The inspiration for this concept originates from one of Tanzania's largest industries, the coconut industry. The intention of this project is to bring mindfulness and balance to mono cultured crop implantations, family farms, natural systems, permaculture, global economics and health.
Foundation 1. - (reference drawing #1) Sono tubes, foundation for the outer posts of the gazebo, should extend 4ft above the ground and be veneered in local rock. The posts are estimated at 14ft . The gazebo is drawn as a timber frame. The tenon and cut of the post is designed to follow and compliment the shape of the coconut, build and simplify at your own discretion. The gazebo is long and may need a double roof to be structurally sound (reference drawing #3). Finish the roof with cedar shakes.
Foundation 2. (Reference drawing #3) The deck would be built on tubes that raise approximately 8'' above the ground. Finish the deck with cedar or reclaimed boards. On the inside of the deck a structural foundation needs to be built to support the inner cob wall of the coconut (also consider earth bag for the inner wall), we envisioned this being built with either rammed earth tires, a dry rock stack or cemented stone. A foundation is also needed for the next (outer) layer of straw bales to be built on. Make sure the straw starts at least a foot above the deck. Build a similar foundation or use the deck if issues with water, moisture and rodents. These can be addressed and overcome. Loop cable ties over the straw to tie down the strawbails to its foundation.
Plaster inside - (reference drawing #5) Although lime is traditionally used outside as a weather protector we would like to use lime, clay, sand and chopped straw on the inside for a white coloring and texture that will resemble the inside of a coconut.
Plaster outside - (reference drawing #1) The gazebo is meant to protect the coconut from weathering (9.5 foot roof over hang all the way around). To cover the straw we would like to use a cob mixture of clay, sand and straw, this mixture will resemble the outside of a coconuts shell. It doesn't need to be as thick as the inner structural cob or earth bag wall. Apply a clay slip to the straw before cob.
South facing window - (reference drawing #2 and #3)A 6' x 10' recycled skyscraper window. This is a free recycled window from Martha Stewarts penthouse that you can pick up at the site of an off grid passive solar tire house in Havelock NB. Buck frame it in and use cob to sculpt an oval shape around it.
Floor - Free granite cut offs are available from the granite shop on Rothesay ave in Saint John. Rammed earth is an option, or wood would work if you would like the battery bank under the floor inside. It could also be put in under the deck.
Loft - Use the inner cob or earth bag wall and the outer straw bales structurally to lay beams and joists or have posts embedded in the walls (half in half out, as the coconut curves). A pull down ladder is installed in the floor.
Door - north east facing.
Fire place - south west.
Version 2.0 - In future building seasons it would be possible to frame windows in between the gazebo posts on the south side of the deck and to pound tires (for mass) around the posts on the north side. This would now give you a building (the coconut) inside of a building and the south side of the deck would now be a year round growing space.
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