Factor e Farm Infrastructure Buildout 2011

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2011 marks the buildout of Factor e Farm for the purpose of absorbing 6-12 people full time with comfortable accommodations and work space. We are planning on using the CEB press and strawbale insulation as the core of the built environment, as an application of Modular CEB Construction. The planned infrastructure buildout includes 6 superinsulated studios, 6 more 3-season studios, common kitchen, common shower/bathroom, supporting electrical power and internet infrastructure, and a 3000 square foot workshop addition. The return on investment goal is $20-60k/month bootstrap funding generated as a result of production/training operations, where all cash is funneled into continued, rapid GVCS development. Read more about OSE Scaling Strategy. Since we are a Distributive Enterprise - please read the Replicability of Productive Facilities


We have a $60k donation offer for building the infrastructure. The tactical plan is:

  1. Build covered space with metal roofing as in the workshop addition ($2/sq ft)- [1]. This allows us immediate covered space, which can be retrofitted with CEB walls if designed for that. This would allow for bricks to be covered, and would be a case in point for implementing Modular CEB Construction
  2. Build on level area already marked out last year; lay 6" of gravel for leveling area
  3. Build outdoor kitchen
  4. Build bathroom with closed loop blackwater system - Living Machine emphasizing vermiposting component, so that worm castings can be produced as fertilizer. The water coming out the other side should be used cyclically for flushing. Capacity should be 12 people.
  5. Showers: common shower facility is a good idea. That way, the residence is just living, not kitchen/bathroom. Makes it simple.
  6. On CEB - we considered gettting a baler for straw bale insulation - between two 1' thick CEB walls. Superinsulation literally at zero cost.
  7. There's a 40 foot shipping container on Craigslist for $2500 - that may be worth getting, and we may be able to move it with 2 tractors if we need to later on.

For discussion of this strategy, see Talk:Factor_e_Farm_Infrastructure_Buildout_2011.


Housing Strategy

We will begin with a 3 season structure that allows for 4-season superinsulation retrofit.

  1. Level working area
  2. Backhoe foundation pads - 3x3x3 feet
  3. Lay 6" of gravel and fill foundation pads
  4. Build 3x3' foundation pads, 4" thick
  5. Trench drainage ditch
  6. Build roof section, 16x16 (3 foot overhangs on each side, for 10x10 studio space
  7. Raise columns to height by building with CEB under roof
  8. Lay foundation frame and rebar for wall infill, 4' wide - allows for straw bales and second CEB layer. Pour concrete pad
  9. Prepare framed doors and windows.
  10. Build infill walls, inserting framed doors and windows.

Housing - 4 season - straw-bale double wall, and straw bale roof sections


  1. Bring lumber, roofing materials, and fasteners on-site. Prepare all tools. 8 cordless drills and 4 corded drills.
  2. Take out internet line to get it out of the construction area.
  3. Get gravel trucks in - lay 6" gravel over 64'x48' area of workshop, estimated 3 trucks of 16 tons gravel each, $1k
  4. Bring in 1 gravel truck with 1/2" gravel and sand for cement mixing.
  5. Smooth out gravel with tractor blade
  6. Trench water drainage around perimeter of workshop, exit to drainage ditch
  7. Auger post holes through gravel
  8. Figure out daylighting detail. Use 2' wide corrugated translucent roofing for daylighting.
  9. Build 16'x16' roof framing, 12 sections, using 17' roof sections.
  10. Mix cement, put in and plumb posts in place, with roof framing in place.
  11. Raise roof sections.
  12. Cover with roofing.
  13. Tie down structure with storm anchors.
  14. Lay frames and rebar for concrete pads, 16x16' at a time. 6" thick on top of the gravel.
  15. Lay frames for any CEB wall infill


Workshop only:

  • Potash or Borax - for stabilizing straw
  • $3.5k - Thermaclear glazing ($2/sq ft for 1750 sq ft)
  • $2k - Gravel for foundations- 7 truck loads, $300 each
  • $5k - construction lumber
  • $1k - Fuel
  • $1k - fasteners
  • $3k - Metal roofing
  • $3k - cement for foundations
  • $1k - misc power tools

Total so far: $33.5k

Housing and Utility:

  • $2k - electrical supplies
  • $2k - foundation cement
  • $2k - metal roofing
  • $2k - Doors, windows
  • $2k - kitchen outfitting
  • $3k - bathroom outfitting
  • $1k - Gravel for foundations- 3 truck loads


  • $500 - universal Auger Prototype II; 2.5" shaft thickness for extra heavy duty; 1-7/8" attachment available as well.
  • Backhoe - available as Prototype I
  • $1k - Dump trailer - available as truck bed and pickup truck; make another as quick-attach implement
  • $1k - cement mixer Prototype I (attachment to Universal Auger); partly self-loaded by tractor
  • $1k - trencher Prototype I (attachment to Universal Auger)
  • $2k - square baler purchase
  • $750 - sickle bar purchase
  • $750 - hay rake purchase
  • $4k - fully automatic CEB press build (2 total will be available at Factor e Farm for the construction season)
  • $5.5k - 3 more Power Cubes to support 2 tractors at 54 hp each and 2 CEB presses
  • $5k - if time and money allows, build dimensional sawmill for onsite lumber production; do it by winter time if miss the main season

Total: $16.5k + sawmill



Euipment infrastructure-

  1. CEB 1
  2. CEB 2
  3. Power Cube for CEB 1
  4. Power Cube for CEB 2
  5. Power Cube for LifeTrac 1
  6. 2 Power Cubes for Lifetrac III-1
  7. 2 Power Cubes for Lifetrac III-2
  8. Ball hitch on LifeTrac 1 to move around dump wagon for soil dumping
  9. Soil Pulverizer 1
  10. Soil Pulverizer 2
  11. Trencher
  12. Cement Mixer Loader
  13. Universal Auger - for cement mixer and trencher
  14. Outsource Sawmill to Sweiger
  15. Buy baler, rake, cutter
  1. olumn structure for all buildings beginnings
  2. CEB Workshop – infill with single layer CEB
  3. Trencher for water trench all around workshop
  4. Backhoe for double layer CEB/straw walls

Step by step:

  1. Unbury cable – done
  2. Call up digger's hotline
  3. Dig 3x3 pads
  4. Prepare vertical forms with plumb bobs
  5. Get 1 truck of 1” gravel
  6. Get 1 truck of 1/2” gravel and 1 truck sand for concrete mixing
  7. Build universal auger 2
  8. Build cement mixer
  9. Build 2 tooth bars for soil pulverizers for digging duty
  10. Build trencher
  11. Shake down backhoe
  12. Prepare dump wagon
  13. Prepare slurry mixer rods on corded drills
  14. Assess and purchase the number of cement bags for concrete pads
  15. Procure lime, and test lime stucco on existing columns
  16. Get 2x10 lumber – suorce from best Big Box Store, get it delivered
  17. Identify fasteners
  18. Identify tools needed – 4 cordless with 2 battery packs each, 3 corded

Additional Workshop Equipment

See Factor e Farm Production Facility