We are committed to designing and building sustainable living environments guided by the following principles:
- Do not disperse poisons.
- Match nature's pace and do not disrupt life cycles.
- Use resources equitably and efficiently.
- Site selection
- Pick a location close to employment, schools and other services (Walking, bicycling or working at home will have more positive
impact than any home design).
- Pick a site with good solar access. It is especially important
that a building's south facing walls and roof are not shaded from the low
- Use prime agricultural land for growing food not as building sites.
- Building Design
- Minimize exterior surface area for both energy efficiency and economy.
- Maximize south facing solar collection area. South facing glass
should be 7% to 10% of the floor area. It should be fully shaded from the
summer sun and fully exposed to the winter sun. Provide 10 to 40 square
feet of solar collector area per person for domestic hot water. Allow 10%
of the floor area for south facing solar thermal collectors for space
heating. Provide room for 500 to 1000 Watts of photovoltaic panels per
- Minimize north facing glazing to reduce heat loss.
- Minimize west facing glazing to prevent afternoon overheating.
- Allow 4% to 6% of the floor area to be east facing glazing for
morning warm up.
- Incorporate daylighting to reduce the need for electric lighting.
- Use energy efficient lights and appliances, i.e. a front loading
washing machine uses half the electricity and 1/4 of the water of a top loader.
- Building Materials and Construction
- Use materials with low embodied energy. Use local materials to
reduce energy spent in transportation and use materials that require
minimal energy in their manufacture.
- Use non-toxic materials.
- Use recycled or sustainably harvested materials.
- Use durable materials.
- Water and Waste
- Conserve water, i.e. install low flush toilets and low-flow
- Catch roof runoff to augment water supply and reduce erosion.
- Create wetlands for waste water treatment.
- Recycle and compost.
- Plant an edible landscape that can thrive with minimal care and
- Encourage diversity of flora and fauna.