Structures and Building practices

We have designed and built 10x10x10 foot cubes made with locally milled wood.  Our band-saw mills logs into 4x4 inch cants, beams and boards.  Walls are made with milled boards and insulated with straw, clay, cob and plaster.  The cube rests on an earth foundation with built in mass heater, bath and connection to an outdoor composter/toilet.

Our current buildings are compliant with local governments,   To circumvent a building permit, structures are temporary, moveable and less than 125 square feet.  There will be a communal kitchen, bath facility and commons spaces, so people just need a place to sleep and store their belongings.

baseTimbers are fitted together then braced with rebar (ideally we develop a wood joinery system)  A wood pyramid rests on top of the cube.  The pyramid serves as a temple and meditation space.   A staircase joins the cube and pyramid.  A door in the pyramid is opened for air flow.

Shalla boxes are simple, functional, attractive and easily affordable.   They provide heat, shelter and basic cooking and cleaning.  They serve as storage units, workshops and studios for eco villagers.


For optimal insulation, we bury the cube structure up to the pyramid. Underground cubes could be enveloped under a larger pyramid/tipi.  Wood poles from the forest and boards from our mill provide slanted retaining wall around the cube.  Each cube can have a mass heater chulha. 

Mass heater technology

We start with the idea of a conventional wood stove.   Heat is extracted immediately.   Smoke goes up the chimney due to a thermosiphon.  This design has the problem of creosote leading to chimney fires.  So if you insulate the chimney, the chimney gets hot enough that the creosote burns much more often - thus reducing the risk.  But the downside is that more heat leaves the house through the chimney

Mass Heater's high temperature burns creosote and the smoke.  The exhaust is mostly steam and CO2.  We can now safely extract more heat.   We add a chimney so we can push the exhaust wherever we want.  We add a mass/cob/rocks to absorb heat. 

Source: Paul Wheaton

Cob and Plaster

Cob buildings using cordwood seem quite plausible given the fact that we are surrounded by forests on all sides of our lakes. We welcome the involvement of those who may have experience in building such structures.  Most structures will follow a customized format, means quite small and possibly moveable, (but leaving sufficient room for innovation and uniqueness) using cob materials from  straw, earth, rocks and wood.

Our aim is to construct high quality living earth structures, such as cob benches, wood fired ovens, and adobe dome saunas encouraging community involvement through educational workshops and gatherings around the finished project, promoting a healthy, simple and creative lifestyle harmonious with the natural flow of creation.


    Some living areas will be underground to keep warm in winter and cool in summer. 

    We keep our lives simple yet sublime in service to Lord Krishna.