Build the Abbess’ Residence
Prajna Cottage Is Underway
Watch as Ven. Thubten Chodron’s grateful students around the world build a cottage for the founding abbess of Sravasti Abbey.
Why Prajna Cottage?
When Ven. Thubten Chodron founded Sravasti Abbey in 2003, there was one main, habitable building and three residents—one nun and two cats.
Soon, however, guests and residents began to arrive, our lone building was bustling, and Ven. Chodron needed a quiet place to write. In 2004, her students built a small writing studio near the main house. It has no plumbing. There is a composting toilet and a large jug for hauling water from the main house.
She has been there ever since. She still hauls drinking water from Ananda Hall and hikes to another building in rain, snow, and fair weather for her showers.
Now it’s time to build a proper residence for the founder and Abbess of Sravasti Abbey. Read Alice’s lovely invitation to get involved.
Watch Ven. Samten’s newest video —Prajna Cottage is a product of so many kind and generous people.
Video updates of construction progress are posted here.
The latest photos are here.
“Prajna” is Sanskrit for wisdom, suggesting that wisdom is necessary in leading a monastic community.
Prajna Cottage will be a small two-story dwelling with these features:
- Each floor is 616 square feet
- Ven. Chodron will live upstairs where there is work and living space, a small kitchenette, and bathroom with shower.
- All facilities are wheel-chair accessible.
- Downstairs has a small room for an attendant and storage.
- Following “green building” principles, Prajna Cottage will use the same Faswall and stucco construction that we used on Chenrezig Hall
- Prajna Cottage will be solar-powered, the Abbey’s first solar building
Prajna Cottage is not for Ven. Chodron alone. It’s the future residence of subsequent abbesses or abbots as well. And like all Abbey buildings, it will be built to last, with respect for the environment, and through the kindness of others.
Prajna Cottage Budget
|Engineering and Design||$ 3,300|
|Permits and Insurance||$ 2,700|
|Solar Panels & Installation||$ 21,000|
|Sales tax||$ 14,000|
|Contingency (10% of projected cost)||$ 24,000.|
Eco Depot will install a solar system for Prajna Cottage. According to their description, here’s how it works:
The panels change sunlight directly to electricity using solar cells. Every day, light hits the roof-top solar panel with photons (particles of sunlight). The solar panel converts those photons into electrons of direct current (“DC”) electricity.
The electrons flow out of the solar panel and into an inverter and other electrical safety devices. The inverter converts that “DC” power (commonly used in batteries) into alternating current or “AC” power. AC power is what runs computers and lamps.
A net energy meter keeps track of all the power the solar system produces. Any solar energy we do not use simultaneous with production will go back into the electrical grid through the meter.
At night or on cloudy days, when the system is not producing more than Prajna Cottage needs, the building will consume electricity from the grid as normal. Our PUD will bill us for the “net” consumption for any given billing period and give a dollar credit for any excess during a given period.
We can carry the energy bill credit forward for up to a year! The panels will definitely pay for themselves in just a few years, while the Abbey reduces our carbon footprint and enacts our values to be wise stewards of Earth’s resources.
Prajna Cottage’s above-grade walls will be built with Faswall with stucco siding. This is the same construction system we used for Chenrezig Hall.
The Faswall® green building system is among the most environment-friendly and healthy