Most dwellings today are grossly inefficient at utilizing precious resources. Producers of consumer goods brainwash people to believe they each need their own infrastructure, even though much of it sits idle most of the time.
In an ecovillage, common functions are factored out of personal dwellings, so they can can be shared by all. Of course, each common resource needs its own steward to insure it isn't abused, and villagers need varying degrees of privacy for their daily routines.
Buildings are arranged in a permaculture-like "zone" system, based upon the degree of privacy or public contact they require. Zones only contact other zones that are one degree apart, ensuring that the most private zones remain so. (You would not put a sanctuary next to the retail center, for example) Some buildings may have two zones, for example, the learning center may include facilities for both day classes and longer, more intensive seminars and workshops. Some zones may be flexible and moveable, for example, different boundaries of "you-pick" agriculture, depending on crop and time of year.
- Zone 0
- The general public may be present at any time during business hours. Zone 0 requires security measures and scheduled staffing by members, and is closest to the road and parking. For example, the retail center is in Zone 0.
- Zone 1
- Non-overnight class participants, day ecotourists, other transient visitors, etc. are segregated to Zones 0 and 1. Security measures are reduced, but still needed. For example, some meeting rooms or class rooms, a demonstration room or building, you-pick agriculture, all are in Zone 1.
- Zone 2
- Overnight seminar participants, invited, scheduled tours, etc. inhabit Zone 2. For example, this includes workshops, kitchen, most agriculture areas, etc.
- Zone 3
- Long-term guests, week or longer seminar participants, and trial villagers only are allowed in Zone 3. This includes a "guest dormitory" or similar area, which may be a portion of the villagers' residence area.
- Zone 4
- This is the personal residence area for villagers. The public is not allowed; only villagers and their private guests come into Zone 4.
- Zone 5
- Sanctuary and retreat area. This is where villagers go to get away from other villagers! It is limited to short term use by villagers only, and is often empty.
Common building suggestions:
- Retail center Zone 0
- farmers' market
- plant nursary
- arts and crafts
- other items produced by villagers
- no re-sale activity!
- Learning center: Zones 1-2: a multi-purpose building that hold many common needs for the community, as well as areas that could be used for education purposes. This center would hold:
- Research area
- Large meeting area (partitionable for smaller meetings and classes)
- Research area
- Art center Zones 2-3
- shared studio areas, under stewardship of individual artisans
- class area
- Healing center Zone 3
- Maintenance shop Zone 3
- Villager services Zones 3-4
- Community kitchen
- Laundry facilities
- Community bath
- Common sacred space Zone 5
- yoga studio
- temple/meditation space
- retreat hut
your ideas here, please!
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