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Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

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The new and improved Marsh
AEF greywater. For our final project we rebuilt a greywater system at the CSA, Arcata Educational Farm. Greywater consists of all used water produced at a particular site, except for water coming from the toilet, which is known as blackwater. When building a greywater system you first separate the greywater from the blackwater and send the greywater through a separate treatment system. Ideally, after the greywater passes through the purification process it will then be able to be reused. Greywater systems are an appropriate use of technology for many reasons. Some of them being: they reduce the use of fresh water, there is less stress on existing more conventional septic tanks, it is a highly effective purification process, and there is less chemical and energy use required. In our case the majority of water used on the farm is to water vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits, and the source of greywater comes from the outdoor kitchen, used by the farmers and volunteers to cook and wash vegetables or dishes.
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UABJO Demonstration Wetland Wastewater Treatment, Reclamation, and Outreach

A wetland waste water treatment and reclamation plant that is part of UABJO's Outreach program in Oaxaca, Mexico.

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Community action news

Panorámica de la Plaza Grande (Quito D.M.).jpg
Aug 7 Ecuador's "citizen revolution" [1]

Aug 7 California news: Check Out Toy Cycle, a New Platform for Families to Swap Toys [2]

Aug 3 Environment quality: 7 cities making polluted waterways into swimming hotspots [3]

Aug 2 Sharing news: The Embassy Network Fosters a Multifaceted Approach to Shared Living [4]

Aug 1 Egypt wheels out country's first bike-share program [5]

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Architect Eliel Saarinen
Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.

Eliel SaarinenW
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Hot topics / In the news

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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.

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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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