GONZO SURVIVAL STRUCTURE

1999-2000 and still going

A Strawbale Workshop Project

July 16-21, 1999

Mosier, Oregon

group

workshop participants from left: 

Garrett, David, Alison, Rod, Tracy, Bob, Akai, Caelum and Candace (missing John, Theresa)

As taken from architect - Mike Reynold's original Strawbale - Temporary Structure idea, we attempted to modify the original design with a few improvements and still keep to the 5 person/5 day concept and construct an earthsheltered strawbale structure.

With the help of 5 students for the workshop, Tracy, Caelum, Rod, Theresa and Akai, the two landowners John Thomas and David Thorpe were accompanied by the instructor of the workshop Candace Gossen, camp manager Alison Hardi, and carpenter friend Bob Nichol in an adventure that tested each and everyone's physical, mental and emotional being.

The idea of the project is to create a temporary living structure to provide a living space for the homeowner/builder while they construct a larger home on the same property. The way that we deal with that problem today is usually with an RV brought to the site, or a mobile home, yurt, tent or commuting. This structure is constructed by a group of friends that offer, once their structure is completed, to build 4 more for each of their friends.

"There is therefore a need for a cheap, durable, comfortable, quickly erected, low visual impact, temporary structure for humans to use while building a more substantial and code approved earthship"....Mike Reynolds, solar survival

Our story follows below:

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Photos 2003-- the gonzo has evolved over the past couple of years. It operates year round on 4 solar panels, 12 batteries, a composting toilet, rainwater collection, a new solar shower and wood-fired hot tub, and a (not-functioning yet) hydronic floor. The local flora has taken over the berms and has rooted well. All systems functioning well with no problems. Waiting for the heat to be connected!! The structure can be quite cold in the winter as the earth coupling stabilizes close to 55-60 degrees. Once heat is introduced the structure warms quickly and remains toasty. 

 

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snapshots of the crew

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story

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pre-workshop

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Day 1

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Day 2

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Day 3

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Day 4

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Day 5

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post-workshop  NEW! as of 8/26/99

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plans and drawings  NEW! as of 8/26/99

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New Years 2000 - first inhabitants of the Gonzo NEW! as of Jan 7, 2000

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Gonzo video available upon request. 29 min educational video of workshop.

 

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