Category Archives: Homes

The Big 9: Solutions for a Functional Future

Overview of solutions for shelter, food, heat, social technologies, tools, and a list of people putting it all together.

Free eBook | One Planet Thriving: Serious Urban Solutions for 12 Serious Problems

Download a free copy of the eBook on establishing a sustainable lake house with friends, a solution that simultaneously provides (1) a lifeboat community in case of hard times, (2) an affordable, permaculture, weekend getaway, and (3) a way of transitioning from urban status quo to one planet thriving.

Rocket Stoves & Rocket Mass Stoves (& Wood Stoves)

Heat, cook, hot water, drying, and a cozy place to sit: All benefits of a good wood stove + intelligent systems design. But what about getting the same benefits from rocket stoves which are supposed to be more efficient?

Top 5 lessons learned living in a village: A psychologist’s view

Top 5 Lessons for Village Living: (1) Without interaction between people, there is no village: (a) Allocate time for relationships. (b) Live in physical structures that encourages interaction and get the right balance between public and private space. (2) Invite those who can (a) skillfully hear and express their truth even when there is unpleasant emotion and (b) are willing to continually improve at this. Best way to know: you’ve had disagreements and come out the others side. (3) Be free! Learn from failure and communicate instead of creating too many rules. (4) Small is beautiful. Empower the smallest decision-making group possible for the decision at hand. (5) Welcome people, build goodwill, and be clear about a coherent vision and process.

My Dehumidifier Does the Laundry

Use the water from your dehumidifier for your laundry machine

4 Energy Saving Tips from Paul Wheaton

(1) Compact Fluorescent bulbs do not save energy (most of the time) (2) 57% of home energy use comes from natural gas (29% electricity, 9% oil, 5% Propane). Energy used for heat is more than 1/2 of home energy use. (3) 3 types of heat: (a) Convective heat (we heat air and the air heats […]

Reflections on my first summer at Troy Gardens Cohousing

Since moving to Troy Gardens Cohousing Community last November (2013), many people have asked me what is cohousing and what does it actually look like. I’ve spent some time trying to process my own experience of living here and to communicate why cohousing is an important option.

Social Architecture

One of the aspects of A Pattern Language that is so important is the relationality inherent in it. The house relates to the porch which relates to the street. Bob Theis is an architect who designs in this tradition. In this interview with First Earth, Bob suggests, for example, that if you want to encourage […]

Flexible Transformation of Spaces

One way to reduce our footprint is with flexible use of space. This video shows a modular approach to the structure itself. Moving to the inside, this MIT video shows a high-tech example that might inspire lower tech approaches as well. Another take on a similar theme. Here’s an article describing the idea of a […]

Micro-housing

A newish trend hitting Seattle is micro-housing, dense developments of small, affordable apartments, built on a small footprint. This news story approaches the issue from a zoning controversy perspective. This article also focuses their story on some controversy but shows a cool picture of the interior and describes it with some detail. In November of […]