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WHTC Summary - Revised

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ABSTRACT[edit]

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Introduction[edit]

WHTC Summary - Revised 2/10/2009

World Help Training Center Overview The Central Georgia Convertible Community Project (referred to in this document as the World Help Training Center (WHTC)) is being designed as a physical prototype of the convertible community concept in central Georgia. (For a more detailed explanation of Convertible Community see Appendix A.) The World Help Training Center will be an ecologically centered convertible community near Macon, GA. It will be situated on 30 acres and the community is currently working on finalizing the development plan and budget. World Help Training Center is designed to be a living training center and is being created to serve the training needs of individuals preparing for sustainability based development projects around the world. The Center will focus on providing training on how to develop affordable alternatives for spiritually based, sustainable, ecologically friendly and economically vibrant communities. The Micro-Community ("The MiCom") is being developed to serve the residential needs of participants that will live onsite full-time or part-time. Within the Center, our specific focus will be on spiritual wellbeing, construction, agriculture and light husbandry, alternative energy, clean water, transportation and commerce. The MiCom is designed to be a micro-community developed on the model of an intentional "convertible community." The MiCom will be comprised initially of the members of the Center's development team and their families but in general it will be made up of individuals who: a) are concerned for the practical dimensions of sustainability, b) share a common intention of spiritual, physical and emotional growth and well being, c) are concerned and committed to focusing on the physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions of sustainability, and d) are committed to the development of internal commerce that will fund sustainability. We anticipate that initially all MiCom members will work for the Center, but initially many may work off-site or have their own business enterprises that can be managed on-site. In addition we anticipate that initially there may be Center employees that do not live within the MiCom, but the eventual goal will be that all Center employees live within the MiCom. We strongly hold that the Center and MiCom will be a living laboratory that never fully completes or realizes our ideals because they will be continually evolving. New ideas and technology will challenge us to continuously implement new and challenging techniques and training programs within the Center and the MiCom. Because we hold this true, we believe the Center and MiCom will be a place for continued learning, research and the resulting growth. The ultimate goal of this project is to educate and facilitate spiritual, environmental, community and economic renewal and growth.

Development Plan[edit]

DEVELOPMENT PLAN The following system categories, the corresponding major systems and development areas make up the comprehensive development plan for this project. Many of the development areas will be implemented simultaneously. The three system categories and their sub systems are as follows:

  • Physical Site Development
    • Infrastructure
      • Land Acquisition - It will be necessary negotiate appropriate contracts for land as well as financing (or adequate funds to complete the purchase). This phase will be successful if the contract is negotiated so that 30 acres of land are secured and financed for 30 years with no prepayment penalty or if funding is secured to complete the purchase.
      • Site Design and Land Clearing - In this phase the design work should begin for the site layout and architectural drawings and models completed. This may require additional surveying work during this phase of the development. This phase will also include the appropriate land clearing to accommodate the further development.
      • Excavation
      • Roads
      • Wells – This aspect of the development will identify the appropriate site(s) necessary for well drilling. Well drilling will also be completed in preparation for the installation of the delivery and filtration systems.
      • Water Systems – This portion of the development will complete the delivery and filtration of water to the planned development facilities and agriculture locations. The water system will include: access to pure water and the ability to store it and pump it through the development, installation of a safety water filtration systems to ensure clean safe drinking water, installation of plumbing lines throughout the site, installation of waste water systems throughout the site.
      • Solar Power Plant (or other appropriate power generation systems) - This phase will also include the finalized design and build for the community power system and any supplemental cabin power system kits.
      • Communication Systems (to include phone/internet/cell capabilities) – This system will facilitate the delivery of phone, internet and cell services throughout the community.
      • Facility Use Structures - In this phase the design and build of adequate workshop/classroom/common use facilities will be completed. Buildings will be erected to accommodate ongoing training and community activities and gatherings on-site. In addition to these structures, this phase of development will include the design and build for additional retreat and sleeping facilities.
    • Agriculture Systems
      • Farm equipment
      • Transportation
      • Lumber/Materials
      • Soil and Greenhouse Preparations - In this phase the design and build of gardening/growing spaces will be conducted. This will include the build of an adequately sized greenhouse and the appropriate land clearing to accommodate the planting spaces. This phase will also look at the intensive growing methods and Emergency Sustainable Agriculture plans for the region and the subsequent seed collection and storage.  Irrigation Systems
      • Storage facilities (garage and warehouse)
    • Housing Systems
      • Modular structure design and manufacturing – Work will be done using the work of designer Vinay Gupta with the goal of developing a modular room structure utilizing based on the Hexayurt building design. This structure should provide an ultra-cheap housing option that can be modularly assembled and used for building larger living and facility structures. The resulting design should provide a) a complete permanent or semi-permanent modular room; b) a modular room with regionally appropriate insulation/heat transfer barrier; c) a modular room that can be adjoined to additional structures to create larger living accommodation units; d) a modular room that can rapidly tie into the existing utility systems (water/sewer/power); e) a modular room that is rapidly deployable.
  • Social Development o Spiritual Wellness Center - This system will address the spiritual wellbeing of the residents and also provide services to those outside of the community.
    • Community Association – This developed system will be the development of the Mi-Com covenants and ordinances that will govern the residential association. This is designed to be a voluntary community governance system.
    • Social Service Agency – This developed system will be responsible for the social service needs of the community residents and will include solutions for healthcare, childcare and education.
  • Commerce Development o Commerce development center – This system will provide guidance and support for community based commerce. This will include commerce opportunities that involve the community and/or the residents of the community. Expected Outcomes:

The expected outcomes of this development project include:

  • The completion of an off-grid integrated community
    • Including the completion of an onsite off-grid power plant, water and agriculture systems
  • The development of 200 land lots that can support full-time occupancy
  • The completion of an on-site Learning Center and a completed strategic plan
  • The completion of an on-site Spiritual Wellness Center and a completed strategic plan
  • The completion of an on-site Commerce Development Center and a completed strategic plan
  • The completion of the on-site Agriculture Center
  • The completion of model housing structures
  • The development of a Convertible Community Development guide
  • A strategic plan for the Community Association detailing ongoing community (residential) development
  • A strategic plan for the Social Service Agency

v Convertible Community infrastructure design plan and documentation

  • Rapidly deployable kit cabin including power kit option - design and model
  • Cabin interior design model
  • Emergency Sustainable Agriculture (ESA) Plan for central GA region
  • ESA Plan model for other weather regions and supporting software development
  • Urban/Suburban modification plan for Convertible Communities
  • Social Service/Homeless/Crisis Modification plans for Convertible Communities

Expected Completion: 18 months for the infrastructure and agricultural development and 18-36 months for the social systems. Budget: See Appendix B

Appendix A - Convertible Community[edit]

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 is important to provide 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, green space that can be used in a park like manner and used for picnic or outdoor teaching/classes will be designed to also act as crisis space that could accommodate hexayurts, standard or military style tents or other relief style structures. The infrastructure to support this use will remain stationary year-round which 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. On-site 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.
  • Accommodate social and training gatherings in the same space - The variety of spaces designed into the landscape plan include green space that also can double as event staging for a variety of training or social events.
  • 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 rich cover crops to reduce the necessary work other than simple tilling if the need to plant for production arises.
  • Convertible plumbing systems – Well and water distribution system installation will be done and plumbing lines from the water source 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 permanent and semi-permanent dwelling structures or lots with nominal tools rapidly. This will allow for running water to each living site, surrounding garden spaces and planned crisis spaces. Also the plumbing will include 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 in the space designated for the Learning Center that can be used for artist workshops and training classrooms but that can also be used as residential dwellings. The designs should allow water and power to 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. Convertible Lots - Convertible lots are designed to meet several levels of personal need ranging from low usage to high usage. The rural lots are 1/10 acre or more (in increments of 1/10th acre). All lots will have access to well water and common use facilities which include bathroom/shower facilities, cooking facilities and laundry facilities. Lots are designed to allow individuals to engage in rural camping easily. Moderate usage applications will allow lot-holders to purchase, lease or build semi-permanent structure(s) which can be used to retreat in or for longer periods of use as crisis housing. The lots are designed to be able to quickly connect with the water system and allow a 2-8 hour deployment time in the event of emergency. Lot-holders can opt to purchase a complete housing kit that would include a dwelling structure (insulated or not), power and sewer systems, emergency agriculture systems and storage of such systems. A high use application for the land lot-holders is full time residency as an on-site farmer. The lot is designed to provide space to maintain self-sufficiency levels of agriculture and small husbandry to sustain a small family. The following systems are critical for Convertible Communities to function properly and will be modified based on the location, regional threats, climate and development size. They include the following:
  • Agriculture
  • Water
  • Shelter
  • Power
  • Husbandry
  • Cooking
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Lighting
  • Sanitation
  • Communications
  • Security
  • Social Philosophy
  • Commerce

Appendix B - Budget[edit]

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See Help:Tables for more.

Discussion[edit]

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Next Steps[edit]

The next steps.

Conclusions[edit]

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Contact details[edit]

Contact: LaRahna Hughes 478.338.2670 larahna.hughes@worldhelptrainingcenter.org