Tir Tairngire Village - A Think Tank
Article ID: 12826
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: January 25th. 2009
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Tir Tairngire Village: An Engineering Thesis with Earth First-Logic
Dream with me…
Here’s a dark scenario: You live in a busy city such as New York, Toronto, Halifax, even St. Johns. You lock your apartment door even when you’re home; you hear gunshots in the night, and work in a minimum wage job you hate, because no one seems to be hiring. You want a family but can’t find people of similar interests; you want to go to university but can’t afford it. You mean to recycle, but you’re so burned out after working overtime that you use paper plates just to get to bed sooner… only to wake up and return to that loathsome workplace.
During your restless sleep, on a lumpy mattress, in a poorly ventilated room of plaster and artificial light, you warily dream of a different life, but you won’t remember it the next day for your own sanity upon waking. You’ve even humored yourself by thinking about starting a family, with the right partner, but the last thing you want is a child growing up where you’ve been living lately.
There is a better way.
Tir Tairngire: an Irish legend of a place that the magickal Faerie folk call heaven, environmental unity, freedom from conflict, and even illness. This is a legend; this is a dream; this is my objective.
The global marketplace has begun to drift dangerously towards a disposable consciousness; flash drives, plastic cars and Styrofoam packing on everything you buy. For thousands of years humans lived differently, without plastics and drywall and gasoline and landfills. The answer to these and other problems isn’t to be found new gadgets or technology, but in olde-world logic and new-age morality.
Rather than homes built of petroleum plastic and dwindling wood resources, I propose a construction technique that has become all but perfected in recent years, the rejuvenation of discarded shipping containers and the creation of stronger, cheaper, more easily portable housing units for rapid assembly in any number of applications from emergency shelters to residential and commercial units alike.
Wind powered, designed as efficiently as is feasible, and improved with every creation, housing units can be assembled quickly and effectively, with minimal groundwork. Coven Enterprises will provide the industry to the world, and create a community using these ethics to prove that such principles are effective. Maintenance-free housing is only the beginning however, and with these foundations, other miracles become possible.
Olde-world logic cannot end in earth-first construction and recycling of steel boxes, such steps are incremental but only the beginning. Large-scale all-organic greenhouses will feed the community as it grows and evolves; private water and sewer designed with the growth and demand in mind. Private education, first-stage medical care and protection from crime and fire are also designed into the village infrastructure.
All land will be owned by the corporation, Coven Enterprises, and rented to the workers. This will keep the interests of the company at heart, allowing more effective management of resources and prevention of unwanted assets entering or exiting the property. In short, there’s no room for fourteen Starbucks in each neighborhood of our medieval-esque dream.
One think-tank creation has been a 35-unit apartment building; grey-brick exterior and box-design resembles a twelfth-century castle. Each five-bedroom residence is designed to boast in-floor space heating, on-demand water heating, energy efficient appliances and wood finishing from the floors to the walls to the ceiling. Grey brick exterior and artistic mezzanines will return the look of an English castle to idealize the greenscape and sense of abandon to the conventions of a wasteful society.
A second design that has been brought forward is a circular ring of apartments, buried under a meter of mother earth, that wraps around a thousand square foot moss garden with a tree growing from the ground level towards a carefully engineered skylight. With nine three-bedroom units in each of three apartment buildings will bear the appearance of a mound of earth with windows and doors around the perimeter. Each collects rainwater for recycling into taps, and uses the wind for power.
Underground service tunnels carry water, power, phone and Internet infrastructure to destroy the need for telephone poles, a large-scale gated community concept will permit privacy where it may be desired by residents, and a fence-free design will favor fruit-baring trees as an alternative to sterile aluminum wire-mesh.
As the village grows, and population increases beyond the initially designed industry phase, spinoffs will occur, favoring the artist and physical crafts of years gone by. Sculpting, writing, painting, carving, these will be sources of income to a more stable and secure community. For example, blacksmithy can reach levels of specialization for those who devote their lives to the craft to rival any machine’s fabrication.
Undoubtedly, unskilled laborers will migrate into the community in the form of family members to necessary inclusions of the society. These members will have the opportunity to apprentice established trades, or create new venues as to their passion. Early examples would include childcare, and full time gardeners during green months, followed by snow sculptors and grounds keepers during the colder months. Beautification, a forgotten art, will never be forgotten here.
Transportation, while any emission will be an issue of contention towards the objectives of the whole, will be accommodated by resident parking; however shuttle services have been conceptualized to facilitate easy commute to the neighboring communities within reasonable distance, including a ferry landing, two airports, and three large commercial centers. Regular runs of this service will be made available and at no cost, so as to encourage the use of such services over gasoline or diesel engines.
The condition of roads in Newfoundland is no secret, and a solution to this grievance has been provided for, naturally. The service tunnels that carry infrastructure throughout the village will be subterranean, but with the roof structure at ground level to facilitate fitted paving stones to be placed on a firm concrete foundation. This design has an expected life of fifty to one hundred years in expectedly light traffic conditions.
Control and regulation being of such paramount importance to the smooth running of any corporation, the housing on the property will be to the exclusive use of Coven Enterprises employees and their families. K-12 schools have been included in far-scale plans, beyond group home-schooling measures to be taken early on. Such measures ensure a different kind of experience then many individuals are forced to endure in poorly organized public school systems.
Importing goods will be handled by a single body, and then distributed to all smaller venues, which will intern issue exportable wares back to this body for resale to the public. Ensuring centralized handling of such issued permits Coven Enterprises to more effectively focus resources and allow crafters to place their attention towards perfecting their talents and skills.
The olde-world notwithstanding, integration with the current public body is essential for resident contentment and effective living within this world. As such, high-speed networking functionality has been integrated directly into every room of every residence and business. Allowing an all-ports-open philosophy to information exchange will ensure that word gets out, to ensure that others may understand.
This project is more than a dream, more than a concept, and much more than an overachieving engineering student’s five-year obsession; it is a forgotten truth that the road to the future isn’t necessarily paved on silicon and ceramic, the answers often lay in the very earth that such things are harvested from, to be lost forever in the name of progress.
From the outside-in, Coven Enterprises is a holding corporation; a group responsible for supplying complete management solutions for smaller businesses in varying fields. A “coven”, in the pagan context, is a group of people with similar interests and views on Wiccan spirituality. The coven, in this instance, is the group of companies working towards the united goal of commercial success with similar ethical structure.
Commercially, Coven Enterprises will be a manufacturer of cargo-container conversions, in the form of industrial applications, residential applications, and others such as temporary military housing or disaster relief. These structures will be designed by on-site engineering staff, and constructed by subcontractors initially, and on-site workers as the business grows. The prototypes and templates for the housing units will be used as on-site housing for workers, and a proving ground for the technology.
Building more and more of a community by way of expansion into more unique designs and introduction of specialized technologies to improve the viability of these designs, the franchise can be allowed to expand beyond a critical point, and spin-off jobs inside the corporate-owned community will flourish as population grows. These jobs are limited to the needs of the workers and the creativity of those willing to supply the demand.
Initial projections require use of municipal power intertie until wind turbines can be erected to perfect the self-sufficiency by way of utilities. Rainwater collection basins are designed for the habitation units, specially filtered to ensure safe drinking water. Drill wells will be included as emergency stopgap measures in the case of long-duration dry periods in the climate. Special design considerations are being implemented to ensure the most energy efficient means are used, to make the power spread, and battery backups will ensure that nature powers the homes, with the grid-intertie left in place for emergency use. Private sewer will also be facilitated, as will security and fire protection to ensure the utmost safety and security to company workers.
Politically, the community will bear a resemblance to a communal culture, where all people are included on many decisions made in the community. Deductions will be made on the part of the company for housing, power, phone, water, sewer, and the like, and goods provided within the corporate community will be regulated to promote “in-house” spending and promote the internal economy. Though needs will be provided, guests are welcome to visit the employees on the grounds, and experience the lifestyle that will be enjoyed among workers.
Senate decisions on company policy will be expected; voting structures will exist such that the community acts more like a town then a corporate housing subdivision. In that, the Tir Tairngire Village organization will be a cooperative non-profit corporation in and among itself, responsible for the effective service of those who share ownership. Shares and stocks will be issued to all residents, such that as the community grows and improves, the value of shares and stocks will as well; thus encouraging individuals to maintain residence and watch their investment grow; so to speak.
In later phases, nearly all needs by the community will be provided by semi-privately run companies, from all-natural foodstuffs to woodworking products to textiles. Housing design will be perpetuated by the original housing industry to facilitate community growth, when ‘spin-off’ industries will become the primary economic driving force for Coven Enterprises by way of exporting many quality, hand-made goods to the global marketplace.
If you wish to become part of the process of creation, for this wonderful dream, please contact myself, LoreCaster at firstname.lastname@example.org to show interest, and view the web forum that I have created for this purpose. All constructive feedback is welcome, and encouraged.
Merry Meet, and Goddess Bless.
- Spider LoreCaster
Location: Corner Brook, Newfoundland
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