Eco Friendly Shelters: Earth Lodge 2.0 — 9 Comments

  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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