Welcome to the Belize Eco Village Bulletin 9 update for our master-planned eco-community based on sustainable solutions. For those who share our values, virtues, and visions we are eager to receive your questions and thoughts regarding our planning, planting, and progress posted on the first Thursday of the month. As more eco-friendly people are reaching out to find a tribe we hope you consider our Belize Eco Village and decide if it is right for you to live a healthier lifestyle. We are eager to share our exciting experiences and lessons learned in order to help others and ask for your help as well. A special thanks to Bruce Carroll for helping to handle many logistics issues while I have been traveling and for editing the drone video footage with our construction and project progress.
Home #1 & #2 Stabilized Compressed Earth Block
We started Stabilized Compressed Earth Block Homes #1 and #2 in May and both now have the roofs completed. In spite of many delays, distractions, and dumb luck our progress includes the crew continuing to work on plastering and roofing. The steel studs and roof material arrived and was locked in the container while the contractor and crew dealt with various complex distractions. When they finally started back to work on the metal supports for the roof things moved slow but steady. We feel the steel frame will be less expensive, look great, save trees and stay stronger far longer than wood. The metal roof with shiny silver exterior will reduce heat by reflecting sunlight better.
The crew will start on the rain gutter, septic system, and water storage tank after the holidays. Then the doors and windows will be installed.
Rain has been one of the single biggest factors hindering our planning, planting, and progress for the last 5 months. After my October trip, the roof materials were delivered late in October after rains and threat of a tropical storm caused delays. We have had to delay starting the caretaker house until next year after the weather improves so we get a fresh start on the foundation.
When the two homes are finally finished we can house the caretaker family and the new project team to help us determine our future development plans.
Many thanks to Bruce and Don Norris with their beneficial construction experience and for being committed to helping build our Belize Eco Village.
The drainage ditches are providing beneficial raised dirt berms for our lime trees and coconut trees. The culvert installations are still delayed due to rain hindering progress. The plans for the bulldozer and excavator to contour additional land, clear more access lanes and boundary lines are on hold until dry season in early 2019.
The drilling contractor for the water well will have to wait until the rains stop to drill the well. The Beltraide proposal for New Spanish Lookout is completed and should be on their website soon.
Monolithic Dome Homes
While the Stabilized Compressed Earth Block (SCEB) has proven to be excellent for building a quality home, several challenges were discovered. We made modifications on house #2 and are pausing to re-evaluate our plans for future SCEB homes. While pleased with the feel and look of the SCEB construction we are investigating other options. Carlos Reyes our architect and I took a tour of the Monolithic Dome Institute homes on October 20th and saw how we can build a cool and cost-efficient eco-friendly home that is fireproof, mold proof, storm proof, and termite-proof with less cost and materials than the SCEB homes.
The Monolithic Dome Homes have even a lower carbon and water footprint than the SCEB homes we built. While we have not started building one yet and still calculating the construction costs we feel very confident our cost will be even less than the SCEB homes. We believe early pioneers will be able to buy a .25 acre lot and small dome home (excluding Stamp Tax and General Sales Tax – GST) for even less than the $99 K USD we project for SCEB homes. Therefore a couple could live comfortably on a small retirement benefit of $1,000 per month.
The Monolithic Dome Institute is in Italy, Texas and during our tour, we learned a lot more about the many benefits they offer and an idea for building dome eco-lodging at our Belize Eco Village project. Check back for more details as we evaluate the benefits and costs associated with building monolithic dome homes in Belize in early 2019 when the weather is more conducive to construction.
After a long conversation with Kevin Hodge regarding Hemp Adobe homes, they are again on my radar now that I have some new information and insights. There are still many areas to research and some obstacles to overcome but we feel this type of home is also perfect and promising for our project.
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