The people listed below include volunteer and paid independent contributors. 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.
An update to this page is in process with bios forthcoming for several advisors and collaborators who have recently joined us.
As of Summer 2019, we are in the home stretch for our building permit thanks to the collaborative support of our many amazing contributors. This page needs updating as new collaborators come on board each week. Below is just a quick note on the most recent folks to join us. Bio’s to come soon and more updates.
Genevieve Hicks has joined the project to provide project management coaching to our general contractor, and research curator, Tatha. She has years of experience working in the PM role for large, luxury home building companies and will help keep us on track for important project goals.
Builder, Brian Webb has joined the team as our veteran partner builder and advisor. He has 20 years experience building on our island with strong relationships with tradespeople and suppliers and a stream of beautiful houses in his wake to show for it. He will share the work in collaboration with our additional builder partners.
David Dale has joined the team as logistics and transport coordinator, site development contractor and carpentry support. He has 45 years experience in construction trades and has a rare breadth of knowledge and skills.
Also recently on board is Bryce Gilroy-Scott. Bryce will be playing a significant role in helping us achieve our deep green innovation goals. Bryce is a hardcore deep green energy and design researcher in sustainable architecture. He is finalizing the architectural drafting, and conducting lifecycle analysis and advanced energy/moisture modelling.
Other contributors have been with us for some time now, and not all are listed here though we are extremely grateful for their support. Cindy McCaugherty worked patiently and diligently on all the preliminary drafting and design work. Christine McKim did the survey. Civil engineer Ian Ralston, author of BC’s official guide to legal use of greywater and composting toilets as primary systems, is working on the waste water design. Structural engineer Anthony Spick of Blackwell, Victoria, is developing the replicable structural components. Paul Simmons of Lewkowich engineering is providing geotechnical oversight, John Pierce (formerly of Rainwater Connections) is designing the rainwater harvest system. Katharina Gustavs is providing Building Biology healthy building advice. Jack Anderson and his team at Greenplan Design in Cedar are advising on the final design and permit application process. Contractor and do-all tradesperson David Dale, has worked tirelessly and cheerfully, supporting the site development goals of the project -building on the kind support of Les Mutch who helped immensely with the early earth sculpting.
The project is also drawing on the knowledge and experience of several other experts, including:
Chris Leek, Manager of Building Inspections and Bylaws in the Highlands (and 4th generation builder)
Passive House Architect Graeme Verhulst, Waymark Victoria, Bob Andrew, Gabriola carpenter extraordinaire, Architectural advisor Viviena Elstein-Angus, Alex Wilson of Building Green Inc and Resilient Design Institute as well as several other technical contributors.
Bill Friedel of Orca Design, Cortes Island, Designer-Builder
Orca Design produces their own lumber and wood products using single selection sustainable forestry method and a small scale mill. Bill has a background in sustainable development, eco-forestry, sustainable development and re-zoning for sustainable land use projects. He draws on his 30 years’ experience building beautiful island homes using inventive solutions and navigating very challenging conditions and extensive constraints while meeting or exceeding building code requirements. Bill is passionate about helping people live in harmony with nature through natural buildings built with ethically sourced materials and gentle impact, sustainable development. He is thrilled to be collaborating with a team of dedicated professionals to find building pathways that will maximize achievable heights in principled building approaches.
Renewable Technologies Designer-Installer – Eco-Sense
Eco-Sense is a home, a lifestyle, a work ethic and a design for life created by Ann and Gord Baird. At Eco-Sense we believe that a home and all its systems should mimic the beauty and function of the natural world. This approach creates safe and sustainable living solutions while not taking precious resources away from future generations. Eco-Sense developed North America’s FIRST code-approved seismically engineered load bearing insulated cob house featuring: solar PV and wind power, grid intertie, solar thermal heating, rainwater harvesting from a living roof, composting toilet, grey water re-use, and passive solar design. The Eco-Sense house won the Greenest Residence in the World Award in 2010 (Living Building Challenge). Ann and Gord have recently been elected to municipal office as councilors for the Highlands near Victoria, BC. “Through the work at Eco-Sense we hope to challenge our culture’s consumer desires and encourage people to make changes so they too can live “a reasonable life”. Ann and Gord.
Raincoast Homes – Designer of Sustainable Homes
Cindy is a designer of alternative sustainable houses. Her design experience includes: code approved natural building – including load bearing cob, strawbale, post and beam cob infill, rammed earth, and light clay straw and wood chip infill; the production of building permit ready construction drawings; hands on building experience with alternative materials; land sharing; passive solar design strategies; renewable energy systems; grey water re-use; earthen finishes; suspended earthen floors; living roofs; and natural super insulating wall envelope systems.
TRAX Developments Engineering
Soil and site assessment.• Microbiology• Hydrology and hydrogeology • Sewerage system design, including environmental monitoring design• Onsite Sewerage system installation• Onsite Sewage system maintenance• Regulatory systems for performance based onsite system management, including government and stakeholder liaison• General site work/excavating and contracting, including machine operation• Plan preparation and reading• Basic survey and layout• Assessment of Sewerage system designs and plans• Land use planning• Computer software skills, including Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat, AutoCAD, Dreamweaver, LaTex (Lyx), Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, EPANET• Control (PLC) panel design and building, including programming• Report and technical document writing and presentation.• Course writing for Onsite Sewerage System courses• Course instruction and practical technology training• Project planning and management• Process monitoring and evaluation• Experienced in team building skills, including extensive experience in facilitation of group work.Specialties: Onsite Sewerage systems design, irrigation and drainage, watershed management
Dr John Peirce
Rainwater Catchment Consultant
John is a retired geoscientist who has been designing and installing rainwater harvesting systems since moving to Gabriola in 2009. John’s objective in designing rainwater systems is to optimize the water assets of each property in terms of efficient well use, groundwater and rainwater harvesting in the context of the expected use demands on each property. His mentor is Bob Burgess of Rainwater Connection Ltd. on Thetis Island. Bob wrote the Rainwater Harvesting Handbook for the Regional District of Nanaimo, which is available for download at the RDN web site. John is co-author of “The hydrology of Gabriola Island groundwater” (Peirce and Doe, 2010). John runs Namaste Farm where he combines two wells, a winter spring and rainwater harvesting to support extensive gardening and an orchard, as well as domestic needs. He has designed and installed numerous rainwater harvesting systems on Gabriola. Although retired from that business, he still provides consulting services on intriguing projects.
Athena Sustainable Materials Institute
Life Cycle Assessment Calculations and Consultation
The Athena Sustainable Materials Institute is a non-profit research collaborative bringing life cycle assessment (LCA) to the construction sector. An objective think tank, the Athena Institute is working with leading edge construction sector practitioners, product manufacturers and policy makers in partnership towards the next generation of green buildings. Athena’s reputation as a credible, objective organization is built on its science-based, transparent collaboration and clear, robust information. It ensures claims are supported by facts to achieve verification for the highest sustainability objectives.
The construction sector and its product suppliers are moving rapidly towards life cycle assessment (LCA)—the Institute was formed to help them get there. Athena does so largely through work for the common good, such as the continued development of its LCA design tools, the Impact Estimator and the EcoCalculator. These tools, and the environmental footprint data behind them, require constant maintenance and updates. Financial support from members facilitates an unmatched depth and breadth of information that couldn’t otherwise be achieved. Membership also supports education, advocacy and expertise as North American codes and standards evolve towards LCA.
With a highly specialized team of experts, the Institute is frequently contracted for custom research projects that require a particularly deep level of knowledge and experience in construction sector LCA. Whenever possible, results of these research projects are linked back to the core goal of delivering LCA tools to the construction sector as a whole.
Solar Energy Designer/Installer
Dave Neads of Gabriola BC (Nov 2014) has been involved with conservation and wilderness tourism work since the mid-eighties. He’s instigated and participated in many initiatives that have assisted communities in the creation of land use plans that support both conservation and tourism approaches that protect important wilderness values. He’s held leadership, coordination and membership roles in countless related initiatives. Dave has been building and maintaining solar energy systems for 30 years. He lived off grid in the West Chilcotin for 27 years with his wife, Rosemary, and assorted animals and livestock. His self-built, solar powered home was created from the land. After moving to Gabriola in fall 2014, Dave co-founded the non-profit society, Gabriola Energy. He now consults with and trains local community members on the design and implementation of domestic solar systems primarily aimed at the DIY homeowner. Dave has extensive knowledge in the background of solar installation, system design and hardware acquisition.
Katharina Consulting, Building Biology Consultant
Katharina Gustavs believes that electromagnetic energy matters. The electromagnetic quality of our living environment is just as essential to human health as fresh air, clean water, and healthy food. After performing hundreds of EMF assessments, she knows that even small changes can have major effects. With a background in environmental and occupational health, building biology, and nutrition, Katharina helps create living and work environments that are safe and healthy.
Dr. Dietrich Moldan
Electrical engineer, specializing in electromagnetic environmental health
With a postdoctoral degree in mineral-metallurgy from RWTH Aachen University (Germany), Dr. Dietrich Moldan has held leading positions in several manufacturing companies specializing in building materials. In 1996, after getting ill due to chemicals and electromagnetic fields in a rented house, he formed his own company and has provided research, testing and consulting on product development with a focus on reducing exposure to manmade electromagnetic fields, sound and radioactivity. As an educator, Dr. Moldan has shared his expertise in electromagnetic fields through print media, radio and TV. He also conducts workshops and training courses on electromagnetic fields and testing methods with participants throughout the world
Ethan Krindle is a lawyer providing legal research services in environmental, aboriginal and municipal law from his Victoria office. Before entering private practice, he articled at the University of Victoria Environmental Law Centre and worked at Ecojustice. His past work includes: the powers of BC local governments to regulate mining projects; enhancing First Nations self-governance and territorial protection through protected area designations; and a forthcoming update to the Green Bylaws Toolkit.
CPA, CMA, MBA – Accounting Consultant
Bruce has 40 years of experience working as a professional accountant in a variety of public and private sector areas. He has served as the Past National President of The Financial Management Institute of Canada and he is a Past President of the Board of the United Way of Central New Brunswick and the founder of their endowment fund known as the Forever Fund. In addition to his accounting background, he spent five years working for the government of New Brunswick in economic development helping companies develop new products and bring them to the marketplace. Since his retirement he has worked as a consultant in a variety of related areas. For the past 25 years he has been an active supporter of Ducks Unlimited Canada and is currently a volunteer participant in the fund raising activities of the Oceanside Chapter in Parksville/Qualicum Beach. He’s very interested in supporting the Eco Healthy Homes Project goals to reduce the environmental impact of our housing industry.
Institute for New Economics
The Institute for New Economics Public Interest Research Association (INE) is a charitable organization founded in 1982. INE is dedicated to sustainability in a range of resource and policy sectors. Its purpose is to support and conduct research that promotes an ecologically sustainable economy. INE supports a range of research and policy initiatives. Some of these include: watershed protection, sustainable land use, urban transportation, deep green housing and agricultural land use. INE was founded by Dr. R. Michael M’Gonigle who holds the Eco-Research Chair in the School of Environmental Studies and the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria. INE’s board of directors have expertise in law, environmental sciences and public education. The Institute for New Economics supports Harmony Habitat’s efforts to advance greener housing and land use practices that can create a more responsible production chain, healthier communities and stronger local economies.
Dan Berelowitz is the chief executive and co-founder of the International Centre for Social Franchising (now called Spring Impact), an organization which helps to replicate and spread successful social organizations to new areas. The core idea is to use accumulated experience as the starting point for designing and delivering solutions elsewhere. Dan holds a degree in Management from Nottingham University and is a Rothschild Fellow at the Cambridge Judge Business School. Previously, Dan served as the Director of Tzedek, a worldwide poverty alleviation organization engaged in projects in Ghana and India, and led the organization to quadruple in size in 4 years.
Jenni Gehlbach, Kate Reynolds, Susan Yates, Lesley Cornish, Don Cornish – communications and correspondence
Vanya Koleva – grant applications, accounting and spreadsheet support
Bruce Jamieson – accounting and bookeeping support
Our volunteers have been creating a framework to give this project a voice and share it widely. With the plan to build this summer it is time to expand. We are now inviting new, inspired minds to join our mission. Volunteering with Harmony Habitat offers the opportunity to be part of what we hope will be a revolution in equitable access to deep-green homes.
Also please see the page that lists our Advisors and Alliances.