By Claudia Roldós
Mar del Plata will have its first "Navetierra", from the initiative of the doctor Nicasio Cavilla, dedicated to Ayurveda natural medicine. In Michael Reynolds' self-sustaining home concept, which is being replicated around the world, Cavilla found an answer to his needs and lifestyle. In addition to the possibility of spreading the principle of community, which in modern life is somewhat forgotten.
The Navetierra Druvaloka, as it is called, will be located on a property in Sierra de los Padres where a Hare Krishna community is settling and will aim to become a center for Ayurveda medicine.
The design was carried out respecting all the principles of this type of housing and the realization will be headed by the Caminantes Cooperative, specialized in natural construction. Juan Pilotta, one of its references, has already participated in the construction of three Navetierras led by Reynolds himself in Ushuaia, El Bolsón and Jaureguiberry (Uruguay).
The process will include the realization of theoretical-practical workshops, with the double objective of promoting community actions and replicating the principles of natural construction.
In a note with LA CAPITAL, Cavilla recounted how the Navetierra combines with his way of life.
- How did the possibility of creating a "Navetierra" come up to be your home?
- I am a doctor and I do Ayurveda natural medicine. Ayurveda is a holistic medicine, it does not encompass only principles of food and hygiene, but a lifestyle. In our home we spend many hours of our day and to be consistent with what I do I also have to have a healthy home that is in harmony with the environment. And in the Navetierra I found both concepts.
- Where is it going to be built?
- It will be on a 5-hectare property, in a project of the NGO Prabhupada Seva that brings together the Hare Krishna congregation in Mar del Plata. Within this property I have half a hectare in which I plan to develop a natural health center, a day hospital where people can go to receive therapies, food, meditation, which allow deeper interventions than a one-hour consultation with a doctor to experience what is a healthier way of life and that is more impregnated in the psyche to practice it in daily life.
The project of the congregation includes school, temple, monastery, family homes and the idea is of a group of people who want to live in harmony with nature to cultivate principles of spiritual elevation.
- Also the form of construction will be non-traditional, collaborative, with the participation of people interested in learning about this type of techniques and principles of natural construction ...
- The idea is that it is not only my home, but trying to sow a concern, that it be the first of many Navetierra. A very important principle that we want to spread in this project is that of community. People in modern life have traded community for convenience. And this is a way to begin to resume community life, the joint union that facilitates the transition in our material life, the idea of living in community is that. And a very nice concept of the Navetierra is that to build them many people are needed. Fortunately, many people from the country and abroad (Mexico, the Canary Islands) are coming to participate in the workshops to do their bit, learn from them and be able to replicate it. This is also the idea of community, which is why we plan the workshops. 4 or 5 people work in a work in a house, in this case many more will participate and the bond of solidarity is generated a lot, of working with the other, which we want to promote.
- What is self-sustaining also matches Hare Krishna principles?
- The idea is to integrate the best of both worlds. For us Hare krishna, the most important thing is the cultivation of spiritual life, it is not only that the house is healthy with the environment, but that it is practical and low maintenance. That is why the exterior plasters will be made of cement which is easier to maintain than adobe and, on the contrary, the internal plasters will be made of adobe, which has hydroscopic characteristics, that is, they absorb moisture when the environment is high and they release humidity when the environment is dry, which allows to maintain humidity with little variation throughout the year. The idea is to be practical, not fanatical. For example, solar panels, wind energy are integrated.
- What does Druvaloka mean, the name of the house?
- It comes from the worldview of Vaisnavism. Loka means planet and Druva is the name of a king, a little boy who at the age of 5 went to the forest to meditate to obtain the favor of the supreme personality of God and became so powerful, he was so determined, that the supreme lord was so pleased with him that he gave him a planet that is called and told him that it is the only planet that will be within the material universe but that it will never be destroyed, it will be spiritual and will exist for all eternity.
I liked this symbolic name because the Navetierra is completely self-sufficient, it can be implanted anywhere on the planet and generates its own energy. If centralized power systems collapse, the Earthship can survive.
The principles of bioclimatic architecture
The engineer Juan Pilotta, a member of the Caminantes Cooperative, who will be in charge of the construction of the Navetierra Druvaloka, explained various details of the work.
“The idea is to adapt all the concepts that Reynolds raises so that a house model is achieved that will be more replicable, due to costs and methodologies, in South America. Therefore, instead of being done in a month, it will take a little longer, but it will include all the principles of bioclimatic architecture ”, he defined.
In this sense, he indicated that "the Navetierra are generally built in repetition of U modules. The façade will be oriented to the north, it will have a master bedroom, 4 × 5, a greenhouse to the north integrated into the kitchen, a bathroom with bathtub and a sink in the greenhouse. All the bathing and pool waters will be purified with the planters, underground and these waters will be used to load the toilet tank. The roof of the greenhouse will capture rainwater that will be stored in a tank and used for irrigation and also for bathing ”.
He also pointed out that "there will be an entrance hall to protect from the south wind and as the kitchen-dining room is integrated into the greenhouse, we made a double glass protection".
As for insulation on the walls, "we are going to use straw bales instead of synthetic material and PET bricks (soda bottles filled with candy papers, magazines, and other materials) that are going to be insulated inside pallets."
Regarding air conditioning, Pilotta explained that “it uses thermal inertia, the entire front is glazed, double glazed DVH is going to be used, with an angle calculated so that the winter sun enters the mass of tires and the floor and the summer sun, which is higher, hot, do not enter but face the part of the greenhouse. With this it is possible to maintain the correct temperature conditions without wasting fossil energy ”.
In addition, two rear cooling tubes are going to be used, facing south and through which fresh air enters, and upper fan lights in the greenhouse through which hot air comes out. This cross ventilation manages to keep the temperature stable.
The Capital Mar del Plata