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Updates 2012

Updates 2012

As the year winds to a close, I reflect on yet another historic year for Earth Harmony Habitats and its drive toward creating homes that have net zero impacts-self sufficient homes that harvest their own energy via solar panels, collect all its water through rainwater harvesting, have zero waste through nutrient recycling, grows all its own vegetables through vertical and raised bed gardens. (more at

Thanks to the dedicated volunteers, advocates and the myriad other invaluable contributors who have taken strides toward manifesting Earth Harmony Habitats.

Highlights of 2012

January 2012

  • Two Vertical Gardens prototypes-(the wall mounted garden eventually to be used on South, West and East faces of Earth Harmony Habitats) are finished and ready to be researched! The main focus of attention for 2012.
  • Attending Living Futures Institute’s ambassador’s conference on Living Building Challenge.
  • Janice Levenhagen joined in coaching development.
  • Calsak Plastic acrylic glazing donated for Earth Harmony Habitat’s Vertical Gardens
  • Held well attended volunteer/educational meeting at library January 12th.

February 2012

  • Badger Meter’s donated two flow meters for Vertical gardens.
  • Attended meeting on composting toilets at Tryon Creek Farm.
  • Terri Lojacono, Koyel Sikdar, Sarah Albert volunteered for various projects.
  • Attempted to create a marketing arm with Portland cohousing collaborative
  • Held well attended volunteer/educational meeting at library Feb 16.

March 2012

  • Hunter Industries donated two I-Core Irrigation control units. 
  • Tom Hopkins of Sustainability Today shot and edited a full length presentation of Earth Harmony Habitats (
  • An opportunity to have a booth at Better Living Show was turned down due to lack of funds.
  • However, did get an opportunity to table a booth with Sustainability Today at Better Living Show.
  • Held well attended volunteer/educational meeting at library March 15th

April 2012

  • Base Line soil moisture monitors donated for Vertical gardens.
  • Aaron Hill and collaborative incubator group established.

May 2012

  • Ewing’s irrigation design and parts donated and received.
  • Built irrigation system from Ewing’s design and assistance.
  • Neighbor Maxine Raisel donated sunny site for vertical gardens to be tested. Son and daughter-in law David and Karmyn Raisel recently moved into home and are thankfully keeping it going.

June 2012

  • Normal Sandy Loam soil not adequate for vertical gardens.
  • Phillips Soil donated and placed into Vertical Gardens.
  • Greg Stokes assisted in developing a business plan and Strengths, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats (SWOT) analysis.
  • Passive House training through PHIUS begun.
  • Certified Energy Manager through Association of Energy Engineers. 
  • Vertical garden irrigation system debugged.
  • Soil temperatures of over 110 degrees were observed with acrylic glazing greenhouse!

July 2012

  • Territorial Seed Company donated 40 packets of seeds for Vertical Garden.
  • Certified Energy Management exam passed!
  • Germination of all but two species was observed within 8 days of planting!
  • Brian Steensma updated website and corrected compromised hack.

August 2012

  • Offered PSU business students opportunity to work on Earth Harmony Habitats as a capstone project. 
  • Midsummer’s Green booth and presentation.
  • officially became Certified Passive House Consultant after passing both written and design Exam. 
  • 60 days after planting, crops (kale, beans, spinach, bok choy, lettuces, are ready to be harvested.
  • Water use-currently 13 gallons per day. Actively seeking ways to reduce water use to a goal of 5 gal/day/unit.
  • Insect infestation with Vertical Gardens are observed.

September 2012

  • Harvesting of squash, zucchinis, tomatillos, pole beans, and remaining kale and salad greens.

October 2012

  • Attended Live Large build small conference through Living Futures Institute.
  • Infestation challenge with Vertical Gardens! People are not the only ones interested in vertical gardens!

November 2012

  • Solexx contributed white glazing to test on the systems ability to hold temperature.
  • Reconfigured control system to fully utilize one soil monitoring system.
  • Achieved zero water use and maintained 27% moisture in soil.
  • Investigate market opportunities for sustainable housing via like minded realtors.

December 2012

  • Studying for LEED GA certification.
  • Brainstorming low energy ways to increase soil temperature and air moment to increase germination rate, reduce mildew of plants.
  • Applying for Angel Investment funding from Oregon Entrepreneurs Network.

But we also have much to do. Including developing a business plan and investment strategy for 2013 to attract eco-conscious urban families, couples or individuals who wish to flourish within community and an equitable share of earth’s carrying capacity.

If you are new to Earth Harmony Habitats and want to follow its history over the years, link to

For a full list of the opportunities that await participation, go to

Celebrating the achievements of the past year, I look ahead with optimism. The economic and political winds continue to shift, but with the spirit of sustainable, self sufficient homes, Earth Harmony Habitats continues to thrive, and the stage is set for a remarkable 2013.

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

Joyous Greenings,


David Burdick

Professional Engineering (PE) Mechanical License #26503 WI
Certified Energy Manager (CEM) License #19102
Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) License #1397

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

Updates 2011

Highlights of 2011

January 2011

  • Established a meet-up website for EHH (
  • Reviewed book Creating a life together" by Diana Leafe Christian.
  • Developed values, goals and covenant page on EHH website (
  • Met with planning commissioner for city of Milwaukie to discuss EHH

February 2011

  • Created Vertical Garden Designs with Bryan Bailey and Daniel Edwards
  • Developed agreement with Vertical Wall Institute in Oregon City for testing a prototype
  • Became member of co-housing group in Portland Oregon and attended meetings
  • Reviewed several potential locations for EHH.
  • Met with a gentleman who has 3 acres of land along river south of Milwaukie on interest of using EHH as design.

March 2011

  • Met with Milwaukie Building commissioners to review EHH design and determine potential zone challenges. Determined that project is feasible, Zoning is R 1, 2 and 2.5. There are also areas outside of Milwaukie that do not use zoning but do require neighbor approval. Lavina Farms is a good example of tighter density outside of Milwaukie’s jurisdiction. No issues with Solar, height. Will require parking or request review ($1700). City is reviewing building guidance for single and multi-family dwellings and will be published by Nov. 2011
  • Became involved in giving feedback on gray water reuse rules (

April 2011

  • Met with city of Milwaukie planning and building commissions to discuss EHH regarding multifamily unit development requirements
  • Requested additional volunteers through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Draft of gray water rules were published, they do not allow dishwater to enter into gray water system, flow rates require oversized systems, type 1 and 2 gray water cannot be used on root crops. Hookup to city system required, permit for type 2 gray water required
  • Attended a Urban Renewal workshop on weekend
  • Held a kickoff meeting for EHH in Milwaukie. Total of 5 attended.
  • Presented EHH at the earth day festivities at the Environmental School in Portland.

May 2011

  • Landscaping department at PCC Rock creek may be interested in prototyping the unit
  • Signed a contract with SEG Works to create a financial assessment and pro-forma for EHH
  • Attended the Living Building Conference in Vancouver WA and displayed EHH in conjunction with Ecotrust.
  • Developed an agreement with New Wood products to use their material to build prototype of Vertical Green Wall
  • Attended City of Milwaukie meeting with developers to vet their concerns
  • New poster board and literature has been created for EHH

June 2011

  • Pro-forma has been completed. Price estimate ranges from $250,000 for the 2 story units to $350,000 for the 3 story units.
  • Chris Langeler has reviewed EHH website and marketing approach and has given good feedback on what to do to attract more attention.

July 2011

  • Presented EHH at the Oregon Country Fair
  • Updated website with new information. Have yet to address marketing aspects.

August 2011

  • Time to enjoy summer

September 2011

  • Worked with Erica Benjamin and Janice Levenhagen to help develop Living Building Challenge presentation for American Institutes of Architectures (AIA)
  • Presented an hour lecture at the AIA offices on Living Building Challenges and EHH.
  • Attended BEST Fest, a gathering of researchers and businesses interested in developing building performance.
  • Attended the Passive House conference in Olympia.

October 2011

  • Gave EHH presentation to students at Professor Todd Jarvis of Oregon State University regarding
  • Created capstone opportunities for PSU faculty interested in finding projects for students at PSU

November 2011

  • Barry King Construction Company volunteered to create the vertical garden prototype with New Wood materials. Spent 4 evenings detailing and constructing two prototypes!
  • Attended and presented EHH at Earth Advantages Green Forum
  • Created capstone project opportunities for urban planning students at PSU.

December 2011

  • Took the LEED GA training course
  • Began developing re-circulating shower system.
  • Found donations of Plexiglas, irrigation system and materials for vertical garden
  • Working on finding donations for the soil monitoring system.
  • Met with Living Building Futures and PLUG on possibility of creating a collaborative meeting for living building challenge projects.