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Updates 2016

Update 2016

As the year winds to a close, I reflect on yet another productive year for Earth Harmony Habitats and its drive toward creating homes that are healthy and comfortable for the residents and the planet!  These are homes that are resilient, that harvest their own energy via solar panels, collect all their water through rainwater harvesting, have zero waste through nutrient recycling and grow all their own vegetables through vertical and raised bed gardens.

My thanks go out to the volunteers, advocates and the myriad other invaluable contributors who have taken strides toward manifesting Earth Harmony Habitats during 2016.

Highlights of 2016

January

  • Non-Profit Status?
    Our first meeting in the New Year, we looked at ways to insure Earth Harmony Habitats (EHH) are affordable.  We looked into developing ourselves as a nonprofit in order to attain land trust funds and offer tax deductions
  • Cooperative Model
    We also delved into using a cooperative form of ownership for residents of EHH
  • Speaker at Living Futures Conference
    Applied to be a speaker at the Living Futures Institutes yearly Living Building Challenge gathering.

February 

  • Advisory Board Retreat
    Tazo (Richard Schafer) dropped in from Arizona to get together with Amanda and David for a short retreat and update. 
  • Survey Initiative
    Amanda started developing a survey to inquire our member’s interest investment and design options.
  • Facebook
    Facebook site for Earth Harmony Habitats has been reactivated.
  • Nonprofit Partnership
    Reviewed possibility for taking over an already established non profit 

 March 

  • Bootcamp
    David attended a conference designed for individuals interested in small scale development-perfect for EHH!  Tremendous insight offered at this conference on investment strategies, approaches, connections with other social investment development.
  • Nonprofit Status
    We looked at the effort that would be required to establish a nonprofit by attending a class on developing a non profit, offered by Richard Seymour of Mahonia Consulting.
    • Steps entail
      1. Develop a business model,
      2. Engage the community, 
      3. Establish a legal structure,
      4. Hold an organization meeting,
      5. Establish supporting activities,
      6. Establish a proforma
    • Decided that the effort required to create and maintain such an organization is substantial and beyond the bandwidth of the advisory committee.   We are open however to partnering with a 501 c3 non profit
    • New Home for Vertical Gardens
      Oregon Gardens in Silverton were not able to accommodate the EHH vertical gardens.   A new possibility was explored with Jerry Newman of Environmental Learning Center.  Looks like a perfect match.  More on that this spring.

April 

  • Funding Sources
    Amanda explored investment options with New Resource Bank, a social investment bank very much in alignment with the goals of EHH.  Also looking at Kiva.org or gofundme.com as alternative strategies.
  • Greener Good Game Show
    David brought publicity to EHH when he was a contestant for the Green Good Game show, Took first place!
  • Speaker at Living Futures Institute
    David received approval as a speaker at the upcoming Living Futures Institute’s Living Building Challenged conference.  Unfortunately, he will be in Nepal during May.  Walker Leiser has stepped up to offer to speak on his behalf!

May 

  • Destination Vacation
    Discussion with Gerald Lester regarding the possibility of using EHH for vacation destination
  • Living Futures Presentation
    Walker delivered a lively talk on Earth Harmony Habitats to an intrigued attendance at the Living Futures Institute conference.  Was so inspirational, that the city of Shoreline (a suburb of Seattle), asked to meet with EHH to discuss code challenges that EHH and other living building challenges dwellings have.
  • Vertical Garden
    21 acres has adopted the second prototype and is operating this unit ongoing since 2014.  

June 

  • Code Proofing EHH
    Living Building/Community challenge is a holistic approach to sustainable, self-sufficient homes.  Building these in cities and towns involve many areas of code, requiring a multifaceted code approach with many at the table to hammer out an ordinance that would allow a Living Building/Community Challenge residential building(s) to be built affordably.  Chris van Daalen, Walker Leiser, Joshua Klyber and I met with Miranda Redinger of Shoreline (a suburb of Seattle) for code proofing Living Building Challenge and EHH.  Our discussions revealed that there are aspects of an affordable residential living building that have yet to be addressed by this ordinance, including:
    1. Water: Black and yellow water utilization on site
    2. Sewer connection requirements: Chris mentioned that the state of New Hampshire has code that allows for utilization of human wastes on site (http://www.greywater-systems.com/regs.htm).
    3. Site: Elimination of parking requirements, Zoning for higher density than 6 units/acre (1 unit/6700 sq. ft.)
  • Walker Leiser Joins Board
    Walker’s long term goal is to create a Living Building that meets the Food, Water, Energy and Waste needs of its inhabitants, and to build it such that it is a better financial decision compared to conventional building methods. Walker is certified Permaculture Designer; Oregon Tilth Certified Organic Land care Practitioner  Living Future Accreditation and a Sustainable Homes Professional  
  • Survey 
    Second revision of survey is completed

July 

  • Potential Funding Source
    Walker discussed project with potential funder
  • Shoreline LBC Ordinance
    Walker and Chris met with city of Shoreline to represent EHH.
  • Octagonal Home, Naudanda, Nepal

August 

  • Summer Break
    Meet again in September
  • Octagonal Hotel, Pokara, Nepal

September 

  • Time Line Created
    The Advisory Board meeting developed a time line for 3 different approaches
    • Plan A 
      1. Nonprofit created or partnered (2 months)
      2. Seed money secured (2 months)
      3. Video created (2 months)
      4. Code proof,  complete engineer review of EHH, List house on WIKI House
      5. Develop ProForma (2 months)
      6. Develop viable financial strategy (2 months)
      7. Develop and send out survey (2 months)
      8. Identify Buyers (2 months)
      9. Build prototype (6 months)
      10. Build home (6 months)
    • Plan B
      1. Find a sponsor instead of developing or partnering with a nonprofit (2 months)
      2. Steps 2-10 similar to Plan A
    • Plan C
      1. Create a funding campaign  (2 months)
      2. Develop a survey  (2 months)
      3. Steps 3-10 identical to plan A except for step 7, completed in step 2 above

This proved to be very helpful in focusing on priorities and to understand the time involved in manifesting EHH

October 

  • Missing Middle Housing
    David attended an engaging conference about housing, land use and creating communities for all ages.
  • Ordinance Draft from Shoreline 
    This first in the nation ordinance offers incentives for Living Building Challenge buildings.
  • New Advisory Board Member
    Summer Gorder, President of ecoREAL, LLC, joins EHH Advisory Board. ecoREAL is an innovative sustainable building consulting company with experience guiding public agencies, universities, school districts, corporations and manufacturing facilities toward meeting their Sustainability goals.  Her advice adds a lot to the acumen of EHH depth and experience.

November

  • Alternative Strategy
    Brad Hippert of Equity Atlas Mortgage Company, met with David and shared an alternative development strategy that helped to decide if EHH wants to build to sell, build to rent, or build for permanent affordability.  Below are the various approaches. 

Build to sell strategy

  1. Identify land
  2. Calculate construction costs: Update proforma, hone it to just discuss ROI for investors for selling home outright), Attain engineering construction calculations completed for the use of non-framed SIPs, 
  3. Attain code approval for the areas interested in.  Including: 
  4. permit fees, holding costs, net margin for investors
  5. Tie up land
  6. Establish credibility (update Bios), including a reputable and experienced general contractor
  7. Investment: Identify buyers and get commitment (50K) upfront. Use survey to identify buyers, explore Kickstarter or other social marketing tools

 Build to rent strategy

  1. Steps 1-4 above.
  2. Investment: Identify investors interested in this type of a design-appeal to those who are aligned with the values attained, thus can tolerate less than maximum returns

From his advice, we created the following strategy: Build to create permanently affordable sustainable housing

  1. Steps 2-4 above 
  2. Approach Community Development Corporations (CDC) for funding of land and partnership
  3. Approach Living Futures Institute to investigate funding, partnership 
  4. Approach Center for a Sustainability Today to inquire if land is available for a prototype
  5. Approach other nonprofits-church?
  6. Investigate if a kick starter or GoFundMe approach could be used to allow people to contribute to EHH
  • New Prospects
    Summer is researching if a local church might be interested in partnering with EHH to build sustainable homes that demonstrate responsible stewardship of earth. 

December 

  • Survey
    The anticipated is developing into a very comprehensive and useful tool.  Stay tuned!
  • Octagonal Home, Kokethani, Nepal

Thank you for your interest and significant contributions to this journey towards creating homes that flourish within an equitable share of earth’s carrying capacity.

 

Joyous Greenings, 

David

You can never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. --

R.  Buckminster Fuller

 Flourishing within an equitable share of earth’s carrying capacity.

Earth Harmony Habitats™
4917 SE Aldercrest Rd. 
Portland, Oregon 97222-4757

Tel & Cell: (+1) 503 654 2070
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
website: www.earthharmonyhabitats.org 

David Burdick (PE (WI), CEM, SHP, BPI, CPHC, LEED GA) 
Professional Engineering (PE) Mechanical Wisconsin License #26503
Certified Energy Manager (CEM) License #19102
Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) License #1397
Sustainable Home Professional (SHP) member # 201212-5383
Building Performance Institute (BPI) Envelope & Building Analyst Professional ID#: 5047420
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design -Green Associate (LEED GA), Member # 1081451

Updates 2015

Update 2015

As the year winds to a close, I reflect on yet another productive year for Earth Harmony Habitats and its drive toward creating homes that are healthy and comfortable for the residents and the planet!  Homes that are resilient, that harvest their own energy via solar panels, collect all their water through rainwater harvesting, have zero waste through nutrient recycling and grow all their own vegetables through vertical and raised bed gardens.

My thanks go out to the volunteers, advocates and the myriad other invaluable contributors who have taken strides toward manifesting Earth Harmony Habitats during 2015.

Highlights of 2015

January

  • Mastermind
    The year started out with an online gathering of sustainably minded entrepreneurs for a weekly discussion of our current challenges and strategies to manifest our business ideas. Much value, direction and motivation was gained from these meetings.
  • Greener Good Interview
    Earth Harmony Habitats was featured on Greener Good cable TV.  Host Dori Lyon interviewed me on the merits and methods behind Earth Harmony Habitats.  Greener Good is a cable network with a monthly episode of interviewing ideas that create a greener, more sustainable life. Full interview can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEzpZgPSJB4

February 

  • Collaboration
    Diane Rheos volunteered to lead an effort to develop community and create a blog for Earth Harmony Habitats. 
  • Emerge
    This month I joined a gathering of high performance builders and policy developers for a weekend retreat in Whidbey Island, WA to for restorative connection & co-mentoring to accelerate life-sustaining solutions in the built environment through emergent leadership principles.

March 

  • Better Living Show 2015
    Earth Harmony Habitats was at Portland’s Better Living Show once again this year.  Better Living is a trade show featuring ecologically minded home and lifestyles.  This was an excellent opportunity to share the concepts with over 10,000 attendees.  I brought one of the Vertical Gardens with me to test market the concept.  

April 

  • Earth Day Booth
    With my new banner, introduced Earth Harmony Habitats to the celebrants of Portland’s Earth Day 
  • Collaborative interest
    Two people recently contacted me with interest in developing their acreage of land to be in harmony with earth’s carrying capacity.  One in Vancouver, Washington, the other near OHSU in Portland.
  • Earth Harmony Vertical Garden
    21 Acres, which is operating one of the two prototype gardens, held a large eco-tour this month, sharing much information on the vertical Garden

May 

  • Octagonal Visitors Center
    Outside of Salt Lake City is an Octagonal Visitor’s office offering travelers information on local folk lore and native Navaho design.

June 

  • Living Building Challenge Affordable Housing Project
    Submitted an application into Living Futures International to become a pilot program for affordable housing.  A strong contender for affordability, net zero impact homes have zero operating costs and are located on a land trust, thus a land purchase is not required.
  • Advisory Meeting
    Met with Advisory Board Member Tazo Schafer for consultation on effective forward movement.  Suggested developing a key advisory panel and to contact The Oregon Garden as a potential site for Earth Harmony Habitats and its vertical garden.  

July 

  • The Oregon Garden
    Met with Ty Boland, Regional Horticulture Manager/ Botanical Curator, to discuss possibility of bringing in one of Earth Harmony Habitats’ prototype vertical garden.  Things look promising 

August 

  • Developing Cohousing
    McCamant & Durrett Architects gave a fascinating and insightful workshop to teach the steps on developing cohousing.

September 

  • Vertical Garden to be featured at Oregon Garden!
    Ty Boland picked up the 2nd vertical garden for presentation at The Oregon Garden.  The Oregon Garden receives 100,000 visitors a year and is a great opportunity to introduce vertical gardening as well Earth Harmony Habitats.

October 

  • New Video
    Rich Wingerter of Green Making began work on creating a 5 minute video on the salient aspects of earth Harmony Habitats.  You can see the results of this compact presentation at https://youtu.be/8_kdlWUYQWI

November 

  • Build Small, Live Large Summit
    A year in development, Build Small, Live Large summit was offered to a sold out crowd of small home enthusiasts.  I assembled a stellar team composed of Stephen Aiguier, founder of Green Hammer, Pat Lando of Lando and Associates Landscape Architecture, and Brad Hippert, Home Loan Advisor of Atlas Equity to share insights on the benefits and challenges to fund and build net zero water and energy homes. Standing room only of over 100 folks attended this presentation.  
  • Booth at Build Small, Live Large Summit
    Earth Harmony Habitats also held a booth at this summit to a large and enthusiastic crowd.

December 

  • New Advisory Member
    Amanda Schueler, a local realtor who’s passionate about affordable, sustainable housing, has joined the team of advisors, effectively doubling the resources to manifest Earth Harmony Habitats.

Thank you for your interest and significant contributions to this journey towards creating homes that flourish within an equitable share of earth’s carrying capacity.

Joyous Greenings,

David

You can never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. --

R.  Buckminster Fuller

 Flourishing within an equitable share of earth’s carrying capacity.

Earth Harmony Habitats™
4917 SE Aldercrest Rd.
Portland, Oregon 97222-4757

Tel & Cell: (+1) 503 654 2070
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
website: www.earthharmonyhabitats.org

David Burdick (PE (WI), CEM, SHP, BPI, CPHC, LEED GA)
Professional Engineering (PE) Mechanical Wisconsin License #26503
Certified Energy Manager (CEM) License #19102
Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) License #1397
Sustainable Home Professional (SHP) member # 201212-5383
Building Performance Institute (BPI) Envelope & Building Analyst Professional ID#: 5047420
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design -Green Associate (LEED GA), Member # 1081451

Values, Visions, Goals, Aspirations & Covenants

The following is a draft of the Values, Visions, Goals, Aspirations and Covenant that are shared among members of Earth Harmony Habitats.  It is a start, not necessarily complete.  Additions are welcome and discussed and agreed to by unit owners.

Vision

  • We see a future where humans flourish within Earth’s Carrying Capacity.

Purpose (Mission)

  • To create a micro-community of affordable homes that are aesthetically pleasing, affordable, and uses only the electricity, water and vegetables than can be harvested from the land.

Values

  • We value the idea of flourishing within earth’s carrying capacity.   We express this value through the framework of The Natural Step’s Principles.
  • We believe that all humans should prosper on earth while insuring that annually society:
  • Extracts no more inert resources (oil, gas, minerals etc) from the earth than it can provide,
  • Harvest no more living resources (grains, animals, fish) than the earth can grow,
  • Disposes no more wastes (air, water, soil pollution) than earth can absorb,
  • Shares these inert and living resources and wastes equitably.
  • We hold the values of sustainability, fairness, kindness, generosity, service, accessibility, and thrift.
  • We are conscious of the interdependent web of life and our dependence on it to sustain all of life
  • Whether in times of peace or conflict, we meet each other face to face, with openness and caring.  We are each individually committed to reaching through our hurts and fears to find and share our highest intentions.
  • Economic sustainability is maintained by keeping home prices affordable for the masses through perpetuity.

Read more: Values, Visions, Goals, Aspirations & Covenants