Permaculture Designers Manual


Section 3.8-

Flow Diagrams in Permaculture Design

Design for work places

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For designing any special work place, from a kitchen to a plant nursery, the preceding methods have limited uses.

Here, we call in a different method- the “flow chart”.

We imagine how the process flows. In the kitchen we take from storage, prepare, cook, serve, and gather in the plates and food for waste disposal and return to storage.

Thus the processes follow a certain path. The best kitchens are U-shaped or compact, so that least movement is necessary.

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Storages are near the place where food, plates, or pots and pans are needed. Frequently-used items are to hand on benches or in special niches.

Strong blocks, bench tops, or tables are built to take the heavy work of chopping and the clamping on of grinders and flour mills.

We can mark such designs out on the ground, and walk around these, preparing an imaginary meal, measuring the space token up by trays, pots, and potato storages and so creating an efficient work place. It should also involve the placement of traditional items, and agree with cultural uses.

It is advisable to involve an experienced worker in any such design and to research prior designs or new aids to design, such as we find in office furniture which can be adjusted to the person.

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I have seen some excellent farm buildings such as shearing sheds and their associated yards built by worker-designers after years of observation and experience.

Some people specialize in such design for schools, wineries, and golf courses.

In general, it is mainly work-places which need such careful attention.

Most other areas in buildings are of flexible use and have the potential for multiple functions.

The technique of flowcharts is also applicable to traffic-ways and transport lines serving settlements, where loads or cargoes are to be received and sorted, and where schedules or time-place movements are integral to the activity.