New building project!: Sub-community kitchen and social house

by ziggy on October 7, 2009 -- 3 comments -- Follow

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I, along with four others, have embarked upon a new building adventure. We have just begun the very early phases of building a shared kitchen and social space. Thomas, Ali, Liat, April, and I are part of a sub-community at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. Thomas, Ali, Liat, and I started discussions last year about working and living more closely with one another. These talks and many more discussions throughout this year lead us to design a kitchen space that we can all share. We started eating together during this summer in a rugged outdoor kitchen setup (we keep our food in a filing cabinet, for example), but we definitely want a more permanent structure. The building will feature both indoor and outdoor cooking functionality, and a loft and balcony for additional social space. It will be appropriate for 6-8 people. It will be made on the cheap, and as you can probably guess, out of mostly natural and reclaimed materials: an urbanite foundation, roundwood post and beams, and cob walls (with space for some other materials, too.) We have been talking quite a bit about making shakes for the roof and building a masonry oven for cooking. The kitchen will be electricity-free and have extremely simple plumbing. (The current plan is to have a cistern with a hand pump for water needs.) I am quite excited about this project. It will be a great experience to work more closely with these friends of mine. You can also probably guess that I will want to document the building process and progress. I am uncertain if I will want to contain all of that information on The Year of Mud or start a brand new blog devoted to the kitchen. I am leaning towards the latter, but if you have any feedback, let me know! Look out for more! (Above photo: eyeing a giant 2′-2.5′ diameter cottonwood tree for post potential. We’re thinking of going massive with a huge center post in the middle of the kitchen.) (Below: the building site, staked out and ready for digging!)

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  • Lee Mueller

    I think you will have an amazing semi-outdoor kitchen! I recomend a firepit/stove in the center and a smoke hole with lid that can be raised or lowered by counterweight. Maybe you could try a recipical roof design for the smoke hole rather than a center pole. Well, have fun with the design! Good luck now. Lee

  • Noel

    Have always been interested in mud houses and now cob houses. I think I need to know the differences between the two or are they the same? I am very new to the process of building cob houses and will await your progress with keen interest. However, I have always been fascinated by the idea of living in a house made of natural materials. I hope I can learn enough to do a small model in our coffee plantation that we are hoping to get started next year.

  • FrankM1150

    I stumbled upon you story and have to admit I was very curious. As our economy continues to go south I talk to more and more people considering sever life style changes. I realize most people would say that you are way out there but, deep inside they would have to admit you might be on to something. Way to Go!

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