Just got to wondering if anyone here knows people doing natural building in central Eurasia, or for that matter, traditional village-style housing using local building methods and resources.
1) We always like finding old-world technology that has useful elements we can mimic.
Our part of North America is mountainous, semi-arid to arid, with a mix of rolling-hills steppe, scrub-steppe benches, conifer forest hills, and rocky alpine outcrops and peaks.
The few photos I've seen of conditions in the 'stan regions, it seems like they have some very similar climate zones.
I'd love to find out more about traditional building styles that are durable, resist extreme cold and heat, and provide comfort in these harsh climates. And of course any integrated garden or cultural practices too.
2) We are getting permaculture and natural building inquiries from a permaculture startup in Kazakhstan, and it would be great to connect people who have experience in the region.
I'm originally from Kazakhstan, it's great to hear that there is a permaculture startup, it would be great to visit them when I'm back. I live in China now, and there is a fair number of people moving into permaculture here too.
Traditional Kazakh and Kyrgyz housing is of course the yurt, made of felt over wooden framing. While think felt provides good (though possibly a bit smelly) insulation, I have never seen it used to the full, like with fire, smoke and everything, so not sure how that would be. The Kazakhs have settled down during the Soviet period of their history, so if you want to experience the traditional lifestyle you should go to China or Mongolia.
In Uzbekistan and Tajikistan people have settled down long time ago, they used to build their houses from mud bricks or stones, and more prominent structures from red or yellow brick. I saw one ancient brick caravanserai in Uzbekistan desert built completely underground, an excellent shelter from extreme temperatures. Not sure is anyone alive now still has the skills though.
Where i live, Ladakh, is very similar to and historically linked with Central Asia. The traditional method here is mud bricks, but quickly being supplanted with cement based techniques. I am buddies with some natural builders here, though.
Works at a residential alternative high school in the Himalayas SECMOL.org . "Back home" is Cape Cod, E Coast USA.
Location: Hangzhou, China
posted 3 years ago
Unfortunately mud bricks are not good for earthquake-prone areas, which was proven by the devastating 1966 Tashkent quake. I'd go for cob, not bricks in that region.
Natural building that people still use here in Kazakhstan are reed panels, cob blocks and very interesting technology of cutting earth blocks covered by thick grass in Syrdariya river.
In Almaty we have Permaculture project Wild Forest Boguty implementing permaculture in different areas like building, water harvesting and managing, infrastructure and energy etc
Now in final stage two 3 floor straw bale houses which are perfect for mountain climate and earthquake danger.
If you interested feel free to contact me also anybody who interested in permaculture warmly welcome!