $5,000 for this 1,200 sq. feet shelter.

    We made sure that ALL the products for our shelter are made in America and we are PROUD to support local communities and businesses. :)

  3. i like your concept have you looked at inflatabe tech for refugees in a crises conflict or use of wind power to build shelters without external power or possibly portable batteries which have become much more practicle .i am thinking of temp shelter quick and practicle for humans in crises not long term or sustainable .any ideas ? bubba chill

    • The market is awash in various types of portable emergency shelters — tents, inflatable, ready to assemble kits, and so on. These solutions are typically made in wealthy countries and then shipped to emergency sites. This approach transfers funds away from the communities who need the money most to other countries.

      My efforts have always been on low tech, low cost solutions using local materials as much as possible. Try to keep the money in the affected communities. Try to create jobs. Empower locals as much as possible in the design and construction of the structures.

  4. Dear Kelly and Owen,

    Thank You for taking a moment to bring more light to our project! The completion goal is set for May 2011 with all interior pictures/virtual tour available for review.

    We will make sure to share all the information as it is our goal to educate people that such emergency shelter projects are cost-effective (less than 5k for materials), time-efficient (4 weeks to complete the shell), and eco-friendly (local and from the site materials). We support “Made in American” manufacturers and suppliers for wind, greywater, composting, rainwater collection systems.

    We will make sure to update you on our progress!

    Love and Peace,

    Eco Friendly Shelters Team.


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