Infrastructure and Craftsmanship

"Even while washing dishes, you can either serve God or the devil."  Prentice Mulford
"Jesus was ultimately also a carpenter." Peter Koll, Tamera co-worker

 

The construction of cathedrals does not only require brilliant visionaries and engineers, but also masons and carpenters. How to manifest a great vision into material reality, is on its own an area of research. These include all issues of implementation and manifestation. Research questions also arise of how people work together, how they communicate and make everyday decisions, how they take care of their tools and how they make the big things also visible in the small details.  The sustainability of a new society model is reflected in, among other things, the state of its technical facilities, roads, residences and workshops as well as on its beauty, relevance and the degree to which it’s supply is complicity-free.

 

The challenge of Tamera’s craftsmen consists in taking care of functionality and coherence amidst the daily chaos of a multifocal and complex project, to compensate for limited resources with imagination and creativity, and to address the daily challenges with joy and lightness. It requires expertise, flexibility and perseverance to do this.

A fearless group of people has taken on the task to build functioning, stable and ecologically sound infrastructure in Tamera. This ensures that a model for sustainable and a complicity-free supply originates in Tamera.  In order to reach this goal, we still need support.

 

Two Areas

 

Water:

Water is the most important staple. Clean, living water is a human right.  Having water rights in your own hands or to reclaim them is highly recommended for all municipalities and communities.

All the water we use for drinking and washing comes from our own springs and wells, is filtered and pumped into our lines mostly by solar energy. Due to the Water Retention Landscape the hydrology of the site is enriched.

Wastewater is purified in wetlands and is released into beds and meadows.

Because we only use compost toilets (with only a few exceptions), water consumption is much lower than in normal households. 

Our next goal in water supply is a ring duct, designed with the help of Sepp Holzer, which should provide all of Tamera with constantly moving, vital drinking water from a well.  Located at a high-altitude, in a round or egg-shaped container made of burnt clay and embedded in the earth, high-quality well water will pass through all households, bathrooms and kitchens of Tamera, and will then flow back to a second container, which is located a little lower than the first. Whether or not people use the water it remains in constant movement. From the second container, it is pumped through back to the first. All taps connected to the ring duct will deliver clear, vital drinking water.

 

Energy:

The future energy supply of humankind will be decentralized and cooperate with the existing, renewable energy sources in nature.

Tamera’s power supply developed a so-called "grid-connected island system" with the help of loans and a donation from the network in 2011. Our existing 20kW photovoltaic plant directly supplies Tamera with power, and the surplus is harvested and stored.

Since 2012 we cover 60% of our electricity needs through solar energy in summer and 40% in the winter. The rest comes from the public grid. A very large and expensive energy storage would be necessary for complete self-sufficiency due to the seasonal fluctuations.

Therefore we strive for 80% of Tamera to be provisionally powered by renewable energy sources. Once this goal is reached then a full energy supply can be assured in the case of collapse or failure of the supply systems, in alignment with basic behavioral changes.

Hot Water: The thermal energy required for washing, showering or bathing (the points of greatest consumption) is 50% provided by solar, yet in combination with gas heaters. The next goal is to increase the amount of solar heated water in the campus kitchen.

 

 

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Solar Electricity for Tamera

In 2011, with the help of loans and donations from our network, we were able to build a “Grid-Connected Island System.” For this we want to say a very warm Thank You to everyone, in the name of the whole Tamera Community! The next step was to equip the roof of our workshop with a 12kW photovoltaic system. This means that the whole workshop—carpentry shop, metal shop, machine shop, and research department—are mostly solar-driven. Now we produce 60% of our average electricity use by solar power. more