Permaculture IV -Property Management

Course CodeVSS107
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn more about the Holistic design of a Permaculture property.

Deepen your understanding of buildings, utilities (water, power, wastes) and how every part of the environment can and should be managed, to achieve a more desirable overall result in the planning, establishment and ongoing management of a property.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Permaculture Property Development
  2. Options for Buildings on a Permaculture Property: The alternatives (e.g. houses, sheds, greenhouses).
  3. Buildings and Permaculture : Integration into the environment.
  4. Disposing of Waste -Effluent systems, animal waste, manure, weeds, etc.
  5. Recycling in Practice-Timber, prunings, mulching, composting, etc.
  6. Design to Minimise Impact of Natural Disasters -Fire, storms, floods, etc.
  7. Water Management in Permaculture -Swales, windmills, etc.
  8. Managing Indigenous plants and animals -Problems, advantages, wildlife, conservation, etc.
  9. Preparation and Management -Development plans.
  10. Design project -This lesson involves production of a full scale permaculture design.

Buildings in a Permaculture Landscape

Permaculture landscapes are usually built around one or more buildings; or have buildings incorporated into them.
Buildings are just as much a part of the entire permaculture ecosystem as the earth, water, plants, animals, and any other components.
The most obvious building to consider might be a house or residence; but there are other buildings that may exist before you start developing a permaculture system; or may be needed later on. These might be storage building (eg. sheds, garages, barns); childrens cubbies; chicken coups or other buildings to house animals.
Buildings may serve different purposes, and need to be designed and constructed differently in different climates. They may have duel purposes too: perhaps accommodation and a workplace. Roofs can be used to harvest water or turned into a productive roof garden. Walls can also be used (as vertical gardens).


Temperate or Subtropical Houses (Between latitudes 30 - 60 Degrees)

  • Position of the sun and location of trees in relation to the house. eg. In colder climates, with long winters, you may want to optimise natural light and warmth over winter, and that can affect where you locate certain rooms in the house, as well as what you plant outside.
  • Insulation, controlling drafts, ventilation and wall shading. All of these things can be affected by what you plant outside, the paving, mulch or ground covers that are on the ground adjacent to the building, the natural flow of prevailing wings, and more.
  • Thermal mass, heat and cold banks -The type of material which a house is built of, as well as thickness of walls, floors and roofs, can all have an impact on how fast a building heats or cools; and how well it retains heat.
  • Function and aspects of rooms and doors. Obviously you want the rooms that you spend most time in, to be the most comfortable; but also the doors from a building should be in the places where you most want to be entering or exiting the landscape.
Tropical Houses (Located between latitudes 0 - 30 degrees)
The considerations may be a little different because of the climatic differencs. There may be more of an insect problem (eg. mosquitoes carrying tropical diseases); heat and humidity can cause mould and rots faster with food, but also with other things. Clothing and furniture; walls and other parts of a building's construction can develop mould, or begin to rot faster in a tropical climate. Buildings may become more uncomfortable due to extreme and prolonged heat and humidity
Consider the orientation of winds and shade, ventilation and air movement, guttering, rain catchment, insect screens, etc.
Houses in Other Climates
In the desert, you may not have the same humidity issues as in a tropical house; but the weather can be more extreme in every way (hotter and colder) You may need to consider insulation, shading, structure, windbreaks, underground water tanks, etc.  In the arctic, there can be other considerations again. Of course, buildings in a built up, polluted urban area are altogether different as well.

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