Stand alone DesignsThis is a set of designs which came about from suchquestions as “How would I manage my gray water andtoilet waste?” and “how would I build a low impacthouse?”They are in not intended for a specific site, they aresimply a demonstration of the best possible designconclusions I could come up with if everything wereperfect, like I had a south facing hill side and no moneyrestrictions etcI know that it is likely that these designs would not fitexactly into our land when we have it but I felt it was agood design exercise to see how, ideally, I wouldresolve these questions.
Stand alone Designs Water conserving waste management designThis design is for a south facing hill side and incorporates a dry compost toilet with abath / shower room with the option of solar (for summer) or rocket stove (for winter)hot water and a washing house. All liquid waste (urine and grey water) drains to areed bed which then filters through to an open ring of trees encircling a mandalakeyhole raised bed and then the remaining ground water drains though the groundinto an aquaculture pond which acts as a reflective solar catchment, creating a superwarm micro climate for the trees and veggies on the raised beds. Slope
Stand alone DesignsWater conserving wastemanagement design•Compost loo with a view: taking alldry solids into a twin chamber systemthat can each accommodate roughly 6months to a years worth of humanureeliminating the need to, in any way,deal with partially composted faeces.There is a urine separator in each loowhich take this precious nitrogen richfertiliser to be mixed with the greywater coming from the central handwashing basin (and all other greywater) on it’s way out to the reedbed system.
Stand alone DesignsWater conserving wastemanagement design•Bathroom with year round hot water:Sunk in deep bath / shower space withroom for two, seats at either endwhich also function as steps to get inand out, and a plug hole in the centre.Summer (solar) and winter (rocketstove) water heating both storing hotwater in the same insulated water tankinside the bathroom situated abovethe bath, doubling up as room heatingand towel / clothes drying rack. Allgrey water from bath / shower andsink is piped to the reed bed system.
Stand alone DesignsWater conserving wastemanagement design•Scrub tank wash room: This, as of yet,has no fancy design as we have stillnot yet found the ideal ecologicallysound, quick and easy clothes washingtechnology. We have heard a lotabout pedal powered washingmachines though not personally seenone in practise but, to us, the obviousone, if there is a river on site, is tosomehow harness the energy of wateralong with it’s cleaning power to washour clothes. We are still working onthis! Whichever method used, the hotwater comes from the same source asthe bathroom and the water whichdrains from here, likewise, mixes withall other waste water and is cleansedthrough the reed bed system. Decomposed All liquids solids
Stand alone DesignsWater conserving wastemanagement design•Reed bed wet land water filtrationwith all gray water coming into thereed bed though a spreader pipe withmany holes into the gravel pit whichranges from large stones at thebottom, gravel, coarse sand, fine sandand a thin layer of earth at the top. Allthe way through the reed bed thereare many baffles taking the waterabove, below, above, below to slow upthe flow and allow time for thecleaning process by the microbial lifeon the plants roots. At the end of thereed bed there is a small water levelkeeping tank with a man hole cover.
Stand alone DesignsWater conserving wastemanagement design•Ring of fruit producing trees encirclinga keyhole mandala raised bed: Afterthe water has come out of the treebed, it is channelled in gravel filledtrenches firstly to the fruit and nuttrees. Any excess to what they requirefunnels into the centre of the raisedbed through the gravel paths and isabsorbed into the beds.
Stand alone DesignsWater conserving wastemanagement design•Waney edged aquaculture pond withvarying depths, increasing solar gainand habitat diversity: All overflow fromthe raised beds and surrounding landcollects in the pond. This has a smallfish stock consuming the lastremaining nutrient content from thesystem and fertilising the water whichcan then overflow to irrigate othersurrounding crops. The pond,mandala raised beds and tree circleare orientated in such a way that itcreates a very beneficial microclimateto support life turning waste waterinto an abundant variety of valuableproduce.
Stand alone DesignsWater conserving wastemanagement designSummary•Earth Care•The main principle of this design isProduce No Waste as all such potentialpollutants are turned, through biologicalmeans, into a cornucopia of yields(Obtain a Yield)•Optimized use of Edge and NaturalPattern: In the undulating shape of thepond, edge is maximized to create morepond side growing space and in keyholemandala edge is minimized to cut downon path needed.•Pond serves Multiple Functions ofground water storage, sun reflector,aquaculture, wild habitat.•Important function of heating waterserved by Multiple Elements in yearround solar or rocket stove water heating.•Problem is the Solution: Resolving theproblem of what to do with human In this system, before implementation, careful attention must be givenexcretion by using all outputs in such away that they become beneficial, nutrient as to the amount of people likely to be using it regularly and eachgiving resources, urine adds nutrients to element be scaled according to quantity of grey water flow andthe water flow and Composted humanure humanure entering the system.becomes a powerful soil enhanceraround the fruit trees.
Stand alone Designs Low the principles of passive solar heating and coolingThis house mainly demonstrates impact houseusing as natural materials as possible, wherever possible.There is a lot more to the low impact house that, as of yet, I have not gone into. Itseemed more important to me to get, first of all, the right arrangement ofharmoniously compatible and cooperating elements to form the initial structure. Oncethis arrangement is found, it is easy enough to have a warm house in winter and a coolhouse in the summer. This is the basis of comfortable living. Other low impactattachments can easily be added on, for example, solar panels, an efficient, multifunctional wood burning stove etc.
Stand alone Designs Low impact house•In this design there are 3 main elements:greenhouse/kitchen, central octagonal livingspace/bedroom and shadehouse/verandawhich are joined in such a way that there is noreal border between them. They graduallyblend into one another forming one singlestructure which is both very functional andcomfortable whatever the weather outside.• Shade side Shadehouse/veranda: this spacebecomes most comfortable in the summerwhen it is just the right place to spend themidday hours relaxing . With door andwindows open, helps to cool down the centraloctagon.On each of the up right support poles wouldbe deciduous fruiting climbers growing upand on to the roof, further helping to keep thehouse cool.This space also provides a covered outsidespace, invaluable in the winter for children toplay, for drying clothes and for enjoying therain without getting wet.
Stand alone Designs Low impact house•Sun side Greenhouse / kitchen:This 6.5 / 3.5 meter structure creating nicewarm space on those cold winter days andby freely opening out into the centraloctagonal living space, it shares some of thatheat with the rest of the house.• It also has two roof rain water storage tanksthat act, once full, as a large thermal masscollecting the winter suns heat of the dayand slowly releasing it through the night.They also double up as work surfaces forboth kitchen and greenhouse jobs or bumwarming benches.•In the summer the tanks are emptied, thelarge doors at the end of the greenhouseopened as well as windows and door to theshade house and a convection of cool air willbe drafted through the house.•Along the outsides of the greenhouse therewould be more deciduous fruiting climberscovering the entire greenhouse in summer.•The whole house would ideally be situatedwithin deciduous woodland which wouldalso shade the greenhouse in summer.