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 dedicated volunteers, advocates and the myriad other invaluable contributors who have taken strides toward manifesting Earth Harmony Habitats during 2014.
Highlights of 2014
- Eco-villages around the world
Karen Litfin, Associate Professor for the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington, held a lecture to share various eco-villages around the world. The packed house is a testament to the interest in eco-village and their designs.
- Potential site lost funding
Funding was pulled for the development I had been working on in collaboration with Builder Shan Stassens and Building Designer Buck Bailey. We were working together to develop a net zero impact community of some 37 homes in the Hillsboro area of Portland.
- Toilet research
This month was spent researching net zero water toilets and discerning the advantages between the Clivas foam toilet system or the Living Machine systems.
Attended a weekend workshop with building leaders to accelerate life-sustaining solutions in the built environment through emergent leadership principles. Inspiring group of luminaries who have accomplished much over their career and now want to assist others in developing their leadership skills.
- Better Living Show 2014
Earth Harmony Habitats presented at a Portland trade show featuring ecologically minded home and lifestyles. This was an excellent opportunity to share the concepts with over 10,000 attendees. Earth Harmony Homes have signed up again for the 2015 expo. I plan to bring in one of the Vertical Gardens. Look for us at booth number 836 on March 28-29, 2015!
- Advertisement in Take Root
Take Root Willamette Valley is a local food and farm magazine serving Willamette Valley Oregon residents. The publishers enjoyed the idea of Earth Harmony Habitats so much that they ran a full back page ad for it in the in their magazine! See page 21 of this link http://www.magazooms.com/HTML5/Duhn-Associates-TAKE-ROOT-Magazine-Spring-2014
- Potential site in Milwaukie
At the Better Living Show, I met a couple who has strong interest in developing their 2+ acres of land. There would be a dozen Earth Harmony homes nestled into this site. Working with various architects on this project. Crux of the issue is finding the funding for developing these non-conventional homes.
- Presentation at the Living Building Challenge Ambassador meeting
On May 21st, I gave a presentation at the ambassador lunch for the Living Building Challenge on sharing tips, best practices, and an anecdote from my experience being an Ambassador Presenter in the Pacific Northwest. I also attended this year’s conference and was again inspired by its vision and leadership in addressing a third of our combined impacts on the planet
- Eco-District Advisory Committee
I was selected to be one of 80 committee members throughout the nation to help develop a powerful tool for district and neighborhood-scale sustainability work. This work is critically important to helping grow the emerging marketplace for district and neighborhood-scale sustainability. See www.ecodistricts.org for more information
- Vertical Gardens
Two organizations adopted my vertical gardens. 21 Acres in Washington and OSU Extension Service Community and Urban Horticulturist. Aaron Huston on 21 acres has delighted himself and others in the project with a bounty of food grown from this vertical garden.
- New Website coming soon!
Meghan Grunnow has volunteered to redo the website into a more attractive, effective site. Looking forward to launching soon!
- New Marketing approach
Keirsten Lindholm, a growth hacker who transitions best practices into startup companies, has offered to help develop a marketing approach for Earth Harmony Habitats.
- Build Small, Live Large Summit
I was invited to assist in developing the curriculum for the Build Small Live Large 2015 Summit, specializing in the net zero impact session. The Build Small, Live Large summit is a one-day housing summit on Friday November 6, 2015 that will focus on smaller, greener and more affordable housing choices. The Summit will explore the leading edge of the space efficient housing movement – where design, cost, and care for the environment intersect with the needs of today’s changing demographics.
- Earth Harmony Meeting
Held another introduction to Earth Harmony Habitats to an enthusiastic crowd. Introduced the concept of certifying the homes to the Living Futures Institute’s “Living Community Challenge 1.0” certification. This standard, in addition to the home being net positive in environmental benefits, addresses the net social benefits of the community as well. This is a perfect standard in which to design to.
- Developing Board of Advisors
Robert “Tazo” Schafer is Earth Harmony Habitat’s first advisor of the newly established Board of Advisors. Tazo is a retired investor, entrepreneur, and “green” builder and advocate. He has in-depth knowledge of alternative energy production, and has built Earthships, straw bale housing, indoor gardens and water catchment, filtration, and re-cycling systems. He is a former associate dean at the University of Arizona in both the College of Engineering, as well, as the College of Business and Public Administration. He has consulted with both non-profit organizations and multi-national corporations. He served as a principle officer in a Washington, D.C. consulting firm.
- Collaborative Mastermind group
I was recently invited into a group of like minded professionals to work together to manifest buildings that flourish within an equitable share of earth’s carrying capacity. Looking forward to the process.
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.
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