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I'm starting an off-grid comunity.

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posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 08:10 PM
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hey man what a great idea I have a friend who has done aquaponics and it worked real well never needed to add anything I hope you guys pull this off this gives me hope for my eight year old son keep dreaming the small houses wont feel so small when you spend most of the time outside good luck and live long and prosper




posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 08:36 PM
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originally posted by: ArnoldNonymous
This is a great thread and it's so awesome you are putting so much plan into this. That will definitely be the determining factor whether you are successful or not.

My advice, if you have not already seen it, is to watch the hour documentary called Surviving Alone in Alaska. Their means of survival is a little different from yours (no farming or aquaponics), but the ideas are still the same.

This couple has lived alone for their entire marriage in the northern reaches of Alaska and they are extremely happy.

Link to video


Thanks for the video, I'll take a look. All new information is most welcome



a reply to: Gazrok

Very well done! Self sufficient and continually sustainable is our goal as well. In the years to come I hope you make a thread about your savings, and efficiency levels.

a reply to: Elementalist

Were would you prefer to set this up? My wife is very cautious about destinations as well for the same reasons (global water lever, natural disasters, and so on). We're thinking about central Kootenays BC due to it's favorable weather, central location, decent elevation, Lots of sun and also lots of precipitation. We can also distribute very well to both BC and Alberta from there.


originally posted by: themightymissm
OP,
Marvelous post! My bestie and I have the same ideas in mind.

I do have a question for you on housing. Have you thought about cob or straw-bale? It is literally next-to-nothing as far as cost goes. And there are a multitude of benefits from that type of building. It can be as "pretty" or as plain as you want it - and if built correctly, it will maintain a steady temperature as opposed to fluctuating. There are also different types of flooring using recycled materials like old tires. There is SO much information on this type of building that I'm only throwing some of the best benefits out there for a taste.



“A mud house with walls 2 ft (0.6 m) thick, a well-insulated roof, and minimum-heat-gain doors and windows would have an indoor temperature range varying no more than about 6° – 8° F (3.3° – 4.4° C) year-round in most of the USA without central heating and air conditioning!”
- Glorious Mud, Gus W. Van Beek


Where you are planning to build would work. It takes time, but in the end it is worth it for a multitude of reasons. If you have not, I would encourage research on it.

Here are a couple of links for you if you are interested.
buildnaturally.blogspot.com...
www.nbne.org...


We have looked into Cob homes, and find them very interesting as a side project later down the road. However, we really want to show how a person can live in the same house any city dweller lives in, in a manner that is far less expensive, and still self sustainable.

A cob home would be a bit too "out there" for most people to catch on and say "Wow, that's a great Idea, maybe we need to try it". Change is difficult for society, and that level of change simply isn't as appealing.

Nevertheless, I would love to set one up once we're all good and settled, to see just how well it performs!

As I mentioned earlier, we were looking at the Central Kootenay in BC. It's basically south-central BC.



posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 09:35 PM
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Good luck to you...I hope all works out as you and your friends wish...I also hope you have a plan to push back aggressors who would wish to take what you have by force...in a SHTF scenario its essentially Mad Max territory...god bless you and yours...a reply to: Ghost147



posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 09:43 PM
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a reply to: wyrmboy12

Thanks! At the moment we are strictly focused on a successful start up. We do had additional plans to be more safeguarded in a situation like that, but it will be slightly down the road.



posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 09:11 AM
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a reply to: Ghost147

It sure beats my idea.

If it was up to me then i'd place a settlement at the foot of the mountains where the summer thaw and seasonal rains could provide clean water for crops and the community all year round-but as for providing energy for mod cons then I have no idea-I'm guessing that basing a community in the foothills would need to be able to make the best of the sunlight that is available-perhaps a six hour window.

This is why I try not to think too much.



posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 09:18 AM
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a reply to: Ghost147

An ambitious project to say the least! Sounds like you have thought of pretty much everything - have you heard of "Earthships"? I ask because this guy who invented the term/concept has developed off-the-grid communities and has some innovative ideas that may help you on your journey. I would highly recommend watching the documentary about Earthships, since it may give you some really helpful ideas. The man who created the concept of earthships also uses recycled materials/trash (such as used tires, which help the buildings store thermal heat from the sun), which could also help with the pricing of materials.
Anyway, here is the full documentary if you have time or interest in learning more. I wish you the best of luck on your endeavor and hope you will keep us updated on how the projects are coming




posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 10:20 AM
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originally posted by: Ghost147
The lots would be essentially free, being sold at a dollar each, or whatever the lowest amount we can legally sell it for. Or, we form a company and purchase the land under it, and research the ways it would legal for us to use it as company property.

The only issue with the company bit is that if the company ever declares bankruptcy, everything is lost.


You set it up either as trust or a non-profit, that owns the land and the property, vehicles and equipment. You then form the non-profit board from everyone in the community and votes are weighted by the amount a member invests. Everyone then pays a "membership fee" to the non-profit and signs a contract agreeing to governance. Other services where goods are bartered or sold are done strictly under a separate for-profit corporation or co-op, who's services are "contracted" by the non-profit or trust, on the behalf of its "members". This is not cheap to set up with legal fees, accountants, etc, but I see dog kennels and horse ranches doing it quite a bit.

I'd even argue that this step is more important than the actual building of the community and moving everyone in.
edit on 8-4-2015 by boohoo because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 10:40 AM
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I personally believe that small, strong, self sufficient, and innovative communities are the future for us. The next step in our social and cultural evolution, connected like never before through technology.

Me and my group are doing something similar. Rather than focus on being off grid though, we are focusing on self sufficiency bolstered by technology. Our goal is to mix simple, but extraordinarily clever, old world techniques with cutting edge technology.

From my own experience, wait until you own specific property before making all the plans. Some pieces of land may offer opportunities that were not considered and going through all variables before hand can be exceedingly time consuming.



posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 11:03 AM
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originally posted by: Serdgiam
From my own experience, wait until you own specific property before making all the plans. Some pieces of land may offer opportunities that were not considered and going through all variables before hand can be exceedingly time consuming.


First legal, then while working with an architect or planner, buy the land they recommend based on your plans, followed by asking that architect or planner to help develop a master plan for the community, to be implemented over the course of 5-7 years. Doing it any other way will result in fines, liens or at worse seizure of the land itself. The government has bottled this kind of stuff up real tight, its home court advantage for them. Local governments know how to steal land from anyone, very few of those losing what they have, know how to stop it. Don't be one of them.



posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 11:20 AM
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a reply to: boohoo

I don't agree with some of your advice, but I do appreciate the effort.


Getting planners, etc. is only relevant to specific situations. Legal should, of course, always be handled right off the bat as well as along the way.

In my case, I am not speaking hypothetically. The land itself isn't even remotely as important as the work that takes place on it. And that can be done anywhere.

5-7 year plan is also far, far too short term for what we are doing. A short term plan is obviously important though!
edit on 8-4-2015 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 12:09 PM
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originally posted by: Serdgiam
a reply to: boohoo

I don't agree with some of your advice, but I do appreciate the effort.


Getting planners, etc. is only relevant to specific situations. Legal should, of course, always be handled right off the bat as well as along the way.


The original poster said they want Aquaponics/hydroponics, that will likely triggers an instant Environmental Impact Report (EIR) or assessment, as would many other off-the-grid designs. Sure there may be some law firms that can do limited construction permitting and consultation, but they are still going to bring on their own sub-consultant architect, engineer or planner, to help them. Better to just have then from the beginning and if that architect is doing the master planning, but not the construction, the OP's group can act as owner/builder under the guidance of someone with REAL permitting experience. Based on my experience and observations, a typical General Contractor or owner/builder, simply don't have the know how to deal with a local government demanding an EIR for a permit. Once Code Enforcement officials are on the property, you'll NEVER be able to stop them from issuing fines or demanding things be destroyed or removed, especially without someone helping you who knows how to file the right paperwork and argue with them.

In fact your assertion is exactly why all "off-the-grid types" should build to code, pay their taxes, retaining lawyers, architects and accounts as consultants. Here are some examples:

The district attorney has charged Fahey with 14 criminal misdemeanor counts of maintenance of unpermitted properties and unlawful use of land. A trial started yesterday and Fahey faces possible prison sentence up to seven years!

Another Off-Grider Shutdown: History Channel’s Mountain Man Targeted by Government Zoning Officials

EPA Looking to take control of all Waterways: Millions of Americans could Lose Property Rights

In September of 2010, Roswell prosecuted Wordes under the new ordinance claiming he had too many birds for his lot size. The judge found him not guilty since he had the chickens before the ordinance became law. He was also convicted of grading sediment on his land without a permit and having inoperable vehicles in his yard and was sentenced to community service.

Some of the California desert residents stated they have been threatened with both massive fines and jail times if they refused to follow the dictates of the nuisance abatement teams. The stated mission of the permit enforcement teams involves abating the “more difficult” public nuisance conditions and code violations present on private property. Once again, the fact that door size, electrical outlet placement rules, and the like even exist is beyond comprehension for me. If I wanted to build a house on a piece of land, I could simply grab a hammer and begin the process.

Do you know what all these people had in common? They didn't know squat about building codes, built whatever they wanted to without technical advice and by the time they reached out for legal advice to stop the local government, it was too little, too late.
edit on 8-4-2015 by boohoo because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 12:18 PM
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originally posted by: Gazrok
Still have to have some kind of money though, to pay the tax man. No land is really free.


That's what I was thinking...

No one really "owns" anything outright anymore. Anything can be taken away if you don't pay taxes.

You might want to think up a craft or trade skill you an trade for money to pay the property tax, and who knows -- you might need an odd item here or there. It couldn't hurt to have a little income source now and then.

Although, if you discovered gold on your property you might be able to somehow use that as a source of income. I'm not sure how the mineral rights and all of that would come into play though.



posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 12:29 PM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
You might want to think up a craft or trade skill you an trade for money to pay the property tax, and who knows -- you might need an odd item here or there. It couldn't hurt to have a little income source now and then.


Thats why I said they need to form a separate corporation or co-op, so they can generate money for taxes, fines and permits, upkeep, etc, while keeping the "business stuff" separate from the entity that owns land they live on. Its a lot more complicated and expensive than people imagine. This was done on purpose by government to keep people within the system at any cost, while preventing them from going out to be neo-pioneers, due to having limited financing to fight back in legal disputes.
edit on 8-4-2015 by boohoo because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 12:33 PM
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originally posted by: boohoo
In fact your assertion is exactly why all "off-the-grid types" should build to code, pay their taxes, retaining lawyers, architects and accounts as consultants.


You are correct that involving knowledgeable and experienced people is a smart move. I'm also of the same mind when it comes to building to code, taxes, etc. Whether they are consultants or not.. I just can't see the relevancy. You were addressing me specifically though, perhaps under erroneous assumptions.

That said, I am trying to share my own experience with a very similar project. We are not "off the grid," but have many of the same goals. We just feel being connected through technology allows us to share our discoveries worldwide, instantly. Our focus is science and self-sufficiency though, not necessarily just survival. I have more of an interest in changing systems than escaping them.

There are many ways to approach this, though like most groups, there is a certain exclusivity checklist on whether or not one is 'true to the cause.' Perhaps I was incorrect that there would be interest in a perspective that comes from projects that are similar and currently operating, rather than just hypothetical chat.

Beyond that, if the government wants your land, they will find a way to take it regardless of precautionary measures. It is certainly not wise to give them ammo to make it easier though.
edit on 8-4-2015 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 12:48 PM
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originally posted by: Serdgiam
Whether they are consultants or not.. I just can't see the relevancy. You were addressing me specifically though, perhaps under erroneous assumptions.


I was addressing your statement that getting planners, etc, is only relevant to specific situations. I'd argue that it is relevant in ALL situations where you are building non-traditional, off-the-grid, systems for residences.

For example, a planner/architect will tell you during the master plan phase, "You can never build a Aquaponics/hydroponics system because of code XXX" or "Building a Aquaponics/hydroponics system will require a $30,000 EIR". Off-the-Grid design and construction pushes zoning and building codes to the limit. People who subscribe to "do it yourself" will ALWAYS fail in that endeavor, once Code Enforcement shows up to the property.

Re-read the articles I posted above.
edit on 8-4-2015 by boohoo because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 01:09 PM
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a reply to: boohoo

Unless, of course, the people involved are qualified and experienced. Not much reason to outsource it in that situation. Nor would it apply to a turn key property (which do exist, and will likely gain in popularity.)

Kind of a silly "debate," we both agree that having people involved that know what they are doing is important. I just don't see a need to involve third parties specifically. DIY has no relation to success or failure in this respect.

I am well aware of zoning and code issues. As I said, none of this is hypothetical for me.

Ghost: if you want to chat feel free to send a private message
I work extensively and (almost) exclusively on self-sufficient technologies. Our team has experts in many fields that might be able to assist if you find you need it.



posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 01:13 PM
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People who subscribe to "do it yourself" will ALWAYS fail in that endeavor, once Code Enforcement shows up to the property


Luckily, most such codes are city codes and apply within city limits. For example, very few codes that technically apply to where I am. I can mostly build what I want. But, you're right in that it is a good idea to find out what does and what doesn't apply, BEFORE you do anything.



posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 01:19 PM
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originally posted by: Gazrok
Luckily, most such codes are city codes and apply within city limits. For example, very few codes that technically apply to where I am. I can mostly build what I want. But, you're right in that it is a good idea to find out what does and what doesn't apply, BEFORE you do anything.

Rural areas have Building codes and enforcement officials, just like anywhere else. Just because you live outside of a particular cities limits doesn't mean state and county level building codes go away. What do you mean, the building codes in you area are more lax, not enforced, etc?


originally posted by: Serdgiam
Ghost: if you want to chat feel free to send a private message
I work extensively and (almost) exclusively on self-sufficient technologies. Our team has experts in many fields that might be able to assist if you find you need it.

I see now, you are a vendor selling some kind of pre-fab equipment.

I understand where your optimism comes from, entrepreneurial spirit.

Well, I am also in this business on the inspection and engineering side. Firms like yours typically hire my company to get your equipment certified, tested or permitted. Everyday I meet with owners that ask us to do peer review for them because the vendor of the equipment, either cannot supply the engineering staff to get drawings approved by the local jurisdiction or the item does not have an ICC number and needs to get one going, so it can be used in construction at some future date.

I'll give a prime example of a material not approved for construction in the USA, that a LOT of off-the-grid folks would love to use, has no ICC number, but is used extensively in Europe and Canada for load bearing columns and beams. Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). Some of your designs can EASILY fall into this kind of situation. But then again, its not your money at risk while trying to get a permit, its the owner/builders money that's getting burned up fighting the city, to use something that you sold him and did not come with engineering or permitting support.

Some of the ideas I see for equipment are great and plenty of building owners want to use it, but in about half the cases, they find out that they cannot due to building codes. Just because you can install something in rural Nebraska, doesn't mean you can in rural Idaho. Your latest point only further emphasizes the need to hire someone familiar with local permitting and codes to do a master plan, in order to vet out which equipment can or cannot be used and what ideas must be adjusted, if there are tax credits, etc, due to local building codes. Usually that's a licensed architect, landscape architect, engineer or planner, NOT the typical, local, class B or C, contractor (sometimes class A contractors have this kind of staff in house, but not always).
edit on 8-4-2015 by boohoo because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 01:49 PM
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Do it.

Absolutely, positively, DO it.

You have NO IDEA how lucky you are to have such valuable, driven friends at your side. What you're doing is a dream of mine. Unfortunately, none of my friends care enough to even consider something like this. It frustrates me to no end to care so much about people who simply refuse to care themselves.

You have something I long for. Utilize it.

Good luck.



posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 03:13 PM
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originally posted by: boohoo
I see now, you are a vendor selling some kind of pre-fab equipment.


That would be a massively incorrect assumption.


I understand where your optimism comes from, entrepreneurial spirit.


Incorrect assumption again.. I'm not even sure what you think I am being optimistic about? Egalitarian spirit would be much more accurate.


Usually that's a licensed architect, landscape architect, engineer or planner, NOT the typical, local, class B or C, contractor (sometimes class A contractors have this kind of staff in house, but not always).


Correct. I'm really not even sure what point you are trying to make? I think we both agree that having knowledgeable and experienced people is good. How those people become involved isn't relevant to success, their knowledge and expertise are what make the difference. My whole point is to use the resources that are readily available and best suited for the purpose. In our case, specifically, getting them up to speed with our technology would cost far too much time anyway.

We don't even really disagree. I was just saying that the advice given can be situational, and it is. Since you were addressing me directly, what you were saying wasn't applicable or particularly relevant.

Perhaps just try addressing the OP directly? It might be more accurate, especially if their group doesn't have the knowledge and expertise in those specific areas.

Good 'ol ATS




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