Solar Village 2010

William and I have been hashing out the details of construction for the coming year. Our plan is at this wiki page and further details on techniques to be used are here. We are currently planning on a CEB-straw bale hybrid – a double CEB brick wall with straw bale inside. We expect the R-value to be at least 40 – making it a super-insulated house. Add the solar space in front, and we would not need a pile of firewood for winter, as shown in the following video. The video shows the location for this construction – close to the water well so we can have year-round water without doing too much trenching for water pipe.

Noteworthy features are CEB floor, masonry stove, living roof, rainwater catchment, greenhouse in front, open source air-powered water pump, our own lumber, CEB water cistern, and keyhole growing space right in front. This means that in May, we will build LifeTrac II, PowerCube II, and the dimensional sawmill. In June and July, we’ll test the toolchain – cut lumber, test stabilized and lime bricks, do the well pump and prepare water lines, do site preparation, build trusses from our lumber, prepare brick rollers, test slurry mixes, and other details. If we’re on top of it, we’ll begin the wall-raising on August 1st, and hold a CEB hybrid construction workshop.

In the meantime, we invite open architecture collaboration – coming up with technical drawings and models, as well as working out the details on all the other house subsystems.


  1. […] Solar Village 2010 | Open Source Ecology […]

  2. stu

    hey marcin,

    just curious about how you plan to deal with the vapour permeability leading to condensation at the junctions where earth meets bale?

    would the hybrid system breath enough to let the moisture out without causing problems in the bales?

    i think we discussed this a few years back, but cant recall what conclusion we came to if there was one at all…

    this is still one of my favourite ideas for a perfect wall system, but havent found any information out there as to its feasibility…

    glad that it is set to be in the works soon…



    1. Marcin

      Stu, we plan on sealing the outsides of both the inner and outer walls – with paint or stone sealer. If the wall cavity will be sealed like this, the only moisture in there will be that which comes to equilibrium in a relatively air-tight space. If we build during the heat of the summer in August, there should be little humididity. Does anybody else have any other solutions?

  3. Masonry | Open Source Ecology

    […] on brick laying last week back in the UK, in preparation for the CEB construction adventures of Solar Village 2010 this year at Factor e Farm. Here is some documentation from his […]

  4. […] leaves us in a good position to start construction of Solar Village 2010. Design work is occurring in the background. We need to build another CEB press, since we sold our […]

  5. Aigars Br?velis

    I would suggest plastic bottles for insulation.
    Also, we are trying out sand bag structures for living, storage and other purposes.
    Check some pics here (in Latvian language)

    1. Marcin

      Here’s our story on earthbags and more from almost 2 years ago:

  6. Ram

    Hi Marcin for the sealant you can use cow dung and ought to be available in plenty as well as cheap. You need dried cow dung and blend it in water along with a little straw to a thick paste and then apply it. It is used a lot in the east precisely as a sealant.