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Everything posted by DKoshuba

  1. The main flaw in their plan that I see is - 203 houses on 50 acres. According to this article, they want to be "nearly self-sufficient". IMHO this will be hard to achieve. They need more ground! After some area (I hope there will be some) will be designated to the community use, like clubhouse, pathways (they can't cut those out), parking for electric cars that will be on the perimeter of the property, they will not have much space left. Plus they still promise traditional fields and orchards surrounding homes. From their original plan, larger animals have been already illuminated and now it is just chicken and fish. Even that also takes space. If you do quick calculations the lots of only 1/4 of an acre would take the whole area. What about all of this cool stuff? Where would it fit? That is why they don't want to do roads, they can't lose more ground. So, they took a clever path, wrapped this packed urban living into "new, modern idea" and are trying to sell it as a self-sufficient farm. I am a bit disappointed in these guys on one hand. They had such a promising start and end up with this... On the other side - I respect them. If they can sell it at that price, charge HOA on top, plus make residents work there?!!!!!!!! Wow, that takes some selling skills.
  2. Price is high but considering that this is in Europe - its ok but still at the higher end. I lived in Germany and prices are always shocking. But I was actually expressing about something else, can someone find it?
  3. I checked many turbines on Amazon. Reviews on them are not that good, I would like to find something of better quality that will last a long time. Prices, of course, are much better than here. I can't guarantee that but I believe for something like you posted above they were asking $4 -4.5K. We need to locate something reliable and reasonably priced. Both of those qualities are a rare find in Chile. Have you looked into vertical wind turbines? Less noise and I believe it is easier to set it on the roof. Several years ago I saw a commercial of Vortex bladeless turbine. They had some promising units about to be delivered to the market but they are not there yet. I checked their website and their 3KW unit is not there anymore, just a little 100W?! I like their idea, will see if they can deliver.
  4. What is the output of those turbines you are looking at?
  5. Anna B, thank you for sharing an interesting article. Finally, they provided some more information. Please understand me correctly, I do not want to criticize their project, I love their idea and I am trying to learn from it as much as possible. But according to the information revealed in this article, does anyone sees any flaws in their plan or is it just me?
  6. I have seen a few windmills on Ruta 5 on the way to San Fernando. I think it was on Copec gas station. That is the size of a windmill you are looking for. However, I was not able to find reasonably priced units yet. Like everything in Chile, if it is rare, they will try to charge you 5-7 times of what it is worth. I do not recall now, it has been a while, but I remember in one store they asked something crazy high. I think it is a great idea to start asking on the forum for tips where we can get stuff. Eventually, we will get an answer.
  7. LA girl, thanks for your question. We try to use sustainable and green products to build our houses as much as it is possible. You just have to understand that it is hard to determine if spray foam insulation is not a sustainable option. I agree, it is not the most sustainable option, but it is a good one. Closed cell foam insulation provides resilience and efficiency benefits, and recently we start seeing more greener and efficient options on the market, like soybean-based spray foam or castor oil-based Icynene. Due to an indefinite lifespan of spray foam, you don’t have to worry about replacement – ever. Closed cell foam bonds with surfaces and will remain snug in its place unlike other types of insulation. Imagine, how much energy will be saved over the lifespan of a resilient house if you use closed cell foam insulation. That is where you see real benefits. If you are off grid, you will have to spend much less on solar panels and battery storage, saving essential resources. If your house is connected to the grid, by the time the energy will be delivered to you about 73% will be lost. And without great insulation, you will have to use much more of that energy. I believe that foam insulation is actually very green and sustainable option for those who want to protect the environment and use resources wisely.
  8. Hello Steve, I am glad to see that our project inspires other like-minded people that are passionate about creating a green community for self-sufficient living. I am open and looking forward to discussing this with you in more details. There are many opportunities in our project for a qualified person to get involved in. From now on I would prefer to take this conversation off the public forum. Let's get in touch by email. Thanks for your inquiry. Sincerely, D Koshuba
  9. Please check your spam folder, maybe it landed there. Also, I have resent it from a different email, hope you will get that. Take care, D
  10. Steve, about half of the lots are at the higher elevation and to have a house with a basement on those lots would not be a problem at all. Humidity problem does not exist here; it is dry, identical to Napa Valley. I just had to take a road trip to Buenos Aires right before New Year and weather on the other side of Andes is opposite, hot and humid. I just send you an email, responding to your request on our website. Thanks again for your questions, this helps us to keep other people informed about our project. Best regards, D.
  11. Steve, thanks for the questions. We have a well on the property, not far from the proposed clubhouse location. The elevation of that spot is about 105 meters above sea level. The water table is high, and the depth of that well is only 6 - 7 meters. (that's what I was told by the seller) The water level is almost all the time at about 4 meters from the surface. I did not dare to try the water, but that is often what people use here, they don't go very deep. I have spoken recently with several local contractors that offer well-drilling services and have been told that in order to get to the better quality water I would need to drill 20+ meters. In my opinion, I would try to drill more than that. (I managed well drilling before in Africa and have a little bit of experience). People in this area said that the water quality here is good, Don't have data to support that at this point. I can't say in data anything about the wind in this area. I am pretty sure that small wind turbine will work just fine. I have seen one of those on a gas station nearby, spinning very good. Also every day there is a good wind that changes direction few time a day. In the evening wind from the Andes comes pushing in cold air. By the way, right now every day we have 90F at daytime and 55F at night. That fresh air from the mountains helps a lot. On solar - we have plenty of that here, same like in San Diego I think but with Napa Valley temperature. You can refer to me with just D, I like to maintain my privacy as much as it is possible. Thanks for understanding. Best regards, D.
  12. Steve, last year I have done a topo map of the property. The elevation by the river at the lowest point is at 96 meters above the sea level. The highest point of the property at the entry is about 125 meters. The clubhouse is at about 123-meter mark. In the video, we used real data from the topography of the property, it is still a cartoon but will give you an idea how it looks like. The river in the back is often almost dry in the summer, and will not work for any electricity production. Water is a very important commodity in the area, all those wineries around require a lot. Thanks for asking, Let me know if there is anything else I can clarify. I will be looking into the forum more often now. Take care
  13. Thank you so much, Steve and GoGreen for the questions. Security is an essential subject of a plan B, and we should discuss this up to the reasonable extent. We do not want to share with the whole world everything that we will do here in order to keep residents and their wealth protected. We will have a high-security vault in the clubhouse for all residents with 2 to 3 security boxes per property. In Chile, it is impossible to open a regular checking account in the bank until the residency is established here for at least two years. Do not ask me why... This is one of the worse things in this country. All expats living in Chile have to deal with this somehow. Most people I know, use credit cards or transfer money here using Western Union. I am not a real fan of using bank safety deposit box, but I would be happy to have a chance to have one here. That option is also not available. That is why we decided that this is necessary for our development to have a high-security vault in our clubhouse. Some people may use this location for permanent living; some will keep this as a plan B retreat. In either case, a security box in the vault near your house will be beneficial. That is an excellent place to keep important paperwork. Also, I think people should have a reasonable amount of gold reserves in their safety boxes plus some cash in local currency. However, I would strongly advise not to go overboard with the amounts. In person, I can suggest what other options are available. The important thing is to have reserves in the country where you establish your plan B. Is there any guarantee that credit cards and money transfer services will always work? I see no problem having vault possessions insured. I have an experience dealing with the appropriate insurance company. One of the businesses I own, until recently had a bank vault with hundreds of safety deposit boxes. Like no one else I know that there is a considerable need for a secure place for people to store gold or silver. My customers always looked for a safe spot to store their wealth. I can talk freely about this now; we already closed that location. I know what the insurance company wants to see to provide insurance for a vault and how to get the best rate. In fact, the vault at my business was approved up to the best possible rate by the representative of the Lloyds of London. Now regarding personal safety... The location we picked is very private and off the beaten path. Unless you know the place, it will be hard to find. Property surrounded by large tracts of land with a small river on the back of the property. The access to the subdivision is at the dead end of an unnoticeable road. Plus we have friendly neighbors that are watching over the property for us that live there permanently for the last 40 years. They already proved on few occasions that they are good people. We are trying to keep a perfect relationship with locals, and they are happy to get some work from us that pays a bit better than they can get in the area. When connections like that are established, it provides an extra layer of security. At the same time, the property is in a tourist destination area, with impressive vineries and beautiful views and just 25 min drive to the beach. For groceries, a small town is only 6-7 miles away. And if you want to go to a large town, Santiago is under 3 hours drive away. I do not see any threats to residents here. Of course, this is South America, and we always have to watch out. But I can say our property is located in one of the best parts of it. Plus we do have a plan in place how to protect residents property when they are here or absent, because some people may choose for the subdivision management to rent their property for short-term vacation rental. There is a reason why we called our project a Resilient Plan B. D Koshuba, Founder,
  14. Hello everybody I was told that a question had been raised on this forum and I need to provide an answer. First, I want to thank everyone who is contributing here; we do value and appreciate your feedback. Eventually, we will have more and more people sharing their ideas here on this forum, and it will be very beneficiary to everyone. As we start building, I will try to provide as much information as possible covering different aspects of a green passive home construction. Just let us know what interests you. Steve, you asked if we would have any objection to using a Monolithic Dome Home in combination with MgO boards inner steel walls filled with closed cell foam insulation in our community. Unquestionably no objections to that. And that home does not have to use MgO boards, spray foam or metal frame for inner walls. What material customers want to use building their house is up to them. We do not want to promote only what we offer here on the construction side. People will not be obligated to build their house with us; they could do it themselves or hire a local builder, it is up to the owner of the property. We want to see quality passive houses built in our subdivision. No, prefabs, mobile homes, container houses, etc. But regarding the style - we will be very reasonable. Dome homes do indeed look different from traditional houses. I think a house like the one on the picture above would be a great addition to the subdivision. D Koshuba, Founder,