A guest article about Earthworks Eco Villages by Devon Manning
Whether you want to build an eco home or an eco community Earthworks Eco Villages can help you achieve your objectives and often even more.
Earthworks Eco Villages is a professional incubation and design service providing project planning, design and development for intentional communities. Earthworks uses a development system which integrates the social, ecological and economic needs of each community.
Earthworks started out in the 80’s as a “Think Tank” of inspired, eco-social visionaries who wanted to green the way we live in our
homes and in our communities. It has been dedicated to researching, documenting, and implementing best practices for sustainable community development for over three decades.
Members of their research and design team have investigated and visited over 100 intentional communities all around the world and collectively have hundreds of years of experience in search of the best practices in sustainable and healthy living. This accumulative research is what informs the Earthworks sustainable community design process.
The eco design services that evolved from Earthworks were the brain child of Garnet McPherson, eco educator and editor of Sustainable Living Magazine. “By researching, testing and evaluating sustainable techniques and leading technologies, Earthworks has been able to inform the process of designing new communities around permaculture principles that integrate everything from food and energy security to eco-enterprise development, eco-education and natural health – all part of their resources for new community development initiatives.”
Earthworks has been involved in the design and development of intentional communities for over 30 years. Each project was designed around the specific purpose and needs of the founding community it served. Their design team create every design with the big picture in mind using a permaculture approach to project development.
The Earthworks Sustainability Research Center is committed to developing Planning Resources that support best practices in
sustainable community development. “We assist communities in the design of sustainable models for community growth that incorporate techniques and technologies for environmentally responsible eco-social design.”
At the early stages of a project the Earthworks team can also assist groups forming intentional communities by designing proposals for municipal governments, stakeholders, and funding sources that both inform in engage participation.
Once the stakeholders are in place Earthwalk then “roles up its sleeves” Over the last few decades Earthworks has located, designed and developed intentional communities and permaculture-based eco-villages for a wide variety of purposes. Each with its own objectives and requirements, yet all designed with sustainable and healthy lifestyles in mind.
Here are just a few of the projects they have been involved in creating, including their current project an Eco Living Village called The Goodlife Eco Village on Wolfe Island near Kingston Ontario.
“The Site Planning and Edible Forest Landscaping of an Earthworks Community is designed to create extraordinarily livable environments for its residents, while at the same time providing energy and food security for the community. Our entire development process emphasizes the health of residences through optimizing our organic inputs, by preserving clean air, clean water and clean earth throughout the project.” Says now lead designer Garnet McPherson “ We offer enlightened approaches to community development incorporate new systems and procedures which promote sustainable land use, shelter, green energy, food security and a sustainable socio-economic culture.”
The High Performance Structures in an Earthworks Community are designed and constructed to function elegantly, efficiently, and sustainably. “Our eco-design process is informed by the natural assets of the site, integrating with the surrounding eco-system characteristics.”
Infrastructures are designed to generate self-sufficient energy supplies from renewable resources, and to capture and treat all of its own water.
Earthwalks “healthy home” construction methods use natural and healthy building materials that eliminate todays all too common toxins and carcinogens from the living space. We use innovative technologies like hempcrete and strawbale structures that increase efficiency and reduce latent toxicity of home we design.
The Earthworks team helps your community reach its goals throughout the design and development process. Good eco-social planning is the key to success in sustainable intentional community development. “We work with you to ensure that the social, economic and environmental priorities of your community are achieved. Our ultimate objective is to create ideal space for your community members to live, work and play in concert with the natural habitat of your community.”
Devon Manning is a freelance writer and permaculture consultant living in Toronto, Ontario Canada.