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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 similiar to an agricultural village or rural farm - The land space is approimately 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 comunity that supports an agricultural development of sustainability. The agriculture will include field crops, vegetables, fruit and nut orchards and bamboo forests. Maintaining the natural aestetics of the land is desired.
- Accommodate a year-round residential population - The community will be designed to accommodate the farm workers, training center and Spiritual Wellness Center employees. Housing accomodations should be sustainable but sufficient to accomodate the variety of seasons. Every effort will be made to use renewable sustainable materials and practices. Residences will be designed so taht modular expansion is a possibility should the need for expansion arise.
- Accomodate seasonal increase in residentail 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 accomodations. In additon, the park pads used for picnic or outdoor teaching/classes will be designed to also acta s tent platforms taht could accomodate standard or military style tents or relief style structures such as hexayurts. These tent platforms will remein stationary year-round. The tent platforms will offer greater convertibility because the platforms will allow plumbing and electrical to be installed into semi-permanent structres (like a hexayurt) withe the greatest ease.
- Accomodate crisis management populations as the regional demands present - If additional accomodations are necessary beyond what the seasonal facilities allow, the landscape plan will have designated camping sites that will be intersperced within the park design. This will allow open spaces to serve as a temporary/crisis shelter facility. Onsite storage will maintain crisis level accomodatiosn to include portable, semi-permanenet dwelling structures like tents and hexayurts which can be rapidly deployed on less than 2 hours time.
- Accommodate social and training gatherings in the same space- The variety of spaces designed into the landscape plan include tent 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 our open aiar amphitheater.
- Manage land to maintain the sustainablity of th emaximum capacity of community residents - The gardening plan will take into accomodations the year-round population and the potential crisis or seasonal populations. The garden designes willbe to maximize crop yield and mniimize 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 shoudl the need for additonal garden spots 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 prodction arises.
- Convertible plumbing systems - Feasability of a water town installation will be doen and plumbing lines from the water tower or well will be run thorugh 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 rapidaly. 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 workshiops 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 implmented rapidly.