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Heraclitus, Johannes Moreelse
No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.

HeraclitusW

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Finished Vermicomposting System
CCAT's Vermicomposting Bin. I am very excited to be posting directions for building your very own home vermiculture bin! The methods employed will produce a bin appropriate for a household of 3-5 people and should last a number of years if constructed properly. There of course are many types of bin designs out there and I wanted the creative opportunity to design my own. In looking for ideas in a gardening magazine, I noticed a pentagon shaped planter for gardens whose shape I really liked. A pentagon is also practical because compost is less likely to get stuck in the corners as often happens in normal square shaped boxes, preventing the organic materials from cycling properly. I decided to make a two-part stackable bin so that using the finished compost would be easier. Once the compost is processed it is easy to take off the top section, dump the compost in the garden, and put it on top to be filled again. The partitioned design is also improves aeration to speed up the composting process. Aeration is also provided by the holes drilled in the sides of the bin. The bottom of each bin section is finished with wire mesh to keep the compost in place. The holes of the wire mesh are large enough to allow worms and microbes to enter the system and speed up decomposition. The top is simple plywood cut to size with a brass handle and L-brackets to keep the lid in place. The bin was lastly finished with natural organic linseed oil as a sealer for endurance in the elements and general durability. I hope you enjoy!

Highlighted project

Parabolic basket and tin can solar cooker

Creating a solar cooker out of local invasive species and waste materials in order to pasteurize water and be an alternative to the use of fossil fuels for cooking food.

Kiva's straw bale greenhouse
An alternative or natural building involves a range of building systems and materials that place major emphasis on sustainability. Ways of achieving sustainability through natural building focus on durability and the use of minimally processed, plentiful or renewable resources, as well as those that, while recycled or salvaged, produce healthy living environments and maintain indoor air quality. Natural building tends to rely on human labor, more than technology. As Michael G. Smith observes, it depends on "local ecology, geology and climate; on the character of the particular building site, and on the needs and personalities of the builders and users."

The basis of natural building is the need to lessen the environmental impact of buildings and other supporting systems, without sacrificing comfort, health or aesthetics. To be more sustainable, natural building uses primarily abundantly available, renewable, reused or recycled materials. The use of rapidly renewable materials is increasingly a focus. In addition to relying on natural building materials, the emphasis on the architectural design is heightened. The orientation of a building, the utilization of local climate and site conditions, the emphasis on natural ventilation through design, fundamentally lessen operational costs and positively impact the environmental. Building compactly and minimizing the ecological footprint is common, as are on-site handling of energy acquisition, on-site water capture, alternate sewage treatment and water reuse.

edit  watch  Selected service learning Projects gallery (refresh)

E215 Introduction to Design projects: This gallery lists some of the projects done by Engr215 Introduction to Design taught at Humboldt State University. All semesters taught by Lonny Grafman, unless noted otherwise.

Spring 2012: Friends of the Dunes

Design and build educational displays, technologies and infrastructure for the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center  
Fall 2011: Flock House

Design and build sustainable technologies for mobile art pods interacting throughout NYC  
Spring 2011: Locally Delicious

Design and build appropriate technology projects for children that promote healthy, local eating  
Fall 2010: HBCSL Somoa Hostel

Design and build eco-projects to support a hostel being designed at the Samoa Cookhouse  
Spring 2010: RCEA

Design and build energy education boxes, housed at Redwood Coast Energy Authority to build, for classrooms in Humboldt County  
Spring 2010: World Shelters

Design, prototype and improve structures by leveraging the resources of Haiti and World Shelters  
Fall 2009: CCAT and Network for a Healthy California

Design and build appropriate technology projects for CCAT and Network for a Healthy CA  
Spring 2009: WaterPod

Design and build sustainable technologies to educate and support artists living sustainably on a barge in NYC  
Fall 2008: Full Belly Project

Design and prototype adaptions to the Universal Nut Sheller  
Spring 2008: Discovery Museum

Design and build educational flume inserts for the Redwood Discovery Museum  
Fall 2007: HBCSL

Designing and prototype model hostel cottages for the proposed Humboldt Bay Eco Hostel  
Spring 2007: RCEA

Design and build energy efficiency displays for the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (Co-taught with Professor Eileen Cashman)  
Fall 2006: CCAT

Design and prototype educational, appropriate technology, infrastructure models  
Fall 2005: Interactive Energy Efficiency Displays

Design and build educational energy displays for the Redwood Coast Energy Authority  

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