“Harmony Habitat is grateful to all of the advisers who have been lending their support and wisdom to the project.”

The people listed below include volunteer advisors. They are not involved in, nor liable for, the governance of the organization, endorsement of products, services, information or related content on this site or elsewhere. A growing number of building professionals are helping in the background. Any contribution small or large is welcome. If you would like to offer your expertise to the project, please get in touch

An update to this page is in process. Recently joining us as advisors are designer (Jack Anderson- Greenplan – advisor), Passive House trained Architect (Graeme Verhulst Waymark Architecture – advisor), Chris Leek (Building Inspector Manager Highlands).

Alex Wilson

Alex is the founder of Resilient Design Institute and of  BuildingGreen, Inc. in Brattleboro, Vermont, an 18-person company that has served the design and construction industry with non-biased information on environmentally responsible design and construction since 1985. He is author of Your Green Home (2006), and co-author of Green Development: Integrating Ecology and Real Estate (1998), and theConsumer Guide to Home Energy Savings (1990, 9th edition, 2007). He has also co-authored a series of four guidebooks on quiet-water canoeing and kayaking for the Appalachian Mountain Club.

The Resilient Design Institute to advance the many facets of resilience at personal, community, and regional scales. RDI will focus on the built environment, energy, food, infrastructure, and economic systems, as well as on the organizations and institutions that manage and support these systems. The Institute is concerned both with catastrophic events, such as storms, floods, fires, and sudden power outages, and with long-term shifts like drought, rising temperatures, and economic dislocation. The institute will maintain a website on resilient design, sponsor think-tank retreats on topics related to resilience, publish white papers, and provid consulting services related to resilience.

Dr John Peirce

John is a retired geoscientist and farmer with a deep interest in strategies to make land more accessible for young farmers. John and his wife, Nancy, own Namaste Farm, a 22 acre farm on Gabriola growing fruit and vegetables for personal and local consumption. They have currently 8 shared land projects on Namaste Farm. These include  Commons Namaste Allotment Gardens (31 400 sft plots) and the Gabriola Grain Growers Cooperative. Other shared projects on the farm include land provided for neighbours to keep bees, grow vegetables, grow garlic, and pasture horses. The farm also hosts a small observatory for star gazing as well as astronomy lessons for children. John and Nancy have licensed a trail for public access to a Garry Oak grove on the property.

John is active in local sustainability initiatives. He was Co-Chairman of the Volunteer Advisory Committee to advise the Local Trust Committee of the Islands Trust in their review the Gabriola Official Community Plan (OCP) in 2010. John envisions amendments to the Agricultural Land Commission and the Gabriola OCP and Land Use Bylaws that will enable shared ownership and shared use of farmland in the Agricultural Land Reserve on Gabriola. As Past President of the Gabriola Land and Trails Trust John has worked with covenants and trail licences to protect open space and increase neighborhood connectivity. He is also a member of the project team conducting Village Vision – a community–led future visioning/planning effort.

Matt Thomson

Matt Thomson is a policy and planning consultant. He holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the University of British Columbia. He has provided research and planning services in the field of housing and homelessness to communities across BC since 2010.  Matt works with senior and local governments and community stakeholders to develop evidence-based housing and homelessness policies and solutions. He has worked extensively across British Columbia, in communities in Northern BC, the Okanagan, the Kootenays, the Gulf Islands, Metro Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast.

Matt helps non-profits and local governments develop housing research, community housing plans and policy recommendations to meet their housing needs. In addition, he has both led and assisted federally and provincially-funded studies on housing and homelessness across British Columbia, including reviews of Metro Vancouver’s Affordable Housing Strategy  and studies on best practices in preventing and addressing homelessness. Prior to operating M. Thomson Consulting, Matt spent two years as a researcher and consultant at the Social Planning and Research Council of BC.

Rob Conway

Rob Conway is a Registered Professional Planner living and working in the Cowichan Valley.  Rob has a post graduate degree from the University of Toronto and strong interests in land economics and urban design. He has worked as a land use planner in the South Cowichan Island Region for over 20 years in both the public and private sectors and is currently employed as the Director of Planning, North Cowichan.

Bill McCaugherty

Bill McCaugherty is a chemical engineer. He worked in occupational health and safety as an occupational hygienist for 28 years and in environmental consulting for 2 years. Bill has extensive knowledge about indoor air quality and toxic air contamination. An engaged citizen active in several of the sustainability initiatives on Gabriola Island, Bill is a director of GabEnergy, a Gabriola Island based non profit facilitating the expansion of solar energy solutions in the region. He also sits on the board of the Gabriola Housing Society. Bill and his wife Cindy, an earthen home designer, live in a luxury earthen home largely powered by solar and share ownership of their rural acreage with another sustainably-minded couple.