Friday, September 18, 2009

Kibbutz Lotan in the Arava Desert in Israel

I had the privilege to visit Kibbutz Lotan in the Arava Desert in Israel, an area that hasn't received any significant rainfall in ten years. On average, less than an inch falls per year. Ground water, and a world famous permaculture program makes Lotan an oasis in the desert. Their Bustan Neighborhood is a prototype neighborhood, consisting of a dozen (so far) off-grid strawbale/adobe domes. These were built by the students and teachers of the Green Apprenticeship program. I stayed in one of their domes for two days during their very hot season. Here are some photos.

This is dome # 5, the one I stayed in
The inside of dome # 5
The Bustan Neighborhood
Lush gardens in an unlikely environment
A Desert Oasis
Children's playground...there are over 100 children at Kibbutz LotanMud tiled wall made by children at Kibbutz Lotan
Solar Oven Demonstration
Bathroom wall
Bottle Window
Mike Kaplan explaining the natural cycles and how Humans have strayed
Hebrew Class with Avi

13 comments:

TechnoBabe said...

Wow, everything is painted happy colors.

Scavenger said...

Trevor, I really like your project and share your love of domes and sustainable living. After reading all you dome blogs I was trying to figure out what it actually costs to build your style of dome. If I were to guess with rebar,concrete and the misc stuff maybe $3,000?
I hope in the future to build a similar structure in west Texas

trevor.reichman said...

I wish I kept better track of the cost during this process ( I started out tracking everything). The dome itself will be less than $3000. Maybe $2000 when all is said and done since I am using all my own sand, etc for the stucco mix. The main expense is the metal.

Scavenger said...

Thanks for the info! From lurking on your site over the last year it has given me some great insight as well as some new blogs to follow. I have also been following John Wells at the Field Lab and he had mentioned numerous alternative constructions and many domes in the region; I would assume your project is extremly labor intensive as well. Any idea how many man hours it should take to build you style of dome?

Scavenger said...

Thanks for the info! From lurking on your site over the last year it has given me some great insight as well as some new blogs to follow. I have also been following John Wells at the Field Lab and he had mentioned numerous alternative constructions and many domes in the region; I would assume your project is extremly labor intensive as well. Any idea how many man hours it should take to build you style of dome?

trevor.reichman said...

That is another thing I wished I had kept track of (man hours). If I build another one, I'm going to track all of those things. It is not especially hard work, but it is time consuming and being that I have never built one of these before, or any kind of structure really, there is a learning curve. I chose to mix all of the stucco by hand and not use power tools, so that slows things down quite a bit, too. John Wells is a friend of mine who lives down the street. He's got some great projects in the works.

Scavenger said...

There is a structure in you area that John Wells has posted on his blog back on Sept 23 and he said the guy's name was Ron. It looks like the start of a ferrocrete home.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_tf7Dn-Kj1LM/SrBNodRxBEI/AAAAAAAAB1c/8F_hzvYfqx4/s1600-h/ronhouse.jpg

Do you know anything about this project?

Also feel free to email me if you would like tkoch@neuralcityDOTnet

jodi said...

hey trevor...its your evil twin brother travis...from south africa...everyone at lotan thinks im blogging about the kibbutz ...its great...this way no1 will find out that i have the computer literacy of a wild boar mash...nice photos....thanks for the street cred....there are not enough pauses in the world for this comment.................but ill try any way...............really nice photos........i like domes too by the way..and hammocks and pizza and caves...in that order.....

jodi said...

sjine on you crazy trevor

kpruett123 said...

Hi Trevor, Rusty's wife Karol here. I can't wait to hear your music in person and see your dome. Do you have a CD I can buy? I listened on line and like your work. Hope to meet you next time I'm in Terlingua.

trevor.reichman said...

Hey there Travis. Great to hear from you. Are you still at Lotan?

Karol, I am looking forward to meeting you as well. Your house is looking great. I'll give Rusty a CD to give you next time I see him.

Anonymous said...

Yes it s very nice works and thoughts overthere i can see .i wanted to know if You keep the metal structure in or You remove it ? i think it could hold itself no ?? or with bamboo structure above the metal then remove the metal ? my other problem is that where we live , there is a lot of rain ... so i ll try vegetalised roof ...
PROTECTION

trevor.reichman said...

The metal stays in the structure and acts as the fiber that keeps it stout. The original metal frame that Don made was used as a tracing tool. That original metal frame was removed after the stuccoing. If you look further back in the archives, that process it outlined.