Road Book

The Earthships, Building Autonomy ! / New-Mexico, November 2015

Mots clés

• Earthship

• Recycling

• Autonomy

« … The story of the earthships starts at the very beginning of the 70s. In those days, the members of the Rome Club are already doing away with the myth of an unlimited growth in a world with limited resources… « Nous devons trouver le moyen de subvenir nous mêmes à nos besoins fondamentaux : nourriture, logement, traitement des eaux usées, déchets… « We have to find a way of being self-sufficient when it comes to our basic needs: food, accommodation, used water processing, waste management…Just imagine if 5 billion people start producing their own energies, the multinationals will have no customers for their products and they will eventually disappear… »

The Natural Building Coloquium / New-Mexico, October 2015

Mots clés

• Natural Building

• Builder Without Border

• Straw, COB, Earth-bags…

« … For the participants to this colloquium, natural building is a starting point for others deeper changes: «The main thing is not so much to learn to put things together to build ecologically… says Ianto Evans « what is happening here is going much further: we want to change society in rethinking our relation to nature, to the others, focusing on the main needs. Millions of people in this country are not happy with their way of life which goes against their ethics and creates global problems. What they do not know, however, is how to go about it to change it all. So our job is to offer solutions and one of those is to have a smaller and more comfortable house. Comfortable means that you do not have to take on a job which goes against what you believe in to earn enough money to pay for your house…  »

The eco-village of « la Baie », from straw to resilience / Québec, Juillet 2015

Mots clés

• Building with straw

• Resiliency

• Eco-village

« … Pierre tells us that it all started : «In 1972, The Rome Club stressed the limits of our society based on an infinite growth in a world with finite resources. I was not known whether the resources would die out in 20 or 300 years… But it was totally unacceptable for us to have built a non-viable system over the long term, relying moreover on the exploitation of the countries lying in the south. It was our duty to find solutions to build a different world. ». In 1988, Pierre and his wife Marie-thérèse purchase with five other families, a piece of land of several hectares and decide to create an eco-village on waste agricultural and wooden lands. A key stage, prior to settling down, it was necessary to analyse the resources available and to observe the territory, so as to consider the possibilities and limits of this eco-system. So for most inhabitants, building with straw balls and a wooden framework proved to be the most relevant choice… »

The Mud hutters, in love with earth / Thailand, March 2015

Key words

• Earthbags

• Earth plastering

• Reciprocal roof

« …When Brian and Tukta built this beautifull earthbags house, they were also building a more global life project. «Today, we are stuck because of regulations which make us lose the know-how and the knowledge of materials which so far went down from one generation to another. The habitat is one of the first energy consumer and uses up a great deal of natural resources, and it generates 1/3 of the greenhouse gases generated. In about ten years’ time, the Earth will be people by another 1 billion people, which means more houses, more resources and more energy consumed, and more generated greenhouse gases. Sharing our know-how and our skills as regards construction, we can actually make a difference ».

Building with earthbags in Nepal / Nepal, Febuary 2015

Key words

• Earthbags

• School

• Earthquake


« …Since the First Step Himalaya NGO was set up, it has built a kindergarden and a small library (with concrete) in the village of Sangachok, but : « Regardez, les murs sont déjà fissurés ! »…déplore Durga. «in Nepal cement is really of very poor quality. Look at the walls: they are already cracked !»…Durga complains.« For the training centre, we have decided that we would choose something different and, after a great deal of research, I found out about the earthbag technique … which seemed to me to be THE solution…»

 

Inde- Ralegan Siddhi

Ralegan siddhi, example of rural Development / India, January 2015

Key words

• Sustainable development

• Anna Hazare

• Fight against corruption

« …We had heard of Ralegan siddhi as a sustainable development model. When we arrived, we were looking for solar panels, wind farms and houses built with natural materials… and first of all we were quite surprised not to find such markers which, for us, stand for (or used to stand for) an eco-village. After pondering over our projections of values and asking the inhabitants and the representatives of the village, we understood that taking into account the environment is at the very core of the Ralegan siddhi’s development process… Anna Hazare, the leader of the village, told us : «Climate change is an issue for the whole world and that is why the villages have to develop through programs which take the environment into consideration. Today, the excessive use of natural resources (water, wood, petrol, coal…) is a serious danger for the environmental balances our lives depend on. »

Saraya, an eco-lodge in Goa / India, december 2014

Key words

• Eco-Tourism

• Bamboos

• Clay


« …So here we are in a conventional work site, with paid workers and an employer like Deeksha’s previous building sites, yet there is a difference: « I had never used such materials before… and in fact the labourers told me how to use them! Since most of them have built their own houses in their respective villages with what they had on hand, natural and local materials, I asked them to guide me »

 

Sapna ranch, the world is a laboratory / India, november 2014

Key words

• Geodesic dome

• Bamboos

• Alternative school


« …In India Maybe more so than anywhere else they are in dire need of accommodation. On the road, several adverts for concrete catch our eyesthe engineer’s choice »/« stronger and longer » are the words on the slogans which are hand painted. Concrete building … is it really the only solution and the good solution ? Pondering on those questions, we are soon on the way to join the Hasmukh site at the “Sapna Ranch” in a small village in the Maharashtra State, between Mumbai and Pune. (…) Hasmukh’s philosophy ? « as opposed to Shakespeare who wrote that “life is a game and the whole world is a stage”, I would say “the whole world is a laboratory and life is experimenting ». We soon find out that all those brilliant ideas are no more than the premises for a far more ambitious project that he is actually trying to set up…

 

Living in the rock ? / Turkey, august 2014

Key words

• Caves houses

• Heritage site 

• Tourism Impact

« When I was a child, my family used to live in a troglodyte house in the centre of Göreme. There was hardly any comfort, but life was good! Since my parents did not have the money to refurbish the house, they had to sell it and settle in a traditional concrete house. A wealthy hotelier has completely changed the troglodyte house. He even fitted a jacuzzi and he now rents out the rooms at no less than euro 200 the night minimum ! (…) my parents want to build a small bed and breakfast house at the foot of the pigeon hole. But, to be honest, with the UNESCO’s protection policy, they are forbidden to do so. In theory this is a good law to protect our natural heritage. But there are double standards. For those people who do not have a great deal of money, those rules are extremely strict… »

Turquie - l'erdship d'Erdem

Payamli’s Erdship / Turkey, july 2014

Key words

• Self-building

• Earthship

• Permaculture

« … Why did Erdem choose to make use of tyres ? « It is a perfect container: it can be filled with rubble. And then, it is absolutely free, I got them from the various garages which were only too happy to get rid of those old tyres. In general, used tyres are burnt to be recycled, which entails a great deal of pollution. I do not call that recycling… »

Grece - Stagone?s

Stagones, “drops of water” / Greece, june 2014

Key words

• living in harmony

• Workshop

• Straw bale building


« … When we ask Yannis about the organisation of the community life, he corrects us in a nice kind of way : « in fact we chose not to be described as a “community”, to avoid being locked up in a dogmas. Here, there are no predefined rules, except the rule of common sense. For instance, you are not going to be told to come here if you are not a vegetarian or any other stuff like that…. » To evidence it, one of the new comers did hang a big piece of ham on the ceiling, in case…).

 

Grece - workshop cob maison

Work(shop) in progress / Greece, june 2014

Key words

• Workshop

• COB

• School

« … The programme for the three-day training read : come and join us to build a fairy house and several mushroom houses for the children of the “School of Nature” . (…) «We did not think that so many people would be interested in our workshops, says Panos, one of the co-organises of the workshop…; Many people want to get back to those lost know hows and win some sort of autonomy. The economic crisis the country is going through has been a speeding up lever »…

Italie - l'aquila ok

Aquila, EVA: reconstruction chronicles / Italy, may 2014

Key words

• Earthquake

• living in harmony

• Straw bale houses

« … « Pompei? You should go to the Aquila, it is in the news and could be very interesting for your web documentary ! » We did listen to a friend of the friend we were being put up at while staying and Florence, and decided to follow his advice. But it is not the only inidcation that led us to this town devasted by the earthquake on 6 April 2009…

Italie - Palmoli

La casetta del nibbio / Italy, may 2014

Key words

• Self-building

• COB

• self-sufficiency


« … We drive past the small village of Palmoli, and after a good half hour drive winding through the green hills he tells us : « there you are ! » We step out on a path way that leads to the small hamlet, excited to embark on this new adventure. Will there be other people ? What are we going to do on this work site ? Where are we going to sleep (in a house, under a tent) ? What are we going to eat ? How is Francesco going to react when he sees the camera ? We are taking bets…»

 

France - joies du stop

hitchhiking’s joys / France, may 2014

Key words

• hitchhiking

• Normandie – piémont

• departure


« … After some ten minutes, a first car stops : a father steps out of his Scenic. He is taking his three children to the zoo in Vincennes. Once in the car, he tells us with a broad smile that we can see in the mirror « usually, I never take those thumbing a lift, but for once I decided to do so ! My daughter recognised you, you came to her class ! She told me: « Daddy, you know, they are travelling around the world, we have to help them ! » Indeed, two weeks earlier, we went to meet the pupils who are going to follow our project, and amongst them the first year class attended by this girl. Quite a nice symbol for the early days of this adventure that a father, confident thanks to his daughter, decides to help us…

 

Toziels, the hybrid house / France, September 2013

Key words

• Self-building

• Straw bale building

• Dry toilets


« … When we arrived, the foundations and the lower section were already finished. During our ten-day stay in the “Atelier Toziels”, we are going to build the walls of the dry toilets which, on a small scale, are going to be a test for the walls of the house. For Roj and Lez, there is no such thing as experimenting to learn, from successes as well as from failures! For us this is a nice opportunity since it was the occasion to learn to build loadbearing interior walls made of bales of straw from A to Z..