Here’s another awesome sustainable community under development.
“SPICE: WHAT IS IT?
A VISION—Creating an intentional community
Ø A small, planned community that encourages reduced consumption and materialism and emphasizes our role as caretakers of the natural environment;
Ø Respect for individual talents, interests, privacy, and needs, including the need for interaction with others;
Ø Use of natural, local materials for building homes that are inexpensive, aesthetically pleasing, comfortable, functional, built to precise specifications, situated in an integrated, flowing landscape, and use available, renewable resources for energy needs;
Ø Sustainability based on common agreement with clearly specified values and principles, contractual agreement, and community decisions made by consensus;
Ø Selection of participants based on written expression of interest and personal interviews, with attention to individual talents and resources—a community of choice, not of chance.
A METHOD—Building the village of the future
Ø Implementation of a proven building technique suited to tropical and sub-tropical climates and conditions (earthquakes, too!);
Ø Design and project management by registered, experienced, creative, local architects;
Ø Construction using sand and calc (lime) filled bags, melina, adobe, and iron;
Ø Beautiful, professional landscaping throughout;
Ø A green, low-footprint way of meeting human needs while living with respect for the earth and all its creatures;
Ø Appropriate for rural communities needing affordable, environmentally sound housing.
A PLAN—Sharing experience and knowledge
Ø Creation of an “open source network” to share plans and techniques;
Ø Houses built using re-usable molds and a standardized system;
Ø Free license for use of methodology to approved groups formed in accordance with and in agreement with pre-existing principles;
Ø Training and assistance with materials and logistics;
Ø A pilot project of two to six clustered houses spaced to respect individual needs for physical and emotional space and privacy while providing an opportunity for meaningful interaction and shared activity.
The world we inhabit and are irreversibly interconnected with is in deep trouble; every natural system on earth is in decline, some precipitously. We, as human beings, must choose to claim responsibility for the cumulative results of the choices that have brought us to this critical point in the history of our planet. It will take enormous effort and courage to move beyond our ordinary way of doing things; it will take each and every one of us, acting on choices that arise from our deepest inclinations to affirm life. What’s at the heart of our human existence is that there is an essential part of us that yearns — even clamors — to champion the breakthroughs necessary to restore and sustain life.
There is no area of life needing dramatic change more than the way we in the “developed” world go about housing ourselves — housing that is often toxic to both the planet and its inhabitants. In the United States, our buildings account for 40% of all material and energy use, 35% of greenhouse gas production, and 28% of municipal solid waste. Since the 1940s, floor space per person in new homes has nearly tripled. Our houses demonstrate many unhealthy habits: use of energy-consumptive, unhealthy, man-made materials; ecologically destructive misuse of natural materials; decades of mortgage loan debt, the payment of which requires excessive amounts of time and energy — energy needed for ourselves, our families, our communities; the family’s almost complete disconnection from the design/building process of their homeplace; and, overarching all, our seemingly insatiable need for way more than enough to meet our basic needs.
We constantly asked ourselves how we could best demonstrate and inspire a move from egocentric to ecocentric buildings. As champions of natural building, the transformative power of our work together resides in developing our ability to inform and inspire others — to build our technologies and workplaces into bridges of learning and demonstration for the legions of people.”
Source: Earthship Costa Rica