Bioshelters for Year-Round Food Production

Posted by & filed under Building.

Coldframes Manhattan, New York At the beginning of the 1900s, many modern cities were growing vegetables under glass during the winter months. Truck farmers in these cities, including Manhattan in the USA, and Paris in France, were able to grow significant amounts of food in simple cold frames. I’ve heard stories that some New England… Read more »

Geoff Lawton Visits Cal-Earth Permaculture Course

Posted by & filed under Building, Courses/Workshops.

Pictures and Text by Bill Wilson of Midwest Permaculture For a second year we co-delivered with the Cal-Earth teaching staff a combined Superadobe Earth Building and Permaculture Design Certificate Course.  At the close of our course we were pleased to host Geoff and Nadia Lawton of PRI Australia who shared their work in desert environments with us in… Read more »

Straw Building Passes Quake Test

Posted by & filed under Building.

After Pakistan was devastated by an earthquake in 2005, Darcey Donovan, an engineer in California, pursued designs for quake-resistant homes using local materials. The result was a straw-bale building. It withstood substantial shaking in tests at the University of Nevada, Reno.

From Traffic Jams to Ecocities – Interview with Richard Register, President of Ecocity Builders

Posted by & filed under Building, Eco-Villages, Energy Systems, Land, Retrofitting, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling.

Marcin Gerwin: In many cities there are problems with traffic jams. The streets are clogged with cars and as a response mayors build new roads or widen the streets. Old buildings are demolished to make way for new lanes so that a highway running through the middle of the city could be built. Would you… Read more »

The Radical Technology of Christopher Alexander

Posted by & filed under Building, Urban Projects, Village Development.

By Michael Mehaffy and Nikos Salingaros. First published in Metropolis Magazine. Though overshadowed by his written work, Alexander’s built work has been prodigious, with some 300 buildings around the world. Above, a title image from a 2009 exhibit at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Chances are, you have heard of Christopher Alexander because… Read more »

Rocket Oven Nitty Gritty

Posted by & filed under Building, Energy Systems.

by Tim Barker, Koanga Institute The first post on the rocket oven left many with more questions than they started with so this is a follow up to cover some aspects in more detail. It would probably help to re read the first article and my replies to comments as I’m just going to forge… Read more »

The MEGGA-Watt Project Moves Forward

Posted by & filed under Aquaculture, Building, Demonstration Sites, Energy Systems, Fish, Land, Retrofitting, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting.

by Rene Michalak The "MEGGA-watt" Project (Micro-Energy Generating Garage Assembly) is a demonstration / prototype to turn everyday detached garages from simple storage units (aka ‘car-holes’) into food-growing and energy-generating systems using permaculture design. The basic concept is to partner a garage with an attached greenhouse and renewable energy to create sustainable 4-season growing systems… Read more »

Lettuce Tree – Using Vertical Space for Balconies and Small Spaces

Posted by & filed under Building, Food Plants - Annual, Land, Plant Systems, Urban Projects.

I am trying to get the most out of my balcony space. Obviously, the vertical direction is the way to go… by Martin Korndoerfer Inspired by other bloggers, I wanted to try my luck with the much acclaimed lettuce tree. Reported challenges have been to keep the soil in the upper part from drying out…. Read more »

Tales from La Angostura, Guatemala, A Project in the Making – Chapter 3: Preparing to do Something

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Building, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Irrigation, Land, Material, Potable Water, Village Development, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

Click for larger view To be sure, buying a nice piece of land requires a lot of effort and a few happy accidents. Things have to happen ‘just right’ in order for you to acquire a highly valuable property with little cash and a lot of complications, but, who said it was going to be… Read more »

The Man Who Started a Fire (Christopher Alexander Lecture at Berkeley, California)

Posted by & filed under Building, DVDs/Books, Presentations/Demonstrations, Society.

by Øyvind Holmstad Jump to 12:20 to skip introductions As said in the introduction to this lecture held in spring 2011, Christopher Alexander has started a fire that keeps on burning, spread by the ‘wind’ throughout the world. But in the wake of this fire there’s no ash, but only beauty and true living structure…. Read more »

Edible City – The Movie

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Consumerism, Demonstration Sites, Energy Systems, Land, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling.

Edible City is a feature-length documentary film that tells the stories of extraordinary people who are digging their hands into the dirt, working to transform their communities and do something truly revolutionary: grow local Good Food Systems that are socially just, environmentally sound, and economically resilient.