Architecture + Design

The Center uses ecoBalance, life cycle design and open building systems as fundamental protocols to support our design endeavors. Our place-based methodology strives to balance air, water, food, energy, and materials, taking an integrated approach which uses abundantly available resources onsite before extending dependency to a broader scale. Balancing strategies include energy generated by renewable sources, water requirements fulfilled by on-site rain and wastewater harvesting, wastewater processing by on-site treatment systems, materials selected from indigenous and by-product stock, and air intake matched by the landscape’s ability to regenerate air. We provide design services for private and public sector clients whose projects expand the boundaries of progressive environmental design, particularly in the realms of resource balance, environmental and human health, and democratized access to healthy, affordable shelter. In addition, we collaborate with national project teams who share a vision of establishing measurable benchmarks in a demonstration context.

Village in a Box

The Island Nations Initiative is a housing system that functions as a home-building kit that unskilled labor can construct and withstands hurricane and earthquake conditions due to the carefully predesigned and pre–engineered components. The "Village in a Box" [VIB] GroForm Building Kit can serve both humanitarian needs and the ecotourism industry with the potential for the later to aid in partially supporting the former if  relief agencies are not available or unable to function.

Laredo Demonstration Farm

The Laredo Demonstration “Blueprint” Farm was conceived as an integrated regional response to building, infrastructure, materials, and agriculture and as a foundation for local economic development.  Coordinated with the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Texas-Israel Exchange under the leadership of Texas Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower, the Farm challenged agricultural convention in Texas, where, as in many U.S.

Advanced Green Builder Demonstration Building

The Advanced Green Builder Demonstration Home Project introduces communities to a range of “green” housing materials and methods, emphasizing opportunities for recycled-content and by-product based construction materials. The project was supported by several state, regional, and municipal agencies and reflects a regional process as open to adaptation to a region’s natural resources as it is to its peoples.


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