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Looking for Experienced Strawbale/Eco-home Builders to Partner With (Seattle/Central WA)  RSS feed

 
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My wife and I are experienced eco-home and permaculture system designers and builders, and are looking for people with similar experience to partner up with so we can take on larger projects. We've been doing permaculture and eco-building professionally (abroad) since 2012. For the past two years, I have been training with a green building/remodeling company in Seattle on passive-haus and higher tech green building, and am ready to incorporate what I've learned back into natural building. We are currently building our own passive solar passive-haus project in Central WA on our down time, but we have a place near Seattle also. My wife is now a full-time home designer/drafter with a sustainable architect in the Seattle area and does all our design and permit submissions, etc. But, having a full time job, she no longer has time to help me with builds or manage interns, volunteers or run workshops.

I'm mainly interested in Strawbale and slip-straw projects from small backyard cottages and tiny homes to maybe 1,500 square foot houses. I am licensed, bonded, insured and ready to build, and am looking for someone experienced with foundations, framing, roofing and high-end finish plaster and carpentry work. Not able to train or hire someone at this time. Looking for a business partner with experience and passion for high-end natural building and carpentry. While getting established abroad, we first did several low budget, low paying jobs before more lucrative projects started rolling in. I plan to do the same here, so you'd need to be open to bootstrapping with us for the first year or so.

I'm open to suggestions on how to find people, someone you might know, or how to look at my situation in a different light.

Thank you for reading!

-Thomas
 
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Hey Thomas,
I came to the forums this morning specifically looking for an opportunity like this.  My name is Rich from Michigan and I've been interested in natural building for a long time. 

I studied "green building" and permaculture in grad school about 15 years ago.  After school I worked in non profits for most of my career.  But life has changed and I find myself coming back to natural building and permaculture

I've devoted much of this year to getting my feet wet.  I started at the Strawbale Studio in Oxford MI with Deanne Bedner.  I spent a month with her learning about straw bale construction, thatched roofs, cob/natural plaster and my favorite, rocket mass heaters.  Next I spent 5 weeks earning my first Permaculture Design Certificate at wheaton labs.  A big chunk of my time at Wheaton Labs was spent working on the underground natural structure called a WOFATI.   Straw bale, cob, natural plaster, round pole....  My latest endeavor was with Andrew Morrison from Strawbale.com In Colonial Beach Virginia where we worked on a post and beam structure using straw bale and lime plaster.  I can say more about these experiences but I'll leave it at that as way of introduction.

I've been looking for natural building work here in Michigan and coming up short.  I'm starting to think about leaving the state.  I see that you're not hiring and I'm in no position to partner so we might not be a match.  But I figured I'd reach out and introduce myself. 

Please keep me in mind if things change on your end.

Thanks
Rich
 
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