Building An Ecologically Sensible Home

pm103_580Wanting to live a “reasonable, comfortable life” in tune with nature, Ann and Gord Baird are building a near “net zero energy” home on Vancouver Island. Their plans: the first load bearing, seismically engineered, two story, insulated, cob residence in North America. Solar PV panels for electricity with grid tie. (Wind power will come later.) Passive solar design with solar thermal for hydronic heating and domestic hot water. Composting toilets to enrich the earth for gardens along with grey water recovery for orchard irrigation. Rainwater catchment from a living roof tops off this sustainable, affordable, natural home for their three-generation family of six. Follow their progress at Episode 103.

Tour the finished house: An Eco-Sense House – Natural Building, Natural Living (Episode 230).

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  1. What a great pleasure visiting the fine COB house and workshop, truly life
    as it should and could be lived, sensitivity, hard meaningful labor, and
    a thoughtful long term outlook have produced an unparalleled way of live.
    A visit is highly recommended ! Cheers’

  2. Lisa, good question. The most “ecologically sensible” is of course to make no footprint, or a very light footprint easily covered over in the natural environment, like the indigenous tribes did around the world. But building from salvage, and putting in systems that are renewable (like wind turbines) or return resources to the earth (like humanure) seem fairly light. I’d guess a cob house – in terms of footprint – might be somewhere between an indigenous hut and an industrial-society house.

  3. Is it really “ecologically sensible” to build from scratch…..making another footprint, even if a “green” one?

  4. YouTube viewer “bodhipeace” asks:

    Can we get a list of helpful books going?
    Healthy Hunzas
    Reasonable Humans?

    Albert Bates’ “The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook” has broad coverage of both the crisis we’re facing, and extensive practical info how to be prepared for a lower-energy future.

    “Nourishing Traditions” and “Eat Fat to Lose Fat” by Sallon Fallon & Mary Enig are important books on nutrient-dense foods eaten by traditional peoples, who live longer and healthier than we westerners.


  1. […] 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 […]

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