Best of Communities: XI. Green Building, Ecovillage Design, and Land Preservation

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Green Building, Ecovillage Design, and Land Preservation

The thing about buildings and land-shaping is that they are the longest-term statements about who you are and what you value.You can change your garden every year, rearrange your demographics over the course of a decade, but most buildings last at least 30 years. For most of us, the designs of our community and major buildings are the the largest, most permanent things we’ll ever manage. So we may as well do them with our eyes wide open, so that they’re telling a story we’re proud of.

The 14 articles in this bundle give you an overview of how to read what your land is telling you, how to use materials at hand to build beautifully and sustainably, how to work creatively with zoning restrictions, and how to live and build in harmony with your natural environment.

This issue on Green Building, Ecovillage Design, and Land Preservation includes:

1. Natural Building and Community: Two Ways to Build Connection by Michael G. Smith, #139
2. The Marriage of Natural Building with Conventional Building by Brandy Gallagher and Elke Cole, #139
3. Cabins, Computers, & Construction Dust by  Stephanie Noll, #117

4. Lost Valley: Building Design That Fosters Community by  Larry Kaplowitz, #99
5. Sirius: Becoming a Spiritual Ecovillage by Jeff Clearwater, #95
6. How Not to Build Your Community Home by Buzz Burrell, #95
7. Design Goals for Ecovillages by Marc Tobin, #126
8. Creating “Ecovillage Zoning” With Local Officials by Melanie Mitchell, Lokesh Green, Elizabeth Gorla, and Brandy MacPherson, #117
9. When No Is Just An Uneducated Yes by Brandy Gallagher, #137
10. What Does Your Land Say? by Ted Butchart, #95
11. Ecovillage Infrastructure: The Skeleton of Community by Gwendolyn Hallsmith, #156
12. Whole-Systems Design for Earthaven Village by Chuck Marsh, #95
13. Creating a Community of Homesteaders by Kim Scheidt, #158

14. Preserving Community Land: Conservation Easements & Other Tools by Olivia Boyce-Abel, #110