* Water: The first priority is to find a terrain near a freshwater cause (a river, stream, ect) or otherwise a freshwater well (in Corrientes freshwater is easily achievable in Chaco presents more difficulty, but it’s not insurmountable).
* Power lines: if there are any laying around, that will facilitate the construction of the eco-village, although Dipam aspires to be independent later on, the possibility of having a nearby power line network allows a faster start and an emergency plan in case of failure of the internal network.
* Accessibility: The space should ideally be at a distance not exceeding 9 miles (15 km) from the nearest urban center, this will allow access to elements that may be needed in any situation; likewise, the roads leading to the place and their availability in adverse situations (rain, floods and severe storms) should be studied.
* Flooding: In the NEA (North-east Argentina) region, flooding can be a major problem, so it’s a priority to choose a site that is not as easily floodplain and / or can be modified to protect the structures and cultives of potential flooding. The region is characterized by the presence of Malaria, Dengue and more recently the Chikunguña, which are viruses transmitted by mosquitoes that breed in stagnant water, it’s necessary to avoid that by good conduit to surface water level at the site.
Security: It is advisable to analyze the state of the local justice in the municipality where we plan to conduct the site, not only to see what is the position and behavior of local versus outsiders, but also from local authorities before them. It is highly recommended to encircled the field and evaluate how to maintain a safe space in it.
Considerations on the first building to be built:
* Base: The base cement / bricks must be built on a central point to give effective foundation (power tools will be probably required) to climatic conditions.
* Materials: The most commonly used (and readily available) elements in the area are cooked bricks, plate zinc and pine tables, unless another viable alternative is found, it is recommended to use these materials.
* Size: The first structure will fulfill multiple functions, from a meditation room, a shed for storage and even a basic living quarter; therefore it’s estimated size should be around 275 Inches (7 meters) length by 196 inches (5 mts) wide and have a height of 90 inches (2,30 meters).
* Electricity: As already mentioned, the proximity of power lines would greatly facilitate the initial tasks (at least until the first local renewable energy network in the building is active). This building must have a basic wiring plan to have lighting and outlets (at a decent height to protect them from water), ignition keys and the possibility of extension. Later the use of wind and solar energy (in the form of panels on the roof) with it’s accumulation (batteries) system and stabilizers, all of this must be anchored within the building.
Security: While the space should be ventilated, it should be noted that security is an important issue and should be considered the use of keys, locks and other resources to separate the contents inside the building from outside.
* Bathroom: the construction of a shower and bath waste apart from the main building, are recommended to avoid the annoyance that this usually brings.
* Final Thoughts: The heat in the region is often a major problem, as temperatures can reach 40 degrees (especially in the summer), the use of air conditioning is not recommended due to high energy consumption, but using a split AC system of average power should be enough to deal with the situation, so it is necessary to analyze the use of good ventilation to avoid the problem of humidity (recommended to avoid using ceramic floors by this problem). The Frio is usually not a serious problem in the region, so that the use of stoves is discouraged, but if required it is preferable to a natural range. The structure must have a roof that does not allow the accumulation of kissing bugs, to prevent transmission of Chagas virus (endemic area). Avoid placing containers with standing water is necessary to prevent the proliferation of mosquitoes and various insects.
The structure should be thought of punches to potential flooding, so it must be provided as protect fragile elements of the situation.
About the Crop
* Permaculture: For self-supporting, will be used at least 30% of the space in “Forest of Food” (incorporating polyculture orchard or “forest”, shrubs, vines, perennials and annuals, as layered structure) .
The aquaponic crops will also be used in makeshift tanks hardware materials to supplement the diet. The only drawback is that these tanks require care and a steady flow of energy, so you have to keep members engaged and trained to monitor these tanks.