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Our team will teach natural building program to 20 women to self-build a community and create a micro-enterprise. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on March 26, 2011.

Our team will teach natural building program to 20 women to self-build a community and create a micro-enterprise.

About this project

The Agri-tecture team will be working alongside 20 women in the indigenous village of San Juan Mixtepec, in the State of Oaxaca, to design and construct an off the grid building made from appropriate materials such as clay and bamboo. This training program and prototype will be the foundation to building a social enterprise.

To increase visibility of the project we will produce a stop frame animation of the projects evolution, interviews with the women and a series of large format photographs, Why Focus on Women In this town 60% of the men, mostly youths and family heads between 18 and 35 immigrate, mainly to the United States. 84.5% do not return.

Local Materials
The Prototype The structure sits within a simple, rectangular plan, formed by two nucleus's: One private and one public.

Each one is formed by two intersecting arches that cross in the center underline the notion of space and marking each spaces activities. This allows ample spaces even though the area is small. The patio presents itself as an extension of the house directly connected to the kitchen. It is supported by a wooden structure lined with bamboo, placed with spaces in between making the wall translucent. The patio opens to vibrant natural surroundings, creating a privileged socializing area.

The one floor house is punctuated by the color on the doors, which can vary depending on its occupants and should use strong marking colors, which is characteristic to Mexico. The variety of textures present in the adobe, bamboo and roof tiles contribute to a richer and more harmonious entirety.

PROJECT ADVANTAGES Ecological: Regional and biodegradable materials. Social: Strengthens community work. Structural: All walls are structural. Economical: Resource Optimization. Cultural: Integrates with the traditional houses and promotes local knowledge. ENERGY EFFICIENCY SOLAR ENERGY To take full advantage of the solar energy, small solar panels will be installed to convert the energy from the sum into electricity. It is expected that they allow the use of: 4 light bulbs, 1 television and 1 radio. (the average amount of appliances used in this municipality)

WATER A deposit collects rain water from the roof and it is re used for watering the vegetable garden, the kitchen and the bathroom. This way the women are less dependent on external water supplies. Other than the reuse of water, a treatment system will be implanted through the use of a grey water filter made up of gravel, plants and coal. This water may be used to water the vegetable garden.

COMPOSTING TOILET The “Composting Toilet” is a system used in bathrooms where, instead of using flush water or sewage systems, urine and feces are stored and treated through composting turning them into nutrient products for soil. There is no use of water, therefore there is no water waste and water contamination is avoided. It is similar to a composting system, as oxygen is also needed for the process to take place.

A chamber where feces and urine (combined or separated) are stored is connected to a tube or chimney to allow hot air to rise leaving the indoor spaces with fresh air.

COMPOSTING Composting is a biological process where micro organisms transform organic mater, such as manure, leaves, paper and food left overs, in a substance similar to soil known as compost. Other than reusing a part of domestic rubbish, compost improves the soils structure and acts as a fertilizer.

ESTUFA LORENA The Estufa Lorena is an energy efficient, traditional stove that uses less wood to cook than normal wood stoves. It is basically a closed box of mud and sand with a chimney. The wood is place inside the box and the food is heated from the hot smoke. This system reduces wood consumption by 60% and improves the air quality in the kitchen. THE GLOBAL TEAM 20 Women of San Juan Mixtepec, Mexico Juan José Santibañez, Oaxaca, México CaeiroCapurso, Oaxaca, México and Barcelona, Spain blaanc borderless architecture, Lisbon, Portugal and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil architecture for humanity, San Francisco, US; Port au Prince, Haiti and Cape Town, South Africa What is Agri-tecture? Yeah, we were wondering when you were going to ask that. 1 in 2 buildings on the planet are made from natural building materials yet most of the R&D is focused on the glassy metal pointy ones. Agri-tecture is the marriage of the built and natural building environment.... If buildings were vegetarians they would be argi-tecture.


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    karma. pure unadulterated karma.

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    5"x8" Photograph of finished structure. (sent no more than one month of completion)

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    Signed piece of artwork from the team plus signed copies of 'Build One House', a manual for building straw-bale homes by Agri-tecture pioneer Nathaniel Corum

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    A tree planted in your honor next to the prototype structure. Signed piece of artwork from the team plus signed copies of 'Build One House', a manual for building straw-bale homes by Agri-tecture pioneer Nathaniel Corum

Funding period

- (30 days)