We've been doing lots of "due diligence" on acreage and eco-community building sites this year.
We actually love this time period. It's a "party" where we get together with everyone and enjoy a project of the land-kind.
Here follows a series of posts on the typical steps involved as we coordinate with land experts and professionals the new land stewards and those who have been taking good care of the land for many years (or maybe for just a few years)..and all of us aim toward a happy and successful adventure.
Step One: new land steward goes out onto the building site specifically to decide where to place the house, well and septic.
Oftentimes, the buyer/steward will seek the advice of land planners and designers, landscape architects, dowsers, solar-orientation folks and Permaculture experts before putting the initial footprint in place. (see photo I took to your left)
Timeframe: In any case, there is a time-sensitive element to the due diligence process so we pay close attention to coordinate the review and decision themes.. Here in the mountains near Asheville, many home sites require septic evaluations (Perc tests) so where the buyer/steward wants the home to be needs to be set out so that those responsible can apply for the septic permit.
We have found that the house and well locations do NOT need to be EXACT....but the DO need to be flagged so we also pay close attention during this time to make sure that ground flags to mark the drain field are in place.
What Happens Next: As soon as the buyer/steward has decided about approximate building site location...
- a sketch of the building site showing the approximate locations of home/septic/well is prepared.... the well will be at least 100' from the septic field.
- the septic permit is then applied for (fee is involved)..one thing we note is that one never can tell how long it will take to get the Perc Test Folks out to do the test... the more time we allow for the septic folks to get out, the better it is...
- in the meantime, the Site for the perc test is prepared. Bright orange ground flags are placed to mark the drain field and where several test holes will be dug. We coordinate the diggers who do the clearing out the proposed septic area. Requirements as shown on the sketch are 60 linear feet per bedroom with the trenches spaced at least 10 feet apart. There also needs to be a reserve area of equal size to the active septic area.
For 3 bedrooms, there would need to be 180' plus 180' for a total of 360 linear feet. This could be six 60' long trenches in an area 60' by 60' wide. Or there could be four 90' trenches in an area 90' by 40' wide. Or three 120' trenches in an area 120' by 30'. you get the idea.
So that's the start...and oh...in order to increase the solar gain, we let those involved know that they may want to think about putting the field on the south side of the house, so any tree removal for the septic field will bring more light into the house.
Stay tuned...photos and the next step will follow.
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