Requirements (sort of)

It’s a work-in-progress and will evolve (I hope)….

Primary Dwelling:

General Goals:

1. Off the shelf pole barn provides metal roof, structure and skylights.
2. Minimum 4 foot roof overhang of exterior walls. Some larger to create extended living spaces.
3. Exterior walls (non-structural) made of “straw” bales, covered with plaster/stucco
4. Exterior wall foundation made of sand-bags, cinder blocks, etc. NOT poured concrete.
5. Interior space trenched out about 3 to 4 feet (like a kiva).
6. Interior walls made from adobe from the trench
7. Certain “furniture” formed from hay bales and adobe
8. Bedroom/Sunroom combo with large window to charge “thermal battery” to keep room warm throughout the night. Thick insulating fabric/curtain to insulate large window at night.
9. “L” or “C” shape with garden/trees in courtyard. Closed off by adobe wall. Protect plants/flowers/vegetables from local animals.
10. Extensive use of skylight(s).
11. Extended living spaces ala Lanai. Covered porches, then shaded porches, then landscaped (xeriscaped) usable outdoor space.
12. Layout of a camp lodge, large great room with integrated kitchen. Shared bathrooms. Separate bedrooms / bunk rooms. Shared courtyard space. A hand full of private “conference” spaces or classrooms.
13. To be build from re-claimed / used / recycled materials as much as possible
14. Use of wireless light switches
15. All water/electrical run along floor along wall — not in walls or ceilings.
16. Roof to include rain-water collection (even if just collected for garden)
17. Ceiling fans in all rooms
18. Layout and windows to allow pass-through ventilation
19. Shade for cooling provided by trees, umbrellas, awnings, sun sails.
20. No HVAC or compressor cooling of any kind — evaporative coolers if any
21.  Solar Hydronic radiant floor heating
22. Clothes lines (no gas or electric clothes driers)
23. LED and CFL lighting only
24. “Chest Fridge” (80% less power than ordinary refrigerator)
25.  Propane or natural gas powered California Energy Commission (CEC) Compliant Spa in courtyard
26. No closets: Salvaged plastic bins joined into a matrix to provide closet storage solution
27. Angle-brackets and boards surrounded by curtains in the place of kitchen cabinets
28. Minimum disturbance of natural terrain – built around it, on rocks, leave the soil for courtyard or gardens
29. Little, if any construction waste created – waste used in construction
30. Minimum grading. No use of concrete
31. Minimum fencing (to protect dogs from coyotes)
32. All hot water outlets within 6’ of water heater
33. Solar “warm water” tank with temperature display at sink/shower/tub – user may use “warm water” as is (without mixing with cold water) or may heat water instantly with tank-less water heater
34. Hot exhaust, such as refrigerator coils and shower air used for heating (Shannon’s water heater as room heater as an example)
35. “Cool Roof” roof coating or “Green Roof” planting for non-solar collecting roof surfaces
36. Solar panels to provide shade and air gap for cooling purposes
37. Paint and texture to camouflage/match natural terrain colors and shapes. House should “disappear” into the surroundings, not stick out like a sore thumb.
38. Natural flora and fauna to remain untouched, if any exterior decorative planting will take place it will be xeriscaped
39. Container gardening in courtyard
40. Use pavers or cob for deck surface — not wood or “plastic” wood
41. Use shipping containers for tack room and equipment barn. Paint/cob to improve aesthetics


1. Overall 2,000 to 3,000 square feet
2. Great room to include kitchen — 30 x 40
3. Great room to feature water fountain for cooling/humidification. Part of wall?
4. Kitchen to feature large counter that extends into room with tall chairs to act as casual eating area for up to 6. Similar in layout to an office kitchen — massive counter and cabinet storage.
5. Entry hall to include coat racks / mud-room functions.
6. Five to six bedrooms, each 12 x 12 or 12 x 8
7. Some bedrooms have exterior private porches/decks.
8. Some bedrooms have private exterior doors.
9. Two bathrooms, each 12 x 6 – bathrooms feature “stalls” to allow multi-person use
10. Two approximately 12 x 10 private general purpose rooms for classes/meetings or as temporary bedroom/storage.

Horse Area:


1. To be build from re-claimed / used / recycled materials as much as possible
2. To accommodate 6 to 8 horses full-time


1. Two connected areas, one 72 x 24, the other 72 x 90
2. A carport shade in the first area
3. Water  in the first area
4. Pre-fab tack room (shipping containers)
5. Small pre-fab hay barn (shipping container)
6. manure pile/compost area
7. wash rack

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