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Earthbag in Tenerife  RSS feed

 
Posts: 5
Location: Warsaw
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First of all, hello to everyone!

Me and my Wife are permaculture enthusiasts and animal lovers from Poland.

This year we have finally managed to buy a piece of land on our favourite island of Tenerife, in the mountains near Los realejos.

Initial plan was to schlepp a Tiny House there, but since our plot is almost 5k sq meters, has water and two cuevas (20 and 40 sq meters) we have decided to create a cave/earthbag homestead. The plot is rustic with agriculture marked as primary use. We will be keeping goats and chickens (we have polish agricultural permits and education, so that's a start I guess). There is also a small (7m?) Structure that used to be a stable. Has no doors or roof.

We are doing the move in two parts. First we would like to put a small wooden caseta with no foundation for sleeping and fit some doors to the cuevas for storage (and the old stable will be a shower area). This way we can visit more often and plan the house and make necessary arrangements. Some time later we want to move permanently. The way we want it to look is to have an earthbag, plastered addiction in front of the caves, with a wooden roof. This way we can use the caves as living room and a bedroom, and the addition in front will house a kitchen, bathroom and a dining room. Everything will eventually be solar-powered. The wooden caseta will be eventually converted into a stable for the goats and a chicken coop.

I have looked through similar threads and I will be definitely getting a local architect to handle the bigger obras regarding the earthbag addition. This is what most users are recommending. Now I have been searching high and wide online to find an answer to another question, so maybe some of you lovely people in here might be able to help me out:

What is the legal status of sheds, casetas and such? Is it ok to put something like that on your finca with no additional permits if you do not require a foundation for it? Does size matter in case of wooden lodges and sheds you can find in the building markets like Leroy Merlin?
 
Adam Kołakowski
Posts: 5
Location: Warsaw
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One more thing, any contacts to local architects who might have an idea how earthbag works will be greatly appreciated. Also, contacts to any other architects you have used and can recommend, even if they might not be familiar with this particular technology. From past experience I know it's easier to talk to professionals who know there are alternatives to cement in general :D
 
Posts: 36
Location: Canet lo Roig, Castellon, Spain: Mediteranean:cool wet winter, warm to hot dry summer
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Hi

Sounds fantastic!!! Look forward to hearing more, do you have a FB page, blog or website? I bought a small finca 1.8 hectares in Canet lo Roig, although still renting house in the village for the present. I too love permaculture and have just finished my online PDC with geoff lawton - he is sooo amazing learned loads! One of the TAs (Teaching assistants) was Will Loughran who was very helpful and he lives in Tenerife so might be a great contact for you. He is on Facebook as Will Loughran.

Good luck with all your projects!
Lucy

PS My parents were Polish although I was born in the UK and now I feel very Spanish
 
Adam Kołakowski
Posts: 5
Location: Warsaw
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Omg omg omg, first reply and such a helpful one as well!
Thank you!

I will contact Will for sure. If you could please let him know, people tend to react suspiciously to invites from people whose surnames sound like a WiFi password :D

As for following the build there is little to publish so far except for some videos of the plot, but we were thinking about blogging about it. Maybe it will be helpful to others in the future. Come to think of it I might write down the story of finding the plot itself since it was quite a ride of its own :D I will post the address of the blog here.

Your name does sound Polish :) I have the good fortune of kind of looking like a Spaniard, English people always mistake me for one, even locals talk to me immediately in Spanish :D makes stuff easier a bit, but unfortunately not at the ayuntamiento :)

Once again, a thousand times thank you! :)
 
Lucy Gabzdyl
Posts: 36
Location: Canet lo Roig, Castellon, Spain: Mediteranean:cool wet winter, warm to hot dry summer
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Hi Adam

I´ve messaged Will Loughran on FB and he's happy to connect. Do you have a FB page, let me know what name you go by. I´m just under lucygabzdyl.

A blog would be a great idea. Keep me posted.

Kind regards to you and your wife

Lucy and David
 
Adam Kołakowski
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Location: Warsaw
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Lucy Gabzdyl wrote:Hi Adam

I´ve messaged Will Loughran on FB and he's happy to connect. Do you have a FB page, let me know what name you go by. I´m just under lucygabzdyl.

A blog would be a great idea. Keep me posted.

Kind regards to you and your wife

Lucy and David



Hi Lucy,

I have sent you a friend request I think I will get started over the weekend. It turns out there is already a substantial amount to be written and it might be fun to collect the memories from the beginning of our journey looking forward to hearing from you I have contacted Will as well but not sure if I have the right one
 
Posts: 533
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
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forest garden greening the desert trees
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Hi from the south of Tenerife.

The canary Islands are subject to a new law from last year which is a little more permissive in what you can do. The law is the Ley del Suelo de Canarias and is a superior law to anything the local ayuntamiento says you can or can't do. You can read it here http://www.gobiernodecanarias.org/libroazul/pdf/75053.pdf
However, despite being a superior law in parts it does refer to the local laws. So you also need to acquaint yourself with the planeamiento general for your area, which says what you can and can't do on specific classifications of land in your region.


You seem to know your catastral classiffication as you already said the primary use is agriculture but it;s wrth looking up on the plan catastral what type of Rustic land it is, it may be protected for nature or for some kind of economic use that differs from what is on the catastral documentation.


Go to http://visor.grafcan.es/visorweb/ to see all sorts of information on your plot including GPS coords of its boundaries, what the exact land classification is, what the geology is, what vegetation is there now, what crops were grown etc etc.


An architect or aparejador are the only qualified people who can tell you what you can or can't do on your plot. I strongly addvise you to consult with one who regularly deals with your particular ayuntamiento, although in theory you can use someone from anywhere in Spain. The personal relationship between these guys and the staff at the town hall can be helfull hence my recommendation for using someone local. Good luck and post some photos!



 
Adam Kołakowski
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Location: Warsaw
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Steve Farmer wrote:Hi from the south of Tenerife.

The canary Islands are subject to a new law from last year which is a little more permissive in what you can do. The law is the Ley del Suelo de Canarias and is a superior law to anything the local ayuntamiento says you can or can't do. You can read it here http://www.gobiernodecanarias.org/libroazul/pdf/75053.pdf
However, despite being a superior law in parts it does refer to the local laws. So you also need to acquaint yourself with the planeamiento general for your area, which says what you can and can't do on specific classifications of land in your region.


You seem to know your catastral classiffication as you already said the primary use is agriculture but it;s wrth looking up on the plan catastral what type of Rustic land it is, it may be protected for nature or for some kind of economic use that differs from what is on the catastral documentation.


Go to http://visor.grafcan.es/visorweb/ to see all sorts of information on your plot including GPS coords of its boundaries, what the exact land classification is, what the geology is, what vegetation is there now, what crops were grown etc etc.


An architect or aparejador are the only qualified people who can tell you what you can or can't do on your plot. I strongly addvise you to consult with one who regularly deals with your particular ayuntamiento, although in theory you can use someone from anywhere in Spain. The personal relationship between these guys and the staff at the town hall can be helfull hence my recommendation for using someone local. Good luck and post some photos!





Thank you so much, can't wait to go home and check it out! Problem with our plot is that the online maps have not been updated in years for the area, so it is not showing the actual state of affairs for the plot. We were checking it during the purchase and even the shape of bordering plots was wrong, but all the changes have been recorded in the deed and updated with the ayuntamiento. I will post some photos in the evening, although the view is mostly weeds for the time

Everywhere I look everyone is recommending to get an architect who is familiar with the local planner, so we are definitely going to do that. But having this law is a start, because we want to know if the rough plan of what we wish to do is even feasible.
 
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