Project Gunsleben - General design - Planning phase

Posted on vr 13 juli 2018 in designs • Gewijzigd op 24 juli 2018

This is the place where we analyze and consider alternatives. See the design overview for the big picture.

Note: this design has been abandoned.

Consideration of Alternatives


  • Earth care
    • Reduce
      • create small living spaces, easily heated
      • use solar energy where possible
      • limited use of power tools, tractors and other fossil fuel powered machines
      • mindful use of water and energy
    • Reuse
      • rescue construction materials from (going to) land fills
      • repurpose existing buildings
      • reuse existing infrastructure
    • Recycle
      • create compost
      • grey water to water the garden
    • Repair
      • repair the buildings
      • create a (food) forest
      • improve the soil by adding biomass
  • People care
    • revitalize property
    • revitalize village
    • create a warm, loving community around a common goal
  • Fair share / Future care
    • exchange knowledge, materials and seeds with a wider community

Holmgren principles


  • Observe and interact
  • Catch and store energy
    • make jam from prunes
    • make hay from field
    • catch water from roof
  • Obtain a yield
    • organize camps
      • permaculture design course
      • survival camp
      • youth camp (for scouts or sport groups)
      • for apprentices (learning about construction for example)
      • team building
    • adventure space
      • for children (for example: Clip'n'Climb)
      • for adults (for example: escape room)
      • themed for halloween / christmas
    • renting out space
      • for companies
      • for weddings
      • for campers
      • for permaculturists
      • for survivalists
      • for apprentices / handymen
  • Apply self regulation and accept feedback
  • Use and value renewable resources and services
    • grow your own fire wood
    • catch rain water
  • Produce no waste
    • compost bin
    • worm farm
  • Design from patterns to details
  • Integrate rather than segregate
  • Use small and slow solutions
  • Use and value diversity
  • Use edges and value the marginal
  • Creatively use and respond to change

6 ways to die

  • thirsty: 4 liter water per person per day covered via
    • well
    • water from mains
    • rain water capture
  • hungry: 10 MJ per person per day + cooking fuel covered by
    • veg. plot
    • supermarkets
    • forage
    • heating via: wood, coal, gas, electricity
  • cold: hypothermia when body core temperature < 35°C covered by
    • heating fuel
    • clothing
    • blankets
  • hot: hyperthermia when body core temperature > 38°C covered by
    • building shading from the sun
    • thermal mass of building
    • cellar in contact with thermal mass of earth
  • ill: covered by
    • physician and hospital in Oschersleben (@ 15km)
  • injured: covered by
    • first aid kit
    • voluntary fire brigade in Gunsleben
    • medical services in Oschersleben, Magdeburg, Braunschweig


Due to limited availability and waning interest, this design was abandoned. Parts of it were reused in the building design another group created during the second week of the PDC in Gunsleben.

See the main document for a reflection on the process and lessons learned.