118: Open Source Sustainability

Jae Sabol, One Community Executive Director, Community Building Expert, Entrepreneur, and Founder
Jae Sabol, One Community Executive Director, Community Building Expert, Entrepreneur, and Founder

Jae Sabol is no stranger to success. While starting, growing and selling businesses in the holistic health and personal development fields, Jae dedicated 15 years to planning a community to facilitate open source sustainability. That community now exists and Jae and his team have big plans for developing ‘The Highest Good of All’.

One Community

The purpose of One Community is to create self-replicating living models. Jae’s vision is to provide open source sustainability solutions for a range of issues, including housing.

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At the time or writing, the One Community website is having a big update but there is still a huge collection of resources, covering a diverse range of sustainable living, community and infrastructure topics.

One Community Topics
Jae Sabol and his team have created an online hub of open source sustainability information covering infrastructure, living, lifestyle, education and more. Be sure to have a browse.

Earth Bag Village

The Earth Bag Village is just one of the open source sustainability concepts described in detail on One Community. I had to admit I hadn’t come across this method of construction before, but I can see the appeal which includes low cost, low tech, resilient and replicable construction with local materials.

Earth Bag Village
The earth bag village is an example of an open source sustainable design for housing and a community.

While earth bag buildings may look basic or even prehistoric at first glance, Jae is quick to point out that a modern earth bag village would include modern technology.

Jae’s not the only one talking about Earth Bag construction. For more check out:

What open source project are you interested in? Leave a comment below to let me know.

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  • Kara Rosemeier

    What is the thermal conductivity of dirt – about 2 W/(mK)? Compare to run-of-the-mill insulation: 0.040 W/(mK). So: you’d need 50cm of earth bag construction to get the insulation value of 1cm actual insulation. I am all for sharing and an Open Source advocate. 95% of software I use is Open Source, and I am very happy to share this information freely. To get typical code performance with about 9cm of insulation, you need 450cm thick earth walls – and we all know that code is not good enough. And please do not invoke the thermal mass argument, as – you can have debates about thermal mass being good for heating purposes, when it is enclosed in an insulated shell, but thermal mass on exterior building elements is unquestionably not storing any heat usable on the inside. Or would you keep you coffee warm by burying it in the ground? Yes you can add all sorts of stuff to the earth to make it perform every so slightly better – but why start with a poor choice? And then wrap yourself in electric blankets to stay warm – seriously?