Welcome to the TEAL Eco Village!
So you want to live in a natural and peaceful, yet enriching environment, with friendly neighbors who share your interests and concerns? In an eco-community with meaningful connections to the world? An eco village is a place where people and nature live in harmony with each other and this website will show you how to plan and build such a village, and become part of it.
We want to be able to build with inexpensive natural materials, that can easily be recycled, and with a simple process that puts YOU in control. This is a modular and scalable process, and it all starts with one octagon. This versatile shape with 8 sides of 4 meters each is built with large aircrete blocks that measure 65 cm by 25 cm and that weigh 19 kg a piece, enabling your team to create a strong skeleton structure in just one day. At the top of the walls even a small team can place the lattices and the ring beam that are required to hold the roof together.
Why aircrete? Because it’s a light, yet strong material, easy to work with, that has proven its value in traditional and non-traditional building methods, and is in line with building regulations worldwide. Are you in a cold climate? Use blocks of 36,5 centimeters thickness and your building will achieve passive house insulation values, and this without extra insulation! Are you in a warm climate? Building walls with 20 cm thickness is enough to be able to enjoy all the positive qualities of aircrete, including acoustic insulation, the ability to attach heavy things to it, add pipes and electricity wiring, etc. And later it can be recycled for 100%!
With the aircrete skeleton in place, it’s time to add the roof. Supporting a ring in the middle of the octagon, 8 bamboo beams — stronger than steel — are connected to the ring beam, effectively creating a roof that carries itself. Just connect the bamboo to the ring beam from the corners of the walls and then put your roof panels on top of it. They are made of a lighter form of aircrete and can be covered by solar panels that are printed on a special fabric, thus helping to enable an autonomous house.
Now it’s time to start filling the aircrete skeleton with another great building material with superb qualities: it’s insulating, damp-open, regulates moisture, strong, and easy to work with in such a way that it can be cast around any recuperated window or door that you choose to use, thus keeping building costs down to a minimum. It is of course hempcrete: a mixture of industrial hemp hurds with lime.
Using sliding shuttering, a team can fill the aircrete skeleton with hempcrete and recuperated windows, doors etc at a pace of 12 to 15 m3 per day. This means that the entire shell of your octagon can be built in one week. Finish it with lime plaster for a beautiful, even look and add decoration materials to make this your home.
Some may choose to add recuperated greenhouse elements to their octagon, for use as a hallway, meeting room or vegetable garden. A tunnel greenhouse not only brings in a lot of light, but it can also connect to another octagon, making your building infinitely scalable. With the help of an architect you can also create a more ambitious building such as the TEAL eco-community center, which consists of 3 octagons with 2 extra floors, integrated in a large rectangle of 26 meters by 15 meters. Such an eco-community center can serve as social profit center for existing communities, by hosting workshops there, organizing preventative healthcare, art classes, a centralized kitchen, a recording studio, a bed & breakfast, and so on.
With the need for co-workers to share space and tools, eco-community centers make sense. They will serve as thematic innovation hubs where likeminded people can meet and cooperate. Some will grow into larger communities which may operate as a resort with 3 to 7 eco-community centers and around 30 to 50 tiny homes in customized octagon-shapes for a diverse, yet coherent look. In the middle of these centrally located eco-community centers we may find a wellness center and other common infrastructure in a permaculture park, which may include a small amphitheater, a swimming pool, a large terrace, a place for rituals and one to change and shower.
Around and between the buildings nature will be organized according to permaculture principles. Apart from the solar panels on the octagons, there may be additional renewable energy from wind or hydropower, depending on the location of the eco village. Cars are not permitted inside the community. They can be parked on the outside of the heart shaped ring road, where people can find bicycles and electric scooters. A herb garden, bee hives, a small farm with bakery, a play yard, an eco-recycling and reuse facility, a purification plant and a water reservoir will all become available, as the community develops towards more autonomy.
What else will you find here?
- early sketches
- a user-friendly manual*
- architect plans and cost calculation*
- an integrated crowdsourcing platform*
- an AR-application*
- energy solutions*
- eco village integration*
- a list of possible 3D-elements*
- overview of building materials*
- overview of building tools*
- a community of practice*
* under development
Source: The Fifth Sacred Thing is a 1993 post-apocalyptic novel by Starhawk. The title refers to the classical elements of fire, earth, air, and water, plus the fifth element, spirit, accessible when one has balanced the other four.
The novel describes a world set in the year 2048 after a catastrophe which has fractured the United States into several nations. The protagonists live in San Francisco and have evolved in the direction of Ecotopia, reverting to a sustainable economy, using wind power, local agriculture, and the like.
Ecotopia was also the name of the first Eco-house in Belgium. In 1993 Garsett Larosse and friends bought a dilapidated hotel in Westmalle and renovated it according to bio-ecological rules. It was to an extent also a circular house, using artists and waste material to create e.g. a beautiful marble floor (made with waste from a bathroom manufacturer), a 'cosmic bar' and Gaudi-washrooms (with old tiles), art furniture made of driftwood and exhaust pipes (by Gregor Kartai), using natural materials wherever possible (indigenous wood, vermiculite and bio-cork for insulation, bio-paint etc).
The Cosmic Bar made with indigenous wood.
Front: Bronze Dolphins Delight sculpture
picture above: one of the bathrooms with the 'New Dawn' theme. (Philip Hamer)
picture left: the marble floor with the 'Trees of Life'.
Ecotopia was sold in 2011 to a group health practice.
A new company was created: Made with Love Productions.
Not much later the Made with Love Projects Foundation was set up with the aim of supporting eco-artistic communities and developing TEAL: Transformational Eco-Artistic Living.
Houses in Damanhur, an eco-community in North Italy.
Early sketches of the TEAL Eco-Community Center
We became aware that communities of eco-artistic people would benefit a lot of a place where they can meet and organize all kinds of transformational activities: workshops about integral health, permaculture, a space for co-working and co-learning, art studios, a recording studio, a community kitchen,...
Early eco-community design by Garsett Larosse and Michael Langley.
The new approach is to be modular, scalable, to a large extent circular* and sustainable.
* circular: in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.
Picture below: a single octagon can be used as a 'tiny home'. We prefer to call it a 'super yurt'. ?
With 8 straight sides of 4 meter it has a lot of practical walls.
Replace one of this walls with a tunnel greenhouse and you not only invite light and nature into your home, but you can also connect it to a second octagon for larger families, work studios etc.
Many different configurations of single octagons, duo-octagons and the integrated eco-community center(s) can be formed to create an eco-resort or eco-village.
Prototypes / 3D-models
Effe Studio, Francesco Mazzoni