EagleYew House — Efficient Technology With an Artist’s Aesthetic (317)

pm317_640

Artist Ezio Cusi’s house is a work of art —and also built smart. The cob house with timber-framed upper stories is made with mostly local natural materials. For the cold winters, it has an annualized geo-solar system (AGS) which in summer transfers hot water from solar … [Read more...]

Bringing the Wealth Home – intelligent Design at InishOge Farm (301)

pm301_640

"We had a different notion of real wealth…we converted [our paper money] wealth into this land and home," says Steve Unger. Mary Coll adds that they're storing wealth in their knowledge, and by building a low-tech handmade house with no need for outside "experts" for … [Read more...]

Our British Columbia Winter Adventures

EzioHouse_200

Turns out we're wintering over in British Columbia. After housesitting during the holidays in Victoria, we visited nearby Sooke, Salt Spring Island, and  Shawnigan Lake. We'll be in Bowen Island in March, then Shawnigan Lake until mid-April when we must leave Canada after … [Read more...]

Natural Buildings for Urban Living – The Tour, part 2 (247)

pm247_550

The Craftsman-style bungalow looks normal on the outside, but the surprise is on the inside: straw bales inside the framing provide super insulation. Natural builder Lydia Doleman designed this 800-square-foot small-footprint house to last centuries, with its metal roof and … [Read more...]

Natural Buildings for Urban Living, part 1 (246)

pm246_550

Wanting to demonstrate that "cities can be less impactful on the planet," natural builder Lydia Doleman bought and remodeled a Portland house to demonstrate her values. Composting toilets reduce water usage while feeding the soil. Growing food shortens dependencies. Building … [Read more...]

Early Autumn Chronicles from the Salish Sea Coast

EcoSense_Greenhouse_600

Harvest time.  Gardens putting out the last of the summer veggies.  Early fall rains, harbingers of winter coming.  We're happy hyper-locavores relishing a zero-mile-diet along both sides of the Salish Sea. Tasting resilient, close-to-the-earth food cultivation … [Read more...]

Earth, Wood and Sun – Natural Building, Local Style (239)

pm239_580

"When we're able to successfully work with local ecologies to meet our needs, we do the Earth a better service. And we are becoming empowered in our own lives." Natural builder Chris Foraker gives a tour of work-in-progress at Aprovecho Center, Oregon. The structure's clay, … [Read more...]

An Eco-Sense House – Natural Building, Natural Living (230)

pm230_620

The Eco-Sense House is alive! From dream (see episode 103) to reality. Its curving cob walls embrace Ann and Gord Baird's three-generation family. A living roof offers summer cooling and filters winter rains stored for garden water. The composting toilet provides rich soil … [Read more...]

An Earthen House Built by Hand (215)

PM215_560

"I think it's very very important to know you can provide things for yourself… build your own house… grow your own food… make your own medicine." Walking his talk, Greg Crawford shows the magical wattle-and-cob house he built with hand tools using local materials: alder … [Read more...]

This Old House — Rethink, Reuse, Remodel (195)

pm195_kitchen_640HD

Turn a century-old Seattle house into an efficient, energy-producing home using repurposed materials. Owner-builder Jim Bristow's creativity extends to reclaiming dead spaces, jacketing his house with exterior insulation, and modernizing the kitchen with sleek previously … [Read more...]