A place is created by being in it. Likewise, PLAND is being created by the people who visit. As an organization devoted to site-specificity, resourceful building methods, and alternative living – all under a broad interpretation of “residency” – it stands to reason that our centerpiece is a house. Therefore, the Building Program allows for PLAND residents and participants to help create the Main House’s physical structure and PLAND’s organizational infrastructure through work parties and other building activities.


2012 Work Party

PLAND’s Building Program concentrates on construction of the Main House, a two story 24′ x 16′ post-and-beam structure with solarium and attached shed all built from primarily second-hand materials. Plans for the Main House continue to adapt and change based on available materials and intended use. In addition to the Main House, the land at PLAND hosts our temporary-home-trailer, outhouse and humanure system, garden space and gray water system, fire circle, shade structure, and many smaller, constantly evolving projects. Workshops and work parties are organized in order to complete the work while cultivating a shared set of construction skills.

The Main House is exemplary of PLAND’s commitment to uber-resourceful methodologies, personal experience, amateur problem-solving, and hands-on experience. In contrast to the Earthships of The Greater World, just down the road, which showcase a style of green building, PLAND  is an active display of low-budget, collaboration, experimentation, and possibility.

There is no formal application process for the Building Program but registration is required.

Building Program highlights:


Building progress, 2012


  • Successfully met our Kickstarter goal to help fund the Building Program and work parties.
  • Hosted a five-day work party at PLAND during which the group of participants helped complete the second floor of the Main House, frame a solarium and shed, installed a second-hand pro-panel roof on the new shed, stabilized the remaining portions of the Main House foundation with stem walls, re-squared the house, and assisted residents with building the new adobe wood-burning sauna.
  • Experimented with papercrete.

Building progress, 2011


  • Hosted week-long work party at PLAND.
  • Installed second-hand pro-panel roof, gutters, and a cistern on the Main House.
  • Stabilized ½ of the Main House foundation with stem walls.
  • Hosted Nina Montenegro and Christine Howard Sandoval, who built a new and much-improved outhouse.
  • Hosted visitors Together We Can Defeat Capitalism, who helped with bottle wall construction on the Main House.

Building beginnings, 2010


  • Renovated three historic homesteads near PLAND to serve as temporary housing.
  • Constructed toilet facilities, compost system, garden plot, shade structure, and fire pit on PLAND land.
  • Began construction of Main House at PLAND using second-hand materials, low-budget technology, and hand tools.
  • Initiated materials trade program by which PLAND trades labor for cast-off materials.

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