Office Design – Permaculture: Our Urban Design Part 2




Having complete our site survey, we begin our “Paper Design” using Google Sketch Up.

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31 Comments

  1. Chris Towerton
    April 20, 2011
    Reply

    @TheStephenDobson

    Thanks Stephen…. It's maybe not as useful as a real paper design… But it's a great visual tool to present to someone not physically here. By the way this is a live project; I basically have no plans as to what I am doing next, I'm just hoping that as each stage comes I will meet people with the knowledge to lead me on… I'm open and would appreciate advice form anyone willing… Ta 🙂

  2. bowehj96
    April 3, 2012
    Reply

    Mate, I live in the wrong hemisphere, but if I lived near you, I'd definitely invite myself over for breakfast! Your videos are fantastic. I know it must have been hours of extra work to document for everyone in the world what it is you were doing, but I think I speak for all of the people watching when I say that we're all really grateful for this opportunity to learn.

  3. bowehj96
    April 3, 2012
    Reply

    Generally, you seem to have a bit of a challenge with sufficient sunlight. I assume you probably don't want to get rid of any trees, but what you can do is to thin the branches substantially on the side, and/or 'top' the trees to reduce them in height (and lessen the shadow they cast). The wood you gain from this you can burn, use for the core of a 'hugelkultur' bed, etc.

  4. Chris Towerton
    April 8, 2012
    Reply

    Hey bowehj96…. Glad you like the clips… If you do make your way down here you won't need to invite yourself… You would be more than welcome… Chris

  5. Chris Towerton
    April 8, 2012
    Reply

    Hey bowehj96…. Trouble is that we are on a southern slope, which in the southern hemisphere is a bad thing… Even short trees up hill can cast long shadows… none of which we personally own… In preparation for the next clip on solar energy we have taken a time laps of our roof and even in deep summer our water collector does not get full light till 12:19pm… 🙁 … Amazingly though it still does a great job!…Chris

  6. porcheberry
    June 8, 2012
    Reply

    what are your temp averages during winter? Check them because if its warm enough you could simply grow your more leafy crops at that time. Lettuces and such do not want full sun if you actually plan to eat them. Nice tip that I learned is if your growing it for the root or the fruit then full sun is what you need, if your growing it for the leaves then partial shade is all you need

  7. Chris Towerton
    June 10, 2012
    Reply

    Thanks porcheberry… That sounds like good advice… At the moment we haven't really planted much at all but have been concentrating on the mechanical side of the design… Our average winter temperature is around 14Deg C (59Deg F), I don’t believe we have ever recorded anything below 0Deg C (32Deg F). During the coldest part of winter though the daytime temperature stays fairly low, maybe around 10Deg C (50Deg F)… Thanks… Chris

  8. Marc-Antoine Cousin
    October 10, 2012
    Reply

    Great video, thank you. It really shows how thoughtful Permaculture thinking is.

  9. Chris Towerton
    October 10, 2012
    Reply

    Thanks… This was our take on things just a few weeks after my 2 week PDC… So far it has served us well as a bare bones structure… The purpose of attempting this design is to learn… Lucky we've been so slow at putting this plan into action its' allowed us time to observe and to tweak accordingly… If we are able to continue beyond this basic design I'm sure there will be lots of additions… 🙂 Chris

  10. Chris Towerton
    March 13, 2013
    Reply

    What a great piece of free software!

  11. Matei Razvan
    April 8, 2013
    Reply

    That's an excellent series you're making and I wish to thank you for this. Also for myself at least it would be very helpful if you can make a video explaining how to create our own computer models. I'm sure this will help others as well.

  12. Chris Towerton
    April 8, 2013
    Reply

    (1) Hey Matei… This was the first time I had used SketchUp; actually the first time I had really used any software of this type… Basically I just started with the few skills the quick tutorial gave me, then I simply YouTubed anything I got stuck on 😉 Most of the things like trees etc are just drag and drop as pre-made objects from the net. The walls for the house were set to real (ish) measurements when drawing them out (SketchUp makes this very easy to do).

  13. Chris Towerton
    April 8, 2013
    Reply

    (2) Apart from this model I have not since used SketchUp.Being able to visualise the design this way was great however I was basically fumbling my way through. Each task is quite specific so finding clips about those specific things on YouTube was a great help. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't feel as though I know enough to teach others but if you wanted to try making a model yourself I would say just have a go… It's much easier than it looks :-).. Chris

  14. Voca T
    July 21, 2013
    Reply

    I would be utilizing the front yard more during winter for the vege garden …If your neighbours would be ok with that.

  15. Chris Towerton
    July 21, 2013
    Reply

    I tend to agree with you as this is also one of the sunniest positions (though still not very sunny, just sunniest ;-()…. Our neighbours have all been really good and actually in parts 13 and 14 we installed a couple of swales in this area… Since then we have sheet mulched it and are waiting for it to settle down a bit before we start to plant it out…. Thanks… Chris

  16. featheredfan
    August 13, 2013
    Reply

    Every landscape design needs to take into consideration the importance of breakfast with friends! I’m glad that you checked out every angle. That’s a great analysis of the annual shade timing. In my opinion, the cactus greenhouse will have to go up on top of the roof. Where are you going to put the astronomical observatory? Don’t forget to plan for that. Thanks

  17. Chris Towerton
    August 13, 2013
    Reply

    Yep, it will be nice when summer comes around so we can once again enjoy the great outdoors 😉 Sketchup is really good for determining shading (provided of course it is given the correct information). We've been busy in the background taking time lapse of the various areas too. At the minute we've captured winter but shall have to wait a little longer to get the summer… Maybe we can put them together into a solar audit clip? Cactus on the roof and an observatory hmmmm 😉 Thanks.. Chris

  18. Chris Towerton
    August 26, 2013
    Reply

    Hey WhiteElk, Yes Sketchup is a beautiful tool for being able to visualise and share your design with others for feedback… It's not really all that hard… I didn't "learn" the software as such but rather consulted YouTube for "How to's" each time I got stuck on something 😉 Importing "models" or "Templates" (I can't remember what Sketchup calls them) makes the process a cinch 🙂 Good luck with it! Thanks… Chris

  19. Chris Towerton
    August 27, 2013
    Reply

    (1) Hey There, We haven't really revisited Sketchup since we put this together, from memory though I think it was done manually, simply measuring different points on the landscape and transposing those points to scale in the program… What we ended up with was a bit of a guesstimate but close enough to be of use and immediately recognisable to us 😉 Pretty sure we laid out the 2D perimeter of the block to the correct measurements which for us formed a rectangle. Comment continues…

  20. Chris Towerton
    August 27, 2013
    Reply

    (2) Continued comment.. Then at each point measured, we put a line across the rectangle (often this was diagonal). After this was completed we then had a series of "boxes" which could be "pulled/pushed" up to their appropriate height, forming what looked like a step structure. I can't remember the rest but I think there was a smoothing tool of some sort?… Anyways I hope this gives you a little help.. The contours were for me the hardest bit ;-)… Thanks… Chris

  21. Chris Towerton
    August 31, 2013
    Reply

    Cool… Our contour "measurements" were only guesstimates too. We did use a tape to accurately record those guesstimate locations along with things like the house and retaining walls etc… I'd be keen to see what you come up with! Feel free to do a video response to this clip if you'd like :-)… Chris

  22. Chris Towerton
    September 1, 2013
    Reply

    Hey Dave, (I love to know peoples names – yippie! 🙂 Footage of the computer screen in this clip was taken with a freeware screen capture program… I can't remember which one but I know there are lots out there… Best wishes with it all… Chris 🙂

  23. cnypilot
    October 13, 2013
    Reply

    This morning, while drinking a hot cup of tea, I have taken to re-observing your first postings. I am quite impressed with your ability to get Sketch-up to have all sorts of elevation. Must have been quite a long bunch of nights to enter it all in. Sometimes it is a blessing to simply create a box! 😉

  24. cnypilot
    October 13, 2013
    Reply

    Aside from getting another microphone to really add quality and depth to the videos (For my own that is), What do you have going on with the spot lamp?

    When you are indoors, you no doubt have a lamp focused upon your subject. Are you using a regular lamp or actual photographers back-lighting setup?

  25. Chris Towerton
    October 13, 2013
    Reply

    Hey Cloud,…. At the moment I'm just using normal halogens for lighting… Which in more current posts and when upstairs inside the house I tend to bounce of the ceiling… They are a pair of 500w (each) lights on separate stands… Very cheap but use lots of power ;-(… For audio I have a separate recorder… Which can also be a fairly cheap solution but also a little fiddly (low priced wireless mics are not worth the effort)… Chris

  26. Chris Towerton
    October 13, 2013
    Reply

    The elevations are only really guesstimates but look pretty true to form in the scheme of things… They were not as hard to do as you may think, it was simply a case of creating a scaled rectangle to represent the block then a series of "pushes" and "pulls" to mould the contours… To begin with it then look like a set of crooked steps… I then selected and deleted the "supporting" structure leaving just a skin… Which I then "smoothed"… Hope my bizarre explanation helps you ;-)… Chris

  27. cnypilot
    October 13, 2013
    Reply

    I must ask myself deep questions about myself when I can readily understand what you said. 😉

  28. cnypilot
    October 13, 2013
    Reply

    About what I figured. 🙂 Once I get insulation and drywall, ill make a point to get a better audio set up. I prefer comfort above (On my maslow list) the enjoyment of audiophiles!

  29. Chris Towerton
    October 14, 2013
    Reply

    Yeah, it's a pretty hard one to explain… But if you look up the words in inverted commas with relation to sketchup, you'll be on your way 🙂 Chris

  30. Chris Towerton
    May 15, 2016
    Reply

    @ +tazydevil93 Lyrebird are our arch enemy at the minute, later they'll give way to bower birds, black birds, possums, rats etc…. I'm feeling you're pain 😉 …. We're in the midst of some major domestic builds here (or at least they're major for my little skill set) but once they are finish, hopefully we can get into things at a fair pace… We've got a number of fruit trees (about 11) up on our council verge and they seems to be doing OK… As you say though, light will be our greatest challenge… Our overnight lows are never (or as good as) below zero at the point out temperature gauge sits (about 4 metres up on the southern brick wall)… Though we are not posting much at the moment, you're welcome to join the occasional private update we do…. Just Personal Message (PM) us here on the channel if you wish to find out where things are currently at (our last one had some footage of those fruit trees)… And yes as we move forward, I'm sure there'll be plenty of fruit questions ;-)… Anyways… nice to meet you… Chris 🙂

  31. RD Kitchen Garden
    October 7, 2016
    Reply

    I enjoyed this. A good macro view and well thought out. Your forward thinking is amazing. Thanks

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