Foundation for 3 new domes is ready

Friday, October 21, 2022 8:49 AM

The chalked lines I had readied in June were completely erased by the September hurricane. Luckily, the ability to edit my earlier markings yielded better results, as i’d been thinking to both move the dome forward a bit and to enlarge the bathroom.  So, I re-did my foundations and compass lines, and hoped a backhoe operator would be found to dig. 

Alas, the backhoe promises went un-met, so Jose Martin brought me a team of 5 guys from Durango and we worked two days to get the foundations done.  Our first task was to dig the outer rings, sized to fit two bags because my ‘springline’ will be ~ 3.5 feet above the floor, thus requiring the 2nd bag layer for buttressing.  Then we found level at 6” below my ‘floor’ (to account for 3” rock and 3” of cement flooring); and then all leveled to that floor and foundation depth.  Locals get ‘level’ using tubing and an air bubble in water, I always enjoy the sophistication - and simplicty - of watching this approach.

We found the french drain from our existing outdoor shower area clogged up and useless, running center under the new ‘Bedroom’ dome.  It will have to re-routed once initial construction is complete.

Then a half day to place all septic, water, and power infrastructure.  Below are specifics:

Bedroom and Bathroom Domes:

Septic piping runs toward our existing septic tank, combining the shower, sink, and toliet together into a single septic line (plus toilet vent) ready to connect once construction is complete.

Power and water (hot and cold) run at an angle to join in a new, shared trench (yet to be dug) into our existing ‘utillity closet' behind the outdoor shower.  Power to the bedroom runs via an angled trench spliting from the trench running hot & cold water to the bathroom.

Teen Dome

The ’Teen dome' has a trench sharing power and water directly from the driveway (most direct route), where the A/C will come directly into the dome without a panel.  The water (cold only) runs under the dome and is ready for a sink.  The ‘grey’ water from this sink drains toward the plants marking our property boundary.  A proper grey water system will need to be built here.

Earth Bagging

The fun begins!  After setting the ‘vapor barrier’, we laid the inner 2 foundation bags for the 2 main domes.

The Durango team will lay the first 2 rows for the bathroom dome while I’m gone (maybe?).  They will also (hopefully) pour fortified earth into the area behind the 2 rows of bags to save time, and when I return that ‘foundation’ will be readied for the Hootenanny.

Here’s a video of us cooperating together to build earth bags!

Also, I built an ‘earth flow’ tool that will speed up bag fillings, and greatly reduce pressure on our old bodies.

I readied the tools (bag and barbed wire rolls, etc) so we can begin building earth walls on Nov 15th.  Plus, a lot of cleaning and repair from the hurricane’s passing.

The Durango Foundation Team:



Blas (brother of Juan, a great carpenter!)

Juan (Blas’ bro, the eldest of his family)



Jose Martin, the ‘main man’ who has worked the project since the very beginning, 15 years ago. 

El Jeffe

Yours Truly Enjoying a Calm Moment:-)