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Career in Green Building?  RSS feed

 
                        
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I'm a burnt-out web designer looking for a career change. After years of making things online, I want to make things in the real world.

Green Building techniques/design have always fascinated me. I've volunteered on a few strawbale projects, made some cob ovens, etc etc. I'd really like to learn to build houses from the ground-up as full eco-friendly systems. But I don't know nearly enough to just start doing it tomorrow.

I want to be an architect, but I also want to be out there swinging hammers to make the plans come alive. How do I get from here to there? Should I go get a basic architecture degree from a community college first? Should I apprentice with a construction company?

Anyone out there living my dream? How did you make it happen?!
 
Mekka Pakanohida
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Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
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I do know of some architects in the SF Bay Area that specialize in green building now.  I would also suggest contacting Cob Cottage and check them out.
 
Mark Vander Meer
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We design and build “Green” structures.  We have a unique approach that seems to work.  First, all our work is based on ecological restoration: www.watershedconsulting.com  We operate a sawmill and mill the by-products of our forest restoration work (logs)  into rough-cut boards & beams  www.vanwild.com  To sell these boards and beams we design and build structures such as barns, sheds, saunas and cabins  www.badgoatgoodwood.com    Our stuff is simple and rustic, and we like it that way. 

For the design and build, we don’t use architects or engineers except when really needed, which is rare.  With a rough design and a competent builder, you don’t need much outside expertise.  I recognize our approach won’t work for most green builders, but might provide you with alternative ways to get into the business.  I recommend you dive right in, work for someone that does the work or experiment on your own. 
 
            
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I've been contemplating getting into "green building" myself. I'm just an average guy working an average job and have been interested in green building as well as sustainable gardening and food cultivation. I want to escape the norm and also help the world become a better place. However as with original poster, I'm not quite sure what to do to get started.

I presume some experience in various areas would be a good idea (get some hands on experience with building the structures you wish to build, some experience handling all the paperwork, maybe some schooling). It may also be a good idea to network with others of like mind.
 
Tao Scotty
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I am in a similar situation. I live in southern California, work as an IT Tech, and would also like to change my profession to something similar. Preferably low-cost, maybe off grid, earth/green building, with permaculture principles. Any suggestions or information would be appreciated.
 
                          
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I found it really easy (not being a builder or tradesman of any type) to learn about building with hemp.

Green, sustainable, affordable, practical and of course legal!

Check out http://www.thehempbuilder.com and let me know what you think. Grow yer own home
 
Scott Howard
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I am living MY dream anyway.  I have taught natural building for over ten years now, and it IS possible to help people while turning a profit.  Please see some of my projects and workshop offerings at: www.EarthenHand.com

I'd say, come out to Oregon, take an apprenticeship or workshop from me.  Then do the same with Cob Cottage, Our Ecovillage, Emerald Earth, and so on.  If you did that for a couple of years it would cost less than your average architecture school and you would know a lot about how to design houses that are easy to build and maintain.

I could also be convinced to teach a workshop in your area sometime.

Cheers,
Scott Howard
Earthen Hand Natural Building
 
                          
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YAY! I love that. Hope to come to a workshop one day, unless you would like to visit Australia??

earthenhand wrote:
I am living MY dream anyway.  I have taught natural building for over ten years now, and it IS possible to help people while turning a profit.  Please see some of my projects and workshop offerings at: www.EarthenHand.com

I'd say, come out to Oregon, take an apprenticeship or workshop from me.  Then do the same with Cob Cottage, Our Ecovillage, Emerald Earth, and so on.  If you did that for a couple of years it would cost less than your average architecture school and you would know a lot about how to design houses that are easy to build and maintain.

I could also be convinced to teach a workshop in your area sometime.

Cheers,
Scott Howard
Earthen Hand Natural Building
 
Scott Howard
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Yes, thanks.  I am already scheduled to teach in Australia I believe this December.  Send me an email if you want to get involved with those events.
 
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