Current project see: Convertible Community Farms and Training Institute - forming Also see WHTC Tech Plan Project shut down due to lack of funding.... World Help Training Center
The coined phrase "convertible community" came about during the development of the MiCom at World Help Training Center. The concept of convertible is about efficient design of land space to allow the greatest use of space and the most flexibility. In designing the land space that would house the World Help Training Center, the MiCom at WHTC and the Spiritual Wellness Center, it was important to provided the following functionality:
- Space that maintains a rustic, rural setting similar to an agricultural village or rural farm - The land space is approximately 30 acres of rural agricultural land that has for decades been a reseeding pine tree forest. The land use is intended to be a residential community that supports an agricultural development of sustainability. The agriculture will include field crops, vegetables, fruit and nut orchards among other things. Maintaining the natural aesthetics of the land is desired.
- Accommodate a year-round residential population - The community will be designed to accommodate the full-time farm workers, training center and Spiritual Wellness Center employees. Housing accommodations should be sustainable but sufficient to accommodate the variety of seasons. Every effort will be made to use renewable sustainable materials and practices. Residences will be designed so that modular expansion is a possibility should the need for expansion arise.
- Accommodate seasonal increases in residential population - Design considerations will be included into the landscape plan to allow for the rapid increase in residents. There will be a combination of permanent structures that can double as artist workshops, training classrooms and living accommodations. In addition, the park pads used for picnic or outdoor teaching/classes will be designed to also act as hexayurt platforms that could accommodate hexayurts, standard or military style tents or other relief style structures. These hexayurt platforms will remain stationary year-round. The hexayurt platforms will offer greater convertibility because the platforms will allow plumbing and electrical to be installed into semi-permanent structures(like a hexayurt) with the greatest ease.
- Accommodate crisis management populations as the regional demands present - If additional accommodations are necessary beyond what the seasonal facilities allow, the landscape plan will have designated camping sites that will be located within the park design. This will allow open spaces to serve as a temporary/crisis shelter facility. Onsite storage will maintain crisis level accommodations to include portable, semi-permanent dwelling structures like folding hexayurts which can be rapidly deployed in under an hour's time.
- Accommodate social and training gatherings in the same space - The variety of spaces designed into the landscape plan include hexayurt platforms that also can double as event staging for a variety of training or social events. With added temporary structures installed, the platforms can double as outdoor gazebo or open air amphitheater.
- Manage land to maintain the sustainability of the maximum capacity of community residents - The gardening plan will take into accommodations the year-round population and the potential crisis or seasonal populations. The garden designs will be to maximize crop yield and minimize required spacing. Gardening designs will be conveniently located in proximity to the residential districts and also offer a larger garden space for additional crops. Gardening space will be designed in for seasonal gardens and designate should the need for addition garden plots should the crisis residential populations increase. Until a specific need, those spaces will grow nutrient rick cover crops to reduce the necessary work other than simple tilling if the need to plant for production arises.
- Convertible plumbing systems - Feasibility of a water towner installation will be done and plumbing lines from the water tower or well will be run through the designed residential lots. Plumbing will be designed in such a way so that plumbing access can be hooked to the semi-permanent dwelling platforms or lots with nominal tools and rapidly. This will allow for running water to each living site and surrounding garden spaces. Also the plumbing will run a gray water collection system to reduce the septic needs. As standard practice composting toilets will be used to reduce the septic system demands. Systems will be installed near all roof structured buildings to harvest rainwater for facility use.
- Convertible workshops - permanent structures will be erected near the park area that can be used for artist workshops and training classrooms but that can also be used as residential dwellings and water and power can be integrated rapidly.
- The agricultural fields will be designed efficiently t allow the maximum production. Design will also be such that the addition of basic husbandry could be implemented rapidly.