Material Information

Seminary Rocky Mountain Dharmn Center, Livermore, Colorado
Moone, Kelly
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
45 leaves : illustrations (some color), charts, maps, plans ; 28 cm


Subjects / Keywords:
Theological seminaries -- Designs and plans -- Colorado -- Livermore ( lcsh )
Theological seminaries, Buddhist -- Designs and plans ( lcsh )
Buddhist architecture ( lcsh )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Architecture, College of Design and Planning.
Statement of Responsibility:
[Kelly Moone].

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
11307795 ( OCLC )
LD1190.A72 1983 .M65 ( lcc )

Full Text
Magyal Pomra, the symix>lic protector of Rocky Mountain Dharma Center

Rocky Mountain Dharma Center Livermore, Colorado
LD \
AT 2

An Architectural Thesis
Presented to the College of Design and Planning University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Architecture
Spring, 1983

Introduction to the Project ................................ 1
The Site Introduction....................................... 8
Legal Description.................................17
The Auto..........................................21
The Building Introduction...................................26
Code Checklist *..............................28
Handicapped Code Review.......................31
Energy Code Review............................32
No-Fines Concrete Report .................... 34
The Program General Requirements............................41
Specific Needs.................................42
Relationship Chart.............................45
Appendix Design Drawings

Rocky Mountain Dharma Center is a contemplative center for Tibetan Buddhism located in the Red Feather Lakes region in northern Colorado. Its' primary purpose is to conduct programs for the practice and study of meditation. Facilities for group practice, study programs and solitary retreats provide an opportunity for intensive meditation practice as well as an integration of this practice with practical day-to-day living.
RMDC is owned and operated by Vajradtiatu, a nonprofit religious organization based in Boulder, Colorado, with 15 major centers in the United States as well as centers in 13 countries in Europe and South America. Each year Vajradhatu holds a three month program of meditation and study called The Vajradhatu Seminary, where qualified students are introduced to the more advanced teachings and practices of Tibetan Buddhism. About 400 people attend (350 program participants and 50 staff).
Current facilities at RMDC are modest, if not sometimes primitive. For larger programs (125 participants), the primary accommodation is the tent with housing in cabins available for about 40 people. None of the cabins are provided with indoor plumbing. Other facilities, usually a summer resort hotel, are rented for the Vajradhatu Seminary.
The founder of Vajradhatu, the Vajracarya, the Venerable Chogyan Trungpa, Rinpoche, former abbot of the Surmang monasteries in Tibet, who conducts the Seminary programs has requested that a permanent building be established at RMDC to accommodate this and other programs. Furthermore, this place would become the seat of the Tibetan Buddhist lineage in this country.
The Buddhist teachings are considered a living heritage. Passed from teacher to student since the time of Gautama Buddha 2,500 years ago, the living quality of the teachings is seen through the discipline -of the meditation practices, as shown by the living holder of the lineage.
A building which accompanies this process needs to reflect the character of these teachingsindestructablelike

a fortress, permanent, solid and uncorruptibleyet aesthetically clean, like a diamond. Simple in form and furnishing, its treasure is the lineage itself. It is traditional in Tibetan Buddhism that art and iconography are powerful communicators of the richness of human experience, especially in the context of meditation practice. Over the centuries, detailing, ornamentation, fresco painting and other forms of artwork grow with the buildings becoming a history of devotion and appreciation for the teachers, the teachings, and the community of practitioners.
On the following pages are several examples of traditional Tibetan buildings.

Steps and walls of granite block lead to the gate of Donang Hall in the Potala Palace, Tibet-

Mindruling Monastery, Tibet, 1671

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The Palchor Monastery, Tibet, built 1414-24

Spacious and precise, the meditation practice is the foundation for understanding Buddhism. Thus the meditation halls become the core element of the building, nurturing the various practices with these same qualities. There should be a sense of continuity throughout the building. The participants actually do all the maintenance and running of the program. The kitchen, housekeeping or other duties act as a thread for carrying their meditation practice into daily life. Therefore, it is important that one does not get a sense of taking time off when one enters the kitchen or walks down a hall. This dignity should be pervasive architecturally as well.
The social organization of the seminary program takes the form of the 1 deleg' or neighborhood group and is meant to provide continuity on the small social scale. Each deleg is a unit of 20 people who live, work, and study together during these three months. The housing aspect of the building should reflect this social organization. To accommodate the children who come with their parents, a school facility is needed so they can continue their school work uninterrupted.
The organization of the program is in three sections, each describing one of the three 'yanas' or paths for attaining enlightenment. The sections are further broken down into a meditation period and a study period of about two weeks each. During the meditation period, the participants do the meditation practice for roughly 9 to 10 hours per day and take all of their meals in the Shrine Room in 'orioki style'. Orioki is a traditional monastic practice for eating. The whole processserving the food, eating the meal, cleaning one's bowlsis part of the practice. Each participant has a set of special bowls and cloths for this practice, which are kept in the shrine room. No talking is done during this period, except for functional purposes. During the study period, participants take several classes during the day, meet in small discussion groups, have breakfast and lunch orioki style, and then have their evening meal 'western style'. There are talks in the evening by the Vajracarya, the Venerable Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche. At the end of each study period is an exam, oral or written, which every participant must take before proceeding with the program. The Seminary culminates with a ceremony called 'transmission' which marks participant initiation to the more advanced practices of meditation.

Rocky Mountain Dharma Center is located on 420 acres of mountain land 35 miles northwest of Fort Collins, Colorado. Access is by Route 287 north to Red Feather Lakes Road, then south on unpaved road for six miles. The terrain changes with the journey to the site, and this journey becomes an important feature of the RMDC land itself. Out of the city, through the foothills, where the land is soft and dry, grasses become hidden by the luminous purple of the thistles in the late summer. There is always gentle motion from the breezes combing the ground. At a certain point, there is a sharp twist in the road at the top of a steep incline. On the other side, the land changes. The distant peaks of the continental divide become an elusive backdrop. Outcroppings of smooth rock slowly come out of the ground, getting taller and more picturesque as one travels on. There is a sense of wildness approaching, tamed only by fences. Isolated trees, of singular shape, show the intensity of the

climate. Once on the dirt road, the ground itself, its curves and hollows, takes ones attention from the far views to the particulars of the immediate surroundings. Bumps and swerves keep you from sleeping on this trip. The wildlife will sometimes look one straight in the eye, then move on. Perhaps a squall will blind you with mammoth snowflakes descending upon the windshield. Arriving at the site, there is another shift: In the midst of the wilderness is a place of civilization. Flanked on the east by a Boy Scout camp, on the west by the Campfire Girls and a private residence, the site is mostly surrounded by Roosevelt National Forest.
To the south Marpa Point rises 660 feet from a meadow, thick with native iris and sunflowers. A stream, thickly lined with pussywillows and other vegitation, cuts through the land. On the far side, the solitary retreat cabins become naturally isolated. Groves of aspen, with an understory of wild roses, and occasional evergreens cross the meadow, giving way to evergreen forests on the hillside. The native grasses and wildflowers present a continuous display through the warmer months. White is the color of winter.

The site, shown in the foreground (above), rests on the far north end of the property on a hillside facing 10 off due south. With an 11% slope to the south, it overlooks the meadow and stream, providing a commanding view of the property and mountains beyond. Most of what is seen above is RMDC land. The retreat cabins are scattered throughout the far hillisde, with the current program facilities located just behind the nearest stand of evergreens on the right.


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Legal Description:
A tract of land located in Section 23 and Section 14, Township 9 North, Range 73 West of the 6th Principal Meridian, Larimer County, Colorado, being more particularly described as the land consisting of: The SE% of the NW% of Section 23; plus the NE% of the SW% said Section 23; plus the N^ of the SE% of said Section 23; plus the NE% of Section 23; and also, a tract of land located in said Section 14 being more particularly described as: Considering the South line of the SE% of said Section 14 as bearing N 8941'46" and with all bearings contained herein relative thereto: Commencing at the S% corner of said Section 14, thence N00o51'48"W 952.17 feet along the North-South Center Section Line of said Section 14; thence S 7959'00" E, 1328.83 feet; thence S 0028'18" E. 714.06 feet along the North-South center line of the SE% of said Section 14 to the South Quarter (S%) corner of the SE% of said Section 14; thence S 8941'46" W. 1300.14 feet along the South Section Line of the SE% of said Section 14 to the beginning point, the S^ Corner of said Section 14. The above tract contains 344.92 acres and mineral reservations contained in the deed from Ralph Mason and Mildred Mason are excepted.

*0 Open district
"Side yard 5 feet
Rear yard 10 feet
From centerline of established watercourse of streams, creeks, or rivers 100 feet
From established public or private roads 50 feet from centerline or 25 feet from property line, whichever is greater
Maximum height 40 feet

RMDC is located in the mountains of northern Colorado, at an elevation of 7,600 feet. The nearest weather recording station is at Red Feather Lakes, about ten miles to the west, latitude 40'05", longitude 10553', at an elevation of 8,165 feet. All weather data is taken from that station. It must be kept in mind that in the mountains, microclimate changes are significant, therefore, this data must be considered only an approximation of the conditions at the site.
Temperature and precipitation data has been recorded at Red Reather for 14 years, though not consistently.
Precipitation averages 16.5" per year, falling primarily between March and September. Summer rains come as thunderstorms. Snow can be expected as late as June and as early as August.
Temperatures range from a maximum of 95F in the summer to a minimum of -33F in the winter at the extremes. Average annual temperature is 43F. The last freeze can be anticipated mid-June, but occasional temperatures below 32 can occur throughout the summer. Design temperature is -10F.
The diurnal swing is approximately 24 from October through March, 30 from April through September. Heating degree days in 1982 were 9340.
Winds are generally from the west all year round and are weatherborn and erratic. A maximum of 80 m.p.h. gust-ing to 120 m.p.h. has been recorded for the site. No official data has been recorded over time for this area.

Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Red Feather, Colorado
Average Monthly Temperature (10 year recording period)
Maximum-Minimum Temperature (1982)
SUN PATH DIAGRAM 40 North Latitude
Average Monthly High-Low Temperature (1982_


The Auto:
A traffic study has been requested by Larimer County and will be conducted this summer. Exact parking requirements will be determined at that time. It is anticipated that parking will be required for about 150 cars, most of which will be provided a short distance from the building. Since participants in the various programs are not leaving the site during their stay, there is no need for close access to parking. Snow removal on the parking lot itself needs to be a consideration in its design and landscaping. It is not desireable for the parking to be visible from the building. There is a relatively flat area to the north west of the building site which may be suitable for parking, and it is screened from view by a dense growth of evergreen trees.
One of the reasons to conduct a traffic study in such an area is due to the fact that residents to the west (the Masons) have granted right-of-way to the RMDC land through their property. As long as RMDC is a small operation, there is no substantial invasion of privacy to these and other neighbors. One of the requirements for approval of this project is the reworking of automobile access. There is a U.S. Forest Service road through Roosevelt National Forest which has been closed and could be reopened providing access to the site from the east. Aside from solving the neighborhood dilemma, it would shorten the travel time from Fort Collins substantially. But this is far from resolved at this point.
If no definitive progress has been made by September, I will assume access from the east via the Forest Service road.

Two wells near the existing main building provide enough water for current needs, but the new building will require a substantial amount of additional water. Two approaches are now being considered:
1) Trading existing rights for subsurface water;
2) Acquiring rights on Elkhorn Creek, and piping this water up for use.
There are three alternatives for sewage treatment approved by the Larimer County Department of Health, based on their requirements of 75 gallons per person per day:
1) A septic system this would require an enormous leach field, which would make this an undesire-able visual feature on the site;
2) A sewage lagoon of approximately one (1) acre.
This could be located far enough from the site as to not present an unpleasant environment, especially since the wind direction is very reliably from the west. The cost of laying the pipes five feet underground through substantial amounts of granite is prohibitive, however; or
3) A package plant effluent would be to County Health Department standards for discharge into a pond or pool only, not into a watercourse. Although this alternative is expensive, it is less costly than the pipe-through-granite approach.
The landscaping of the site could be integrated with the pond requirements, and since there is no unpleasant odor involved, these ponds could be close by.

This will depend on a use/cost analysis by Public Service Company for providing the additional service. If PSC needs to rewire back to the nearest substation, then at $250,000, this alternative becomes impossible. If costs exceed $100,000, then RMDC will independently provide their own wood/coal boiler for power. If PSC can supply a portion of the power200 to 500 amp. servicethen that could be supplemented by a generator on site which would provide power during programs, with excess power being sold back to PSC the rest of the time.
One of the design requirements for this building are 45 angled surfaces for the future application of solar electric panels. When that technology has been adequately developed and made cost efficient, it could be added to the existing structure without the awkwardness of the 'retrofit'.
A soils and foundation investigation was prepared by GN Soils Engineering Service, Inc., of Loveland, Colorado in 1981 for a different site on the same property (See map for indication). The current site is on higher ground and no ground-water is anticipated. The spring of 1983 is one of the wettest on record, with 131 inches of snow and. this site is one of the only dry areas on the property, with no springs surfacing. Bedrock is a bit higher at about three feet. A new soils report will be done at a later date, but many of the general conditions will be the same.
"Subsoil conditions are fairly uniform. Bedrock was found in all of the test borings. The depth of bedrock is four to five feet below the existing ground surface. The bedrock consists of hard granite. The upper layers of granite are fractured.
The soils consists mainly of decomposed granite, with very little organics, and small clay lenses.

The type of foundation to be used for the building will depend on the depth of the excavation and the type of soil encountered at foundation bearing depth, and the area. The depth of excavation will vary according to the type of building to be constructed; . . . Generally
the soils are suitable for supporting spreadfooting type foundations; however, the design criteria will vary according to the soils encountered at bearing depths and groundwater.
Where consolidating decomposed granite or sandstone will be encountered, conventional spread footings may be designed for a maximum of 2,000 pounds per square foot bearing capacity (dead load plus full live load). Footings and slabs should not be founded on topsoil.
In the case of heavy loads, the foundations could be founded on grade beams and straight shaft piers (caissons), a minimum of ten feet (10') long, drilled a minimum of two feet (2') into bedrock. The piers should be designed for a maximum end bearing of 15,000 pounds per square foot, side shear of 1,500 pounds per square foot. Piers should be reinforced their full depth.
The soils that will support slabs are stable at their natural moisture content. However, changes in this natural moisture content may cause some minor swelling or minor consolidation. To minimize any possible damage that could be caused by swelling or consolidation of the soils supporting interior slabs, the slabs should be separated from all bearing members and utility lines to' allow their independent movement. Slabs should be scored into maximum 400 square foot areas to localize and control any cracking and heaving.
A minimum of six inches of clean, washed gravel is recommended under slabs, as well as a drain system with a positive outfall.
If free water is found in the test borings at the new site, then a drain system around the foundation is recommended, with a positive outfall, if possible. If some basement-type

construction is to be done, the basement will need a dewatering system since it will probably be on the impermeable bedrock.
Some overlot grading will be required.
The final grade should have a positive slope away from the foundation walls on all sides.
A minimum of 12 inches in the first ten feet is recommended. Downspouts and sill cocks should discharge into splash blocks that extend beyond the limits of the backfill.
Splash blocks should slope from the foundation walls. The use of long downspout extensions in place of splash blocks is advisable. No sprinkler systems should be installed next to foundation walls, porches or patio slabs.
Damage due to swelling or consolidating soils usually results from saturation at the foundation soils caused by improper drainage, excessive irrigation, and poorly consolidated backfills. The elimination of the potential sources of excessive water will greatly minimize the risks of construction of this site."
Because of the nature of the building material, no-fines concrete, water flows through easily under the building, passing through the concrete rather than applying pressure on it. This is why it is used under roadbeds where drainage may be a problem, such as under the Eisenhower Tunnel.

The Building:
There are a number of constraints on this project which act to define somewhat the form it must take. This is taken from conversations with Nicholas Espeset, assistant co-ordinator of RMDC, who has been researching this project.
an abundance of semi-skilled, willing, cheap labor
a short building season
a limited financial base
the building must be fireproofthere are no substantial firefighting facilities nearby
it must last for centuries
operating costs must be minimal, so it is desireable to solar heat 90%+
future photovoltaic application -45 surfaces
must be easily ornamented after the primary construction is finished
must withstand an extreme climate
since the site is remote, materials must come from as near as possible
the site is sloped 11% toward the south, requiring some terracing, yet sited well for solar
daylighting as much as possible
no un-natural insulating materials
handicapped design essential
all main public areas and quarter-,'for Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche must be on one level. He is physically handicapped and often needs assistance walking and always when negotiating stairs.

As a result of these circumstances, no-fines concrete has been selected as the primary building material. A condensed report on the character of this material is included in this paper.
Based on the nature of this material, these are additional design parameters to be worked with:
Exterior Walls 18" no-fines concrete with 6" perlite concrete on the interior side, plastered
insulation value R-24
Fire rating 8" no-fines has a six hour rating, therefore we are working with Type I construction.
interior walls 6" no-fines concrete, plastered on both sides. This is approximately one-half the cost of a 6" stud wall
"A minimum amount of blasting for foundation work. Structured cost for materials per square foot of building is about $1.50/sq.ft., therefore, the foundation excavation becomes a primary expense
For ease in formwork for the concrete, as much of the building as possible should be modular. Deleg units for housing should be repetitive
The building should be one story

Code Checklist:
Project: Rocky Mountain Dharma Center
Date: May, 1983
1. Applicable Building Codes 2. Occupancy Group
UBC v/ 1982 A2.1 R-l
3. Floor Area (Chapter 5 and table 5-C)
Construction type I I
Occupancy type A-2.1 R-l
Allow. Area (505a) unlimited unlimited
Added Stories increase (505b) " "
Total Allow. Area " "
4. Fire Resistive Requirements (table 17-a, unless noted)
Construction type I
Exterior bearing walls 4
Interior bearing walls 3
Ext. non-bearing walls 4
Structural frame 3
Permanent partitions 1 may be of fire
retardant treated wood
Shaft enclosures 2
Floors 2
Roofs 2
Ext. Door & windows 3/4
Parapet required (1709a) No
5. Wall and Opening Protection (03 sections Ch. 6-15)
Fire resistance of exterior walls A-2.1 2 hr. less than 10 1 hr. elsewhere -j.
R-l 1 hr. less than 5
Openings in exterior walls A-2.1 not permitted less than 5-*- Protected less than 101 (this applies to courts
R not permitted less than 5^

6. Building Height (Table 5-D)
Unlimited by Code Limited by zoning to 40'
7 Exit Requirements
Occupancy load 400 maximum
Number exits required each floor 2
Number exits required total 4
Required width A-2.1 10 feet each
Ramps required yes
Corridor widths 44" minimum
Dead end corridor limit 20 feet
Corridor construction 1 hour minimum
Stairway widths 44" greater than 50 persons
36" less that 50 persons Stairway landing depths 44"
Exit signs required yes
Exit signs separate circuit yes
Doors for exit not less than 32" wide, 6'8" high
no panic hardware required
Main Exit A-2.1
The main exit shall be of sufficient width to accommodate one-half of the total occupant load but shall be not less than the total required width of all aisles, exit passageways and stairways leading thereto and shall connect to a stairway or ramp leading to a public way.
Balcony Exit A-2.1
Every balcony having an occupant load of 11 or more shall be provided with a minimum of two exits. Balcony exits shall open directly to an exterior stairway or other approved stairway or ramp. When there is more than one balcony, exits shall open into an exterior or enclosed stairway or ramp. Balcony exits shall be accessible from a cross aisle. The number and distribution of exits shall be as otherwise specified in this chapter.
Exits R-l
Every sleeping room shall have at least one operable window or exterior door approved for emergency escape or rescue. The units shall be operable from the inside to provide a full clear opening without the use of separate tools.
All escape or rescue windows from sleeping rooms shall have a minimum net clear opening of

5.7 square feet. The minimum net clear opening height dimension shall be 24 inches. The minimum net clear opening width dimension shall be 20 inches. Where windows are provided as a means of escape or rescue they shall have a finisned sill height not more than 44 inches above the floor.
Bars, grilles, grates or similar devices may be installed on an emergency escape or rescue windows or doors, provided:
1. Such devices are equipped with approved release mechanisms which are openable from the inside without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort; and
2. The building is equipped with smoke detectors installed in accordance with Section 1210.
8. Occupancy Unit Live Loads
A-2.1 100 psf R4 40 psf
9. Other Requirements Light
A-2.1 Natural light must be provided by windows not less than 1/10 total floor area
R-l All sleeping rooms must have one operable window:
minimum net clear area 5.7 sf minimum net height 24" minimum net width 20" sill height minimum 44"
A-2.1 1/20 GFA or minimum 5 cfm outside air totalling not less than 15 cfm per occupant
R-l 1/20 GFA or minimum 5 sf or mechanical system providing two changes per hour
Fire extinguishing system required No
Smoke detectors required Yes R-l
Standpipe required No, provided there is at least 20 sf opening per 50' lineal exterior wall on one side of the building

Handicapped Code Review:
Entrances At least one primary entrance to each building shall be usable by those in wheelchairs.
Public Walks 48" minimum width, 5% maximum slope, 5x5 level platform, extend 1* beyond each side door.
Parking Spaces 12' minimum width
Ramps Maximum slope of 1 in 12, level platform at 30' intervals minimum.
Toilet Stalls One handicapped stall in each toilet room.
Lavatories Useable by individuals in wheelchairs.
Mirrors Not over 40" above floor.
Urinals Mounted 19" above floor.
Towel Racks and Disposers Mounted no more than 40" above floor.
Water Fountains Accessible to the handicapped.
Telephones Accessible to the handicapped.
Doors Minimum clear opening of 32" level floor 5' each side.
Graphics Between 4' 6' and 5' 6' above floor. Minimum height of 7' when suspended from ceiling.
Number of Dwelling Units One dwelling unit must be provided for the handicapped for each 100 units or guest rooms.

Energy Code Review:
Design Temperatures
Exterior design conditions: Winter 3 F D.B. -10 F D.B.
Summer 88 F D.B.
Heating degree days: 9300
Latitude: 4005"
Interior Design Conditions
72 F for heating
78 F for cooling
* Mechanical Ventilation
Minimum of 15CFM of outdoor air per person based on 10 people per 1,000 sf
Building Envelope Requirements
Exterior joints around windows and door frames: openings between walls and foundations, between walls and roof/ceilings and between wall panels; openings at penetrations of utility service through walls, floors and roofs, and all such other openings in the building envelope shall be caulked, gasketed, or otherwise sealed in an approved manner.
Air Infiltration
A-2.1 Windows shall be limited to a maximum .5CFM per foot of operable sash crack.
Doors shall be limited to a maximum 11.0CFM per linear foot of crack.
R-l Windows shall be limited to a maximum .5CFM per foot of operable sash crack.
Doors shall be limited to a maximum .5CFM per square foot of door area.
Design of Mechanical System
Energy Recovery: Consideration shall be given to the use of recovery systems which will conserve energy.
Temperature Control: Each HVAC system shall be provided with at least one thermostat for the regulation of temperature.
Each thermostat shall be limited as follows: Where used to control both heating and cooling, it shall have a maximum of high temperature setting of 85F and a minimum of low temperature setting of 55F and shall be capable of operating the system heating and cooling in sequence.

Zoning for Temperature Control: Each separate HAVC system is considered a zone. As a minimum each floor of a building shall be considered as a separate zone. Each dwelling unit shall be considered separately as a zone. Each HVAC will be equipped with means of shut-off or reducing during periods of nonuse.
Hot Water: For this project solar hot water has been requested.

No-Fines Concrete:
Like many other successful ideas, no-fines concrete is very simple in basic concept. No-fines concrete is a mix containing only carefully graded clear aggregateapproximately 3/4 to 3/8 inch in sizeand portland cement. These are combined at rates of one part of cement with 8 to 10 parts of aggregate. No fine materialeither sand or gravelis included.

The concrete so formed, consisting only of coarse aggregate, cement, and water, has large voids uniformly distributed through its mass. Many special properties of no-fines concrete are attributed to the presence of these voids.
The principal advantages claimed for no-fines concrete are economy in materials, somewhat higher thermal insulating values, lower shrinkage, and lower unit weight.
The major disadvantages are its low compressive, flexural, and bond strength, and higher permeability.
The principal applications of no-fines concrete are for load-bearing cast-in-place external walls of single story and multistory housing, small retaining walls and as a campproofing subbase material for concrete floors cast on grade. This type of concrete is also eminently suitable for construction in northern and remote areas because of its somewhat higher thermal insulating property and low cement content.
The use of this type of concrete is most economical for large developments where repetitive use of formwork is possible for cast-in-place external walls.
The first no-fines concrete houses were built in the Netherlands after World War I with crushed clinker as the aggregate. Later about 50 houses were built in Scotland using the same material.
In 1937 the Scottish Special Housing Association (SSHA) was set up to provide work for unemployed coal miners. Because the labor was inexperienced in construction, traditional methods of building were discarded in favor of the no-fines system.
Due to increased awareness of the need for conservation of nonrenewable mineral resources, increased consideration is being given to the use of no-fines concrete in Canada and the United States.
The unit weight or density of no-fines concrete is generally 70 percent that of conventional concrete made with similar aggregates.
For no-fines concretes using conventional aggregate the density usually varies from 100 to 120 lb/ft (1602 to 1922 kg/in ) The corresponding value fo^ no-fines concrete made with clinker aggregates is 60 lb/ft (961 kg/m;.

No-fines concrete is self-packing and can be compacted by gravity alone. The use of mechanical vibration or ramming is generally not recommended. Hand rodding, on the other hand, can be used with advantage to place concrete in the forms.
As with conventional concrete, adequate moist curing of no-fines concrete is essential. It should be kept moist for 3 to 7 days after placing, particularly in dry, sandy climates because dry, hot winds can go through this type of concrete.
Rapid drying is more serious for no-fines concrete than for conventional concrete because dry paste fails to hold the aggregate particles together.
A big advantage of no-fines concrete is the relative ly low hydrostatic pressure it exerts on the formsonly about one-third that of normal weight concrete. This circumstance and the even grading eliminate segregation even when the mater ial is discharged from quite a high level, and allow large formwork units to be used. Some builders cast no-fines concrete in lengths of 60 feet and from heights up to 25 feet.
Under normal conditions of placement, forms can be removed after 24 hours. However, it is stressed that as no-fines concrete has virtually no cohesion, forms must remain in place until the cement paste has hardened and developed sufficient strength to hold together the aggregate particles.
Horizontal formwork supporting no-fines concrete, as in lintels, should not be removed for at least three days and the concrete should not be loaded during this period.
Strength and Elastic Properties:
The compressive strength is considerably lower than that of conventional portland cement concrete and generally varies between 200 psi and 2,000 psi.
As with compressive strength, modulus of rupture of no-fines concrete is considerably lower than that of conventional concrete. The same is true for its shear strength, which is about half that of conventional concrete.

No-fines concrete is not usually used in reinforced concrete because the strength of bond between this type of concrete and steel reinforcement is low. In those cases where reinforcement has to be used, it is usually coated with a thin layer of about 0.125 in. (3.2 mm) of cement paste applied pneumatically to improve the bond strength and to provide protection against corrosion. Window and door openings are a source of weakness, not only because of the stress concentration at the corners in this type of construction, but also because of the difficulty in insuring that the concrete placed at window sills is strong enough. Reinforcing steel is, therefore, frequently placed at wall openings, particularly in external walls; at window sills reinforced concrete made with graded normal weight aggregate is placed.,- Young's modulus of elasticity i^ usually between 1.0 x 10 to 1.5 x lCr psi (0.7 x 10 MN/m ) depending on the strength level of the concrete.
The ratio of modulus of rupture to compressive strength expressed as a percentage varies between 10.8 and 31.0 percent.
Freeze Thaw Resistance:
The tests indicated that no-fines concrete prisms without air-entraining agent had poor resistance to freezing and thawing and broke into two halves after less than 73 cycles; the corresponding prisms incorporating an air-entraining agent were able to withstand up to 274 freeze-thaw cycles.
In situations where no-fines concretes may have to be exposed to conditions of freeze-thaw, consideration should be given to the incorporation of air-entraining agents in the mix.
Water-Cement Ratio:
Water-cement ratio is more critical with no-fines than with normal weight concrete. The amount of water must be sufficient to coat each piece of aggregate with a continuous film of cement paste so that all the pieces will bond together to form an open textured mass. An excess of water must be avoided, otherwise the paste will tend to be washed off the aggregate, weakening the mix and filling the voids.
Drying Shrinkage:
The total drying shrinkage of no-fines concrete is considerably lower than that of conventional concrete in which coarse aggregate of the same type is used. For no-fines concrete

made with crushed limestonegOr river gravel, the shrinkage is of the order of 200 x 10 ; about half of that of conventional concrete. This is explained by the fact that cement paste is present as a thin coating only and shrinkage on drying is restrained by the aggregate particules. However, the rate of drying shrinkage is generally much more rapid than that of conventional concrete. This is because the paste has a large surface area exposed to the air. In no-fines concrete, 50 to 80 percent of the total shrinkage takes place within 10 days; the corresponding value for conventional concrete is 20 to 30 percent. It has also been shown that total shrinkage movement may be completed in little over a month. This means that there is much less danger of cracking of a plaster finish on a no-fines wall.
As the two types of concrete have different rates and coefficients of shrinkage, it is advisable that they not be used in conjunction with one another. Where it is necessary to use the two materials next to each other, extreme care should be exercised.
Thermal Conductivity:
The coefficients of thermal conductivity, compared to conventional concrete are as follows:
BTUft ft2 hrF
No-fines Conventional .48
Lightweight .27
Conventional Igneous .83
Dolomite 2.13
Lightweight . 08
Fire Resistance:
Specimen Aggregate Type of Construction Average temperature of Unexposed face deg C (deg F) Fire- resistance hr:min Mode of Failure
1 hr 2 hr 3 hr U hr 5 hr 6 hr
i Crushed Quartzite Monolithic 25.6 (78) 26.7 (80) 28.3 (83) 39.4 (103) 4:14 Rendering fallen from both faces of wall revealing horizontal fissure through which furnace was visible from unexposed side
2 Crushed Quartz Block 21.1 (70) 22.8 (73) 25.0 (77) 3:15 Rendering fallen from both faces of wall so that furnace was visible from unexposed side through unmortared vertical construction joint
3 Crushed Basalt Monolithic -5.0 (23) 22.8 (73) 29.4 (85) 30.6 (87) 35.0 (95) 39.4 (103) No failure after 6:00
4 Crushed Block 10.0 (50) 22.8 (73) 26.7 (80) 32.8 (91) 56.1 (133) 5:02 Permitted rise of maximum temperature of unexposed face exceeded

Surface Treatment:
The rough concrete surface provided by the no-fines mix gives an excellent base for bonding surface finishes such as portland cement stucco or plaster without the use of lath, expanded metal or other surface preparation.
Saving in materials: As no-fines concrete contains no sand and consequently requires considerably less cement per cubic yard of concrete, there is a direct saving in materials. This aspect becomes particularly important when cement has to be transported over long distances.
High thermal insulation value: Because of its nature, which allows the formation of large voids, it has better insulating characteristics than conventional concrete.
Low unit weight: It is a type of lightweight concrete and thus possesses some of the advantages associated with lightweight concrete construction.
Low drying shrinkage: Drying shrinkage is relatively low compared with conventional concrete.
Elimination of capillary action: There is no transmission of water by capillary action because of the absence of capillary passages.
Low pressures on formwork during construction:
The unit weight is about two-thirds that of conventional concrete from the same aggregate. The pressure on formwork is therefore much less than that of conventional concrete and the formwork need not be watertight. Consequently, cheaper formwork may be used.
Low strength: The compressive, flexural, and bond strengths of no-fines concrete are considerably lower than those of conventional concrete made with similar aggregates. This is one of the major drawbacks of this type of concrete. The use of reinforcement is generally not recommended.
High permeability: It has very high permeability compared to conventional concrete. This is a decided disadvantage. To overcome this, rendering

of the walls becomes essential. However, in certain situations, high permeability of this type of concrete can be used, to a good advantage, e.g., as drainage layers in soils.
Long time for form removal: Regardless of the mix proportions and water-cement ratios used, no-fines concrete has little or no cohesion in the fresh state. It is, therefore, essential that formwork for no-fines concrete construction be kept in position for a number of hours after casting to allow the cement paste to gain sufficient strength to hold the aggregates in place.
(This report has been taken primarily from articles from ACI Journal; November, 1976; and Concrete Construction; February, 1979)

The Program:
Meditation Practice Rooms -
Main Shrine Hall 6,000 sf
Other practice rooms 3,000 sf
Library for participants 750 sf
Meditation instruction @ 75 sf each 1,000 sf
Dining/Multi-purpose rooms 5,000
Kitchen 2,500
Administration -
RMDC and Seminary 5,000
Housing 45,000
School 5,000
Suite for VIP 4,000
Lobby, Vestibules, Hallways 9,000
Total Square Footage: 86,250 Mechanical @ 5%: 4,500
Total 90,750

Meditation Practice Rooms
High ceilings
Quality of light important
Quality of space power and gentleness
Associated spaces Vestibule transition space
Shoe storage area (No shoes permitted in Shrine Room)
Recording booth, tape storage Shrinekeepers room for storage of shrine equipment and for preparing flower arrangements (water needed) different storage for each type of shrine room
Orioki set storage convenient access
Meditation Instruction Rooms
One-on-one instruction Oral exams Simple space
Quality of space richness Must seat 300 for western style dining Separate area for staff Separate area for families
Should be able to be subdivided into smaller spaces for classes, dining, or practice areas for small programs
Quality of space an extension of meditation hall "Able to handle to separate programs simultaneously Spaces needed Office
Storage for dishes, silverware, utensils and knives
Storage for Orioki serving equipment Food preparation sinks, machinery, tables Pantry/Dry storage Walk-in freezer
Walk-in cooler (earth cooled possible ice box)
Cart storage, for transporting food, dishes Dishwashing area cleaning materials storage mechanical equipment Broom closet

Garbage area
Trash collection/incinerator Small shrine
Needs to be near the main shrine room for convenient access for orioki serving--possible an anteroom between the kitchen and main shrine room.
RMDC will maintain minimal office space during the Seminary months. Office space to be provided:
1) Main office (RMDC and Seminary)
2) Directors (2)
3) Secretary
4) Bookkeeper
5) Fundraiser
6) Computer
7) Registrar
8) Cashier
9) Mail room
10) Guard office (at two entry points)
11) Maintenance/Construction/Shop
12) Housekeeping
13) Practice
14) Study
15) Publicity and Graphics
16) Translators
17) Rota scheduling
18) Infirmary
Conference Room to accommodate 50 persons. Possibly in similar module to the housing units.
Participants double occupancy
Staff single occupancy
*18 modular units 0 2,250 each
Core bath area for each unit 1 0 400 sf Minimum 2 men, 2 women's toilets
2 men, 2 women's lavatories
2 men, 2 women's showers
Bedrooms 10 0 144 sf each
Living area, study, social area 1 0 400 sf Some units could be accessed by stairs as long as one has ramp access
Furnishings simple, but not austere

"Laundry facilities located within the housing area *150 sf per person has been allowed
For 50 children total
Types of spaces: classrooms/library/art room
5 @ 600 sf each 3,000 sf
child care 400 sf
children's meditation room 500 sf
kitchen (access from main
kitchen) 200 sf
play area 500 sf
Total 5,000 sf
Suites for VIP
One small suite for visiting dignitaries located near participant housing
One large suite for the Vajracarya and his staff
bedrooms and baths 10 @ 200 sf kitchen dining for 20 servers dining room living room
Tenno Room (a kind of shrine room) library
entry, waiting area
2,000 sf 250 sf 600 sf 150 sf 400 sf
250 sf 150 sf 200 sf
4,000 sf
Quality of space elegant
450 people
"Sitting areas some semi-private Piano



. KlECH.


Decorative elements, colorful and ornate are traditionally applied to a simple building form.

The carving and painting of interior elements becomes a gesture of appreciation for the richness of the lineage of teachers and of experience itself.

Scene from the site looking towards the south. Marpa Point, in the distance, rises 660 feet from the meadow to dreate a focal point for the view,