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glorfon

CAD

I've been doing some computer aided drafts of how I envision the housing/underground facilities.  Here's what I came up with.




I have so more pictures I'm just having trouble uploading them now.
Zeerahks

I like it!  One question would be the dimensions of this thing.  Also, what are the different parts used for?  I would assume that the central area is simply a large meeting place, possibly a dining hall as well?

Are you thinking, for the sides of the H, multi-levels or one big open area?  What'll be in there?  Personal rooms on one or both sides, storage areas, bathrooms, etc...

Speaking of bathrooms....
glorfon

Yeah, I realized after I posted this I probably should have explained things better.

On the top floor of each side of the H are 5 houses (so 10 in total) each of these houses is 10 feet by 15 feet which I think is sufficient space for two people in each.
The bottom floor of sides of the H as well as the central area are just areas for whatever we need.  Class rooms, additional housing for guests, etc.

Feel free to ask any other questions about it.

I realize now though that I forgot to put an entrance to the bottom floor side rooms so I'll add those and post new picture tomorrow.
Zeerahks

10 x 15 is definitely not enough, especially for two people.  Maybe one person, but not two.  Do we want this to be like college dorms, or like an actual housing area?  I would guess that the best idea would be to have individual rooms that could house two people, if needed.

Also, that would remove any hassle about roommates and all that.
glorfon

Well, it's not suppose to complete houses there wouldn't be kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms.  Basically with all of the commons area I figured the rooms would only need to be big enough for beds, closets, and a bathtub.  My bedroom is 12x8 and I think I could live comfortably in there with another person.
Zeerahks

12x8?  Really?  That seems small.  Even college dorms (where I'm going, at least) are at or over 10x15.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there are some people who would prefer a single room (myself included).  It offers an aspect of privacy that I think will be essential to living in a community environment.  

Also, I think that community showers, divided by sexes of course, would be a better way to go, along with one or two individual showers for people who aren't comfortable with group showers.  That frees up space in the rooms.  Which should, by the way, have a sink.
glorfon

Well, technically every one can have their own 10X15 foot room now that I think about it, provided we don't need the bottom floor side rooms.  And if people pair up (which I suspect some people will) then that'll free up some of the bottom floor side rooms.

With what you said about the sinks and showers you're running on the assumption we'll have running water.  I'm not sure how we'd do that.
UnMeilleurReve

I don't have anything to draw with or scan with, but I can type, so here goes.

First off, we might want to keep the housing areas in a singular location. 10x15 would be bigger than any room I've had in my life, so I have no objections to that. We could make 10-15 bedroom sized rooms, that way if each person wants their own room, they can have it, and we can also house guests, students, or other people. Unused rooms can also be converted into studies, storage, or whatever we need.

Since we're thinking about berming our houses, these could be the aboveground but covered buildings. The facility is something else entirely. Would it be feasible to have it multistory so that we could have the massive, atrium-lit common area on top and rooms designed for specific purposes underneath? Also, I am understanding the blue glass in the center of the room to be the atrium for light correctly, yes? If so, it looks amazing and the design is brilliant, but we're going to want to look into supports. Possibly triangle beams?

In regards to kitchen, we could have a large central kitchen.

By the way, it isn't hard to get gas and water and power connected to a building or property in the middle of a rural community: the infrastructure is already there.
glorfon

About the multi story complex.  It might be possible but I don't know.  It depends on where the water table is and I suspect it's pretty high.  With what you said about getting power and water connected your forgetting one thing, money.
Zeerahks

Not necessarily.  We could, eventually, dig our own wells (which actually might be the eventual goal).  It'd take a lot, not just moneywise, but it would be better than running on a water company.

As for power, weren't we thinking of generating our own?

All of these ideas have a large startup cost, but they are fairly minimal to maintain, and will eventually be cheaper than paying monthly services.
UnMeilleurReve

Digging a well and lining it is cheaper than you might think. I keep thinking when we talk about this: they could do it in the medieval era. If they could, we can.

And yes, generating our own power is ideal. However, I think it would be infinitely more cost-efficient to depend on natural gas lines for heating.

Also, we're going to have to weather the elements somehow. Wood costs more than gas and emits more fumes and carcinogens. If we can find a suitable and cheap alternative to natural gas, we should go with it, but I'm thinking it unlikely.
glorfon

Corn cobs, passive solar energy, and underground living
vov35

as for the size: I figured that our rooms are just room to sleep or relax. everything else you go outside for.
glorfon

vov35 wrote:
as for the size: I figured that our rooms are just room to sleep or relax. everything else you go outside for.


Exactly!
UnMeilleurReve

You guys are determined to ruin my pale by making me all tan. I see how it is Razz

So long as I have some space for a workbench, art supplies, a typewriter, books, tools, and decorations, I'm fine. I think I've been in an 9'6"x9'6" closet single with a horrible, cramped layout (stationary desk, closet right next to the door, shelving in front of the window....) for several months now. I would kill for something more to the tune of 11'x11' with a window that is totally empty (so I can put my own shit in it).

Did I mention I'm also looking into learning how to tailor and carpenter? Maybe I should try my hand at an armoire!
vov35

I really want access to some sort of power supply in my room though. I want to be able to use a laptop or something. A 12vdc system throughout our compound may work well.
Zeerahks

Vov, that's one hell of a wiring job.  You might end up having to have your own generator (as in, we might [read: probably] not end up wiring the whole thing).
vov35

is it really that hard to wire up twelve (or so) outlets?
and now that i think about it: we should use the standard 120vac because hardware stores sell craploads of supplies for it, which could be wired quite easily.
glorfon

I finally got around to adding doors and a way to get into the lower side rooms.  And say hello to our friend 6' tall scale reference silhouette.  However of course, this whole this is kind of irrelevant now that I've realized we can sustain more people and have more space to sprawl out.

Any way here it is.







Top and front cross sections





Top floor side room



Bottom floor side room



Stairwell



And the atrium

Selkie

vov35 wrote:
as for the size: I figured that our rooms are just room to sleep or relax. everything else you go outside for.


Agreed. We should make community rooms bigger and individual rooms smaller.
glorfon

Since my plan is now obsolete.  I can CADify any of your ideas.  If any one has designs, all I need is a sketch or a thorough discription.  Heck it doesn't even have to be a good idea It's just fun to make these models.
Zeerahks

You know, I'm kinda moving away from the "big-underground complex" idea.  It seems that, while it might be a good idea eventually, in the beginning it's probably too big of a project for us.  I mean, we would have to dig out the entire space and then put in the building, and then cover it with left-over dirt.

Why don't we go a different route?  Have separate "houses" which are one room only, bermed, and then have a larger community building.  It seems to me that having one large complex will increase  tendency to not go outside, when being outside as much as possible is a major goal (for me, at least).

Later on, when we are more established and have a secure base to fall back on, then we can try to build an underground complex.
Selkie

Zeerahks wrote:
You know, I'm kinda moving away from the "big-underground complex" idea.  It seems that, while it might be a good idea eventually, in the beginning it's probably too big of a project for us.  I mean, we would have to dig out the entire space and then put in the building, and then cover it with left-over dirt.

Why don't we go a different route?  Have separate "houses" which are one room only, bermed, and then have a larger community building.  It seems to me that having one large complex will increase  tendency to not go outside, when being outside as much as possible is a major goal (for me, at least).

Later on, when we are more established and have a secure base to fall back on, then we can try to build an underground complex.


I agree with that! I'm not sure we even need a community building, we could just have a place to gather outside, maybe with some things up in case of rain.
Zeerahks

Agreed.  To me, it seems that we are trying to be as "au natural" as possible.  Large underground complexes are pretty cool, but don't really fit the bill.
Selkie

Maybe a large circle of bermed houses, the center of which can be the community area and maybe we can put down bricks or something, or set up what we need for community stuff. I'm guessing we're going to have communal showers and bathrooms? As long as there's privacy and no gender separation I think those would work great, we could put them maybe outside the circle or something. The circle of houses would make it easier to defend, and we could put a bit of a wall around them or something to make it a semi-secluded spot, it would be harder to sneak in and what not. There could be two exits out of the circle, one to the main entrance (ie where people would come in from outside the commune) and one to the rest of the commune...or something like that. Thoughts?
glorfon

Yeah, I think it would be best to just start with houses but extra buildings would be nice to build later.  Extra housing, storage, that kind of stuff.   Here's my idea for the houses.  10 feet by 15 feet 2 floors tall set six feet into the ground.
Zeerahks

Having a second floor adds and order of magnitude of difficulty.  Besides, do we really need a second floor?  I know personally I would be happy with a one room, one floor, bermed "house".

Maybe instead of a second floor we can make the "houses" a bit larger?  Expanding horizontally is significantly easier than expanding vertically.  Besides, it's not as if we're pressed for space.  Also, these will need to be able to house two people (separate housing for families?), and I don't think 10'x15' is enough.
glorfon

20x40 plus an attic built into the roof?
Selkie

I don't really see why. Aren't these "houses" just rooms?

Any input on the circular idea? Razz
glorfon

I like it.  We could make it really pretty.  We could plant a maple tree in the center and make some nice cobble stone paths.  Sigh, beautiful
Zeerahks

I'm thinking a U shape.  That way, we can add more if need be, without having to add another circle (which, if you only have one person, could generate bad feelings).

20x40 would be good
UnMeilleurReve

Provided we would want to allow more members and approach our capacity, I think we should still seriously consider vertical building. I've seen too much urban sprawl and I realize the inefficiency of expanding horizontally when vertical expansion is feasible.

Here's what I'm thinking.

Four 3-level houses, 20x40xZ (z=height), either first story, basement, attic, or first, second, basement, and attic (not included in 3-level, so would we call it 4 level?). It would keep us relatively together and have enough room for living. With that much space, we could have more room for gardens, paths, herb gardens, food, maybe even a pond?

Face the four houses in one of 2 ways: either facing each other toward the center with ample room in the middle for community activity, or in a semi-circle in whatever direction would let in the most light.

Anticipating snow, we would want high-sloped roofs.

If we chose to, we could tunnel between the houses (which shouldn't be too hard, just a lot of work) so we have a route to each other in case of emergency. We could also adapt the tunnels into an underground area for clandestine purposes and structure it like a mine (provided the water table isn't too high, but I'm sure it'd still be possible).


Regardless of what we plan to do, I would still like to have a facility that could act as headquarters, community indoor area (because, I'm sorry, I'm used to 116 degrees and no humidity: when the temperature drops below 70 or the humidity above 25, I'm not gonna want to be outside unless work needs to be done!), meeting place, etc. Weather is often not our friend and I don't want to be cooped up in a house away from everybody!

Do we want to be anarchist/activist/direct action/politically active outside of the commune and surrounding area?
glorfon

I like the semi circle idea more because if we have a circle then half the houses can't make use of passive solar energy.

I don't know about 3 story buildings but the simples way I could see to make a two stoy building was to make a big concrete box WxLx16 and the build the second floor as a free standing structure with in the box.   Like a deck.  But it would be built from inside and fit the space exactly so that it wouldn't be able to sway.  I'm gonna toss some bits of all the ideas together and come up with some more models.  I'll say I'll have them done by tomorrow but don't count on it.
UnMeilleurReve

For cheap and easy, and early beginnings, they've been using those metal cargo crates to make houses. You can stack them on or next to each other, cover the walls on the inside, insulate the outside, and cut holes in them to make them multistory, connected, etc.


And multiple stories is not too hard so long as you take into consideration support frames. The outer walls and some beams usually provide enough support.
Selkie

I think multi story buildings would be too hard for us to do, and take a lot more work early on. And I'd prefer living closer to the earth and eachother, living in "apartment" style houses makes it feel more urban and less communal, and is also more dangerous because we really aren't professional builders, it'd take more money to have it done professionally. Plus the low to earth, bermed houses look like hobbit houses, and thats like +200 points right there Very Happy

The U idea works, though it presents a problem...if the opening of the U is the entrance into our little communal area, everytime we build a new one, the new person will be pretty far away from the middle, and those on the end will be less close to the center...also, it'll be hard for us to keep a static, defendable opening if we have to keep expanding it. Instead maybe we can make the circle really large, and have plenty of space in between, and if someone new needs a house, we can maybe dig an underground one so it doesn't get in the way, and is still inside the circle. We should have plenty of space for housing and I don't think too many new people will be joining us, we should be staying around the same number. We can also make a lot of extra ones and use them for storage if they aren't being used. A big circle makes it feel a lot more communal and safe.
UnMeilleurReve

We could do multiple circles, as well. It's just as defensable (with slightly altered tactics) and would make the center the de facto communal area.

Also, what's to say we don't allow people to dig down and alter their own homes? Each home can be modified as each person desires. If we want to make 2 stories and dig deeper, getting posts, putting in beams, setting down flooring, etc., can be done by the occupant and with support of the community.

Didn't we already discuss that idea before?
Selkie

That's fine if people want to alter it. I think we should have a basic setup, though. Did we?
glorfon

How about if we start with a half circle of 10 houses.   Then If we need more houses we can start a second large half circle around the first one.
UnMeilleurReve

We should probably go for something east-facing. If I remember correctly, that's where the best lighting comes in. Also, do we want to go with glass windows or a stronger alternative? (Lexan, etc.?)
Selkie

Glass could be problematic. It can shatter easily, which is a problem if someone wants to be a jerk. I guess the stronger alternative would be best, though if these rooms are going to be partially underground, do they need/can they even have windows? Maybe instead a sort of sunroof/skylight with that alternative to glass?
UnMeilleurReve

Skylights might be nice. Smile

Also, bathing areas and restrooms? Sinks? Mirrors? Vanity?

Oohhhh... How about freestanding roman bathtubs (the kind with feet) and water-basin integrated vanities? Heat up water and throw it in a tub. Smile
Selkie

I thought the bermed houses were just basically going to be a place to sleep and have some privacy?

We could have all that be communal, with privacy optional...like curtains to pull around, if they're up someone wants privacy, if they aren't...well, they dont XD

As for baths, those roman bathtubs  could be a bit expensive and personally I find them really annoying. What could be better is building baths into the floor, so they cant top over or break, get in the way, they can be shared, they can be cheaper...we can put the curtains all the way around them (kind of like how they do around hospital beds) and have, like, 5 in the communal bathrooms.

That heat up water thing does work...means we wouldn't have to worry about pipes, which now that I think about it could be great.

Another option is just having easy to carry large, plastic or metal tubs. We could do the heating up water idea you have, and people could bathe wherever they like...bathrooms, private rooms, outside, in a tree...XD We should use water that has already been used to cook or clean things if possible, then after we bathe in the water use it to water plants maybe? I'm guessing water has already been debated endlessly though.
UnMeilleurReve

We haven't talked water all that much.

And what you're talking about, Selkie, are greek baths. Smile
Selkie

Roman > Greek then! Razz

You mean the baths that are in the floor? I'm starting to think portable basins are better, more useful and more personal choice, plus your idea for heating the water would work for it and it would be a lot easier to implement.
Zeerahks

OK...lots of ideas floating around!

Personally, I am opposed to having showers/baths inside the houses.  Toilets yes, baths no.  I support communal versions with the option of curtains for private parties. Very Happy

BTW Selkie, what you're talking about is essentially a greywater plumbing system: used water from sinks and showers goes to the toilet.  We could also have an extra drain we could put excess water down.

Another thing we have to think about is plumbing.  Do we want a central plumbing system?  How are we going to dispose of our waste?  Septic tanks, etc?

As for water heating, what about having large tanks on the roofs that are solar heated?  Might not work as well during winter, but a cold shower never hurt anyone.

As for the glass/lexan issue, lexan is stronger, but much much more expensive.  Regular plexiglass is stronger than glass and much cheaper than lexan.  Of course, the question is whether or not we want to use it in the base domicile.

Which brings me to another topic.  Personally, I think we should have what amounts to an assembly line for the base housing units.  Bermed houses, east facing windows (plexi/glass/lexan/etc), (non)solar tank on top for toilet/sink water.  No features built into the building.  Basically, build a hollow shell (insulation etc; wood-paneling, wallpaper, paint?), and provide a basic bed, a toilet, and a sink.  Anything after that is up to the new occupant.
Selkie

Zeerahks wrote:
OK...lots of ideas floating around!

Personally, I am opposed to having showers/baths inside the houses.  Toilets yes, baths no.  I support communal versions with the option of curtains for private parties. Very Happy

BTW Selkie, what you're talking about is essentially a greywater plumbing system: used water from sinks and showers goes to the toilet.  We could also have an extra drain we could put excess water down.

Another thing we have to think about is plumbing.  Do we want a central plumbing system?  How are we going to dispose of our waste?  Septic tanks, etc?

As for water heating, what about having large tanks on the roofs that are solar heated?  Might not work as well during winter, but a cold shower never hurt anyone.

As for the glass/lexan issue, lexan is stronger, but much much more expensive.  Regular plexiglass is stronger than glass and much cheaper than lexan.  Of course, the question is whether or not we want to use it in the base domicile.

Which brings me to another topic.  Personally, I think we should have what amounts to an assembly line for the base housing units.  Bermed houses, east facing windows (plexi/glass/lexan/etc), (non)solar tank on top for toilet/sink water.  No features built into the building.  Basically, build a hollow shell (insulation etc; wood-paneling, wallpaper, paint?), and provide a basic bed, a toilet, and a sink.  Anything after that is up to the new occupant.


100% Agreement! Too much focus on adding niceties to each individual houses, at least when we start out, will waste our time. I think we should avoid plumbing unless absolutely necessary, it may be better to just have some sort of water storage, pipe it in simple ways to a few spots, and for the rest just carry around buckets. Piping is hard to do and can be very problematic. Instead of drains per say, why not just like, in the bathing areas, have sort of ...well maybe these are drains of a sort...I'm not sure what they're called, but basically like, little "rivers" or lines in the ground where water can flow out...so if we put the bathing area on higher elevation, all of the water will drain out and maybe can help with irrigation, or something.

Actually, make that 99.9% agreement. Toilets in our rooms...? Hum. If they're going to basically just be little rooms, toilets could be annoying to deal with in each and every one of them. We'd need a separate room, which would make every bermed house 2 rooms instead of one, plus require a vast piping system, plus if we add new ones we have to redo a lot...I think we should keep toilets communal too, just with more privacy, that way its easier.
UnMeilleurReve

Okay, I'm in agreement. Expansion/elaboration can be done after we've gotten settled in.

I thought we were going to do compost toilets? I think we should keep the toilet area separate from the bath area.

I also think greywater is a great idea, as well as solar heated water. In the winter, we can have a stockpile of wood and a wood-boiler of some sort, right?

Also, we need to worry about heating and cooling. Fireplaces built into the houses, maybe? Heat one can suffer through with water alone: cold will kill unless you keep heated.

Also, we should probably go with brick rather than wood, drywall, and wallpaper. Less issues of upkeep, more durable, and less of a fire hazard.

Plexiglass as opposed to lexan is okay by me. I'm worried a bit about the plastic warping or yellowing, but otherwise it should be fine.

Now I just got to remember we'll take care of the fine details ourselves!
Zeerahks

Because we're building bermed, a fireplace should be adequate (even more so because it's just one room.  The only problem I can foresee is running out of firewood, which could possible be remedied by having a tree nursery on our land (which shouldn't be a problem, given that we seem to have extra land).  It won't benefit right away, but should help.

Also, for every tree we cut down (for building, etc) I'd like to see us plant another somewhere.  Just a personal thing, and because everyone benefits from trees.
glorfon

Fireplaces are a good idea not just for heat but also for cooking.
Selkie

I agree, a little woodburner would be great. We should make sure it doesn't, like, jut into the room or anything, it should be built into the wall like most fireplaces, so no one trips on it.
glorfon

So, how much do we have to break this up to make some decisions.  I'm going to wait to make a model until we have a few things set in stone.   I think the big topics are.

Floor space. (total of all floors)
Number of floors
Fire place (yes or no)
Configuration of houses (shape they'll be in)
Window material.

Are there any other topics we should clarify?

Here's what I think
800 square feet per house. (that would be like 20 feet by 40 feet but not necessarily in that shape)
2 floors
yes to fireplaces
Concentric half circle
And I'm unsure about window materials
Selkie

Floor space. (total of all floors)- as small as possible
Number of floors - Just 1, would be too hard to do multistory and more dangeruos
Fire place (yes or no) - maybe
Configuration of houses (shape they'll be in) - Big circle with openings and enough room inside the circle for community events and new housing, with some sort of wall or block outside the circle
Window material. -None if we can help it, but lexiglass would be cheap and strong enough?
vov35

one: you underestimate the volume of a human sized bathtub. it would suck having to carry that many gallons of water. on that note, a shower consumes less water.
two: Why are we saying that piping is difficult? It didn't seem to hard working with pvc.
three: why don't we do mainly underground with like one story above ground?
Selkie

vov35 wrote:
one: you underestimate the volume of a human sized bathtub. it would suck having to carry that many gallons of water. on that note, a shower consumes less water.
two: Why are we saying that piping is difficult? It didn't seem to hard working with pvc.
three: why don't we do mainly underground with like one story above ground?


You wouldn't need to carry around the bucket, just take it where you want /then/ fill it with smaller buckets. Showers may be a better idea though, yea.

Well, pipes require knowledge of how they work, a lot of extra digging, plus if they leak or break we're in deep shit. If we have pipes near the bermed houses, and they leak or something, it could seriously destroy the houses.
UnMeilleurReve

Agreed about the water damage.

And we'd have the water-heating resources very, very close to the bath area.

Also, if we go for the grecian bathing house style bath, we'd be solving a lot of problems: the boiler would be on the other side of the wall and getting water into the bath would be done by a hole in the wall attached to the pipes attached to the boiler (or we could do it more like a metal barrel with a spigot and fire under it).
UnMeilleurReve

Floor space: 20x40 sounds good, 30x30 would work but feel more cramped. That would be a lot of space in my mind, too! Perhaps we should go for movable partitions rather than full walls, as well, so that each space can be adapted as needed.

Number of floors: 2. I really think that 2 floors shouldn't be hard, especially if we start under the dirt and dig down. Little to no structural integrity should be lost if the second floor is about 5 feet smaller on each side than the first.

Fireplace: yes, and integrating it into the wall would be nice, but we'd lose the residual heat from the sides of the fireplace.

Configuration: rectangular would make everything much easier to manage, so I say rectangular. We should have them arranged in a half-circle. The spaces between houses could be made into closets!

Window material: glass would be cheap but harder to work with and shape, however you *can* get premade windows of glass, so I guess we can go for that. Plexiglass only if we want to make our own windows.
vov35

just how hard is glass to work with? doesn't it melt at about 600 kelvin?
thats like your average wood burning fire i think...
glorfon

I don't see why we would need to melt glass.  At most we might need to cut the glass which is really easy. You just score it along a straight edge and break it.
vov35

so its even easier then i thought?
I thought you could just melt it into a mold...
glorfon

you "could" do that but there's no reason to.
Berior

Do you have any idea how hot you need to make the glass to melt it ? It's not aseasy as it sound. Cutting it is way easier
vov35

I've melted glass with a wood fire, it can't be that hot.
Selkie

Why bother though? We can just use that middle option, the one that is stronger and a little more expensive. At the very least, let's not make our own glass...we're not experts and any weaknesses we create can mean trouble later. It's safer and easier just to buy it.
vov35

seriously though, how do you cut glass?
glorfon

Put a metal straight edge along where you want to cut.  Scratch a line with a razor maybe do repeat this once or twice to make the scratch some what deep.  Snap the glass.  It will break right along the weak point that you made.
UnMeilleurReve

You can also get a glass-cutting attachment on a dremel or a table saw made for cutting glass, but those use electricity: why would we do that when I have over 75 razorblades right here on my desk?
vov35

and you have an assload of rasorblades on your desk because?
glorfon

Lereveur this thread isn't actually about CAD it's an intervention.
UnMeilleurReve

lmao. I do stencil art. Some of my stencils have 1-2 millimeter wide lines (like my lotus Very Happy) and you have to have a fresh blade during the entire thing: if the tip breaks off, you've gotta change blades.

When I found out I had that many, it felt like an emo christmas in july... <3

So, I've been thinking: how hard would it be for us to make the hobbit houses 16 feet deep and 20 feet by 40 feet, then when we have the supplies and resources, make a second floor from inside the already constructed house? Wouldn't pre-preparation for a second floor in this manner solve a shit-ton of our problems, including expansion? Then the only logistical architectural modification we'd need is a doorway that is a large tunnel itself (so we can get things in without too much trouble).

I'm also really liking the concept of rigging up a non-obtrusive way to make rearrangeable walls. We could have the guides on the floor and ceiling (or if you do it right, just the floor) and we can make rooms, foyers, or convention halls as needed.
vov35

LeReveur wrote:
(or if you do it right, just the floor)


or just the cieling...
Selkie

LeReveur wrote:
I'm also really liking the concept of rigging up a non-obtrusive way to make rearrangeable walls. We could have the guides on the floor and ceiling (or if you do it right, just the floor) and we can make rooms, foyers, or convention halls as needed.


That doesn't seem like much privacy if that's where we'll be sleeping and stuff Sad
UnMeilleurReve

It's only not much privacy if you move the walls where somebody is sleeping, which would be outright rude, lol.

Only worry I really have is soundproofing.
Selkie

Yea, the sound issue is what I was thinking of Razz
UnMeilleurReve

See, sound is the issue where I simply become a horrible person. I can literally sleep through anything, and I think that audible displays of... well, a lot of things, are sweet and romantic, so they don't bother me. I am, however, an old-fashioned sort, so I usually go somewhere inaudible for the sake of those around me.

How *does* one get soundproof walls, anywho? Even cinder block has failed me (probably the fault of doors, but w/e). If we can't manage some sort of soundproofing, it might be best if we accepted those around us as human beings with desire, emotions, and vocal cords and suck up our probably very misplaced pride on some issues. Sound I think can be suffered, but spying or visual intrusion is a no-no.

Then again...

Maybe we should have a separate building for lovers?
Selkie

XD

This sure is turning interesting.

I'm fine with whatever we decide, but smaller rooms may be easier and safer to build (if we build a giant underground room support becomes an issue, I dont want to get squished!) and more private.
vov35

i can sleep with death metal running at about 750 watts from my speaker system... it was supposed to wake me up...
Laughing

as for sound insulation, you need some sort of foam. something that resembles cheap camping mats has very good sound damping.
UnMeilleurReve

Selkie: I think you're over and underestimating things at the same time. If we only have like 3 ft. of dirt on top of the house, and build the house without the dirt, then put the dirt over the house, things become happy and shiny!

However, I'm likin' the foam camping mats. That's something totally feasible. It'd probably also help with insulation and we wouldn't need to use fiber glass, etc.

If we do 20 by 40 by X houses and we don't do movable walls, what are the best ways to do the room distribution do you think? Each house needs a common area and bedrooms, seeing as how our bath, toilet, and cooking facilities will be outside of the houses themselves.
glorfon

I now have a plan for a house that makes use of passive solar heating and cooling.  Has 450 square feet plus storage in the roof.  It has a fire place, two floors, and looks pretty cool too.

So continue discussion if you want but I'm going to start modeling my idea prompty

...after I return from my 4 day trip to south eastern Minnesota.  Toodleloo
Zeerahks

Speaking of trips, I apologise for not telling anybody that I would be gone for a week on a canoeing trip.  I'm back now. Very Happy
Selkie

What about the general layout of the houses though? Circle? U? Square? Should we vote?
vov35

why not, so we can finish with the issue. anyone oppose a 1 week vote?
Zeerahks

I'd like to again recommend that we have a layout that can be added to, such as a U shape.  With an O, you run the risk of having to start a new circle when you get more people than the original O can support.
Selkie

With a U shape, though, those on the end of the U are further away from the community and may feel left out. If you have a big O (think like, dottted O with plenty of room between each house) , you can still add on more people and it feels far more communal
UnMeilleurReve

How about not so much of a U as a very, very wide semi-circle (like, if you made the radius, it'd be massive).

We could also go for something like groups of four in a square, then the next 4 expansions are at the diagonals of that square, with the pattern repeating outward, making the very center the communal center for events, meetings, etc. while keeping the general area very open (don't forget we may be able to walk over our houses) for foot traffic and preventing outer areas from being partitioned off. Also, back doors would make it so that travel to and from different houses is much easier and promotes openness.



Can we also consider a mostly-open door policy? Devise some way to indicate desired privacy but promote being open to random visits and drop-ins?
Selkie

I like your idea LeReveur, I'm all for going with that as it's still communal but allows room for expansion within the community.

I'm all for mostly open doors, as long as we can close it if we need to (in case of zombies!)
glorfon

Selkie wrote:
What about the general layout of the houses though? Circle? U? Square? Should we vote?


Yes we should vote but there's one thing I really want to make clear.  To make use of passive solar energy the house has to have windows and doors on the south side.
Selkie

Oh...one thing we really should avoid is, like, suburban/urban street type houses. IE, a bunch of houses in a line...*shudders* So uncommunal and boring.
UnMeilleurReve

And varied designs! No cookie-cutters!

But yeah, I would be willing to sacrifice a bit of lighting for passive solar energy, lol.
vov35

*gets mirrors* lighting and double the solar energy!
Zeerahks

I think the starting shells should all be the same, but after that it's up to the tenant.
vov35

I agree for simplicity's sake.

If we can get up buildings basic structures quickly, then it will allow us to use them sooner.
UnMeilleurReve

20x40x16 (20x40x20 if we use beams rather than posts) boxes under the ground. I like it. Walls, floors, etc. can be added later.
Selkie

Zeerahks wrote:
I think the starting shells should all be the same, but after that it's up to the tenant.


Agreed.
Zeerahks

Wow.  20x40x16?  That's fuckin huge!  Well, ok.  Not for a regular house.  But for a one-two room house. that's almost too big.  I think we could get away with 20x25x(either 8 or 16, depending).
glorfon

This calls for a poll! To the POLL BOOTH!
Zeerahks

Lol. Very Happy
UnMeilleurReve

I was thinking 4 to a house, not including rooms with 2 roomies, etc. That's 4 rooms, plus common area, plus 2-3 extra rooms for the hell of it.
Zeerahks

Ooooh....see, here I was thinking that we had individual (or couples) housing.  Woops.

I guess that I, personally, am more in favor of smaller housing for individuals or couples.
UnMeilleurReve

That might be convenient, but what about when and if relationships end, etc.? I mean, I'd prefer to share my room with my significant other, as I'm sure others would, but if we end up splitting (which is usually not all that bad for me, personally: I have mild breakups), it'd be nice for them to have a room of their own to move into, etc.
Zeerahks

If I split with my sig-oth, I wouldn't want to live right next to them either.  So we still have the same problem of needing another house for the person anyway.

What I was thinking would be to have a total of one house for every person.  If it's not in use because two people are living together, it can be used as storage or guest space (which we may end up building anyway).

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