Mindfulness Project Gazebo

Adapted from email exchanges with Sumano: People will likely use the gazebo daily for baking bread together, overseeing children, picnics and other informal gatherings. Once people let go of TVs, video games, and other wasteful things then it’s only natural that they’ll want to spend more time with other people. The gazebo has a pentagonal … Read more

Cut Housing Costs with Communal Structures

Let’s say you have a group of friends who want to build sustainable homes near each other. Maybe you want to build an ecovillage or something similar. Communal structures with shared facilities for toilets, showers, cooking, laundry, Internet access and group meetings are a great way to cut housing costs. For example, everyone doesn’t need … Read more

Designing Sustainable Communities

In addition to my house design work (which is really taking off, by the way), I’ve had several requests to design sustainable communities. So far these large projects haven’t fully materialized, but the opportunities I’ve been presented with have given me a chance to think through some possibilities. The ideas outlined below are somewhat unconventional, … Read more

Earthbag/Strawbale Houses in Snohomish County, Washington

Today’s post is from Global Family Survival.com. “We decided we are going to build an Earthbag and Straw Bale house. Why am I announcing this? Because we believe the time is close to finding reasonably priced land, and to take advantage of the Federal and State benefits provided for energy conservation and sustainable living. The … Read more

Cooperative Building

One way of acquiring affordable housing is working together with other people. Let’s say six groups of three workers agree to build their homes together. They could divide into teams based on interests and skill level. Team 1: Site preparation and excavation Team 2: Earthbag foundation Team 3: Lower walls Team 4: Upper walls Team … Read more