The Eco Healthy Homes Project is currently Harmony Habitat’s sole focus. Work on the project formally began in 2014 carring on from an earlier industry review. Over 40 volunteers and advisors have contributed to the planning work to date. Land and construction funding for the upcoming demonstration phase of the project is being provided privately. This page tracks the project progress back to the project’s conception in 2014.
Current (Spring 2020)
The hillside site already has the makings of a beautiful, resilient, low maintenance homestead. It has been designed for easy access to the multiple terraced levels; and to maximize rainwater and solar harvesting, outdoor living and a food forest approach to edible landscaping.
Trees have been felled and milled, driveway (for the house and Harmony Habitat office) is in. Concrete foundation walls have been poured. The Ministry of Health approved wastewater system has been installed, and salvage sandstone rock walls built to retain soil and maximize food growing options. Power and temporary water is set up, and a tiny hydro shed build (80% salvage materials) is in process while it serves as the construction office and temporary workshop.
Fall 2019 to Spring 2020
We excavated for the foundation, delivered multiple loads of fill to other islanders, built some more terraces with salvage blast rock, installed the VIHA approved waste water system, finished the engineering, received the building permit, formed and poured the footings and foundation walls and finalized decisions around waterproofing and drainage and remaining grading work.
Fall 2018 to fall 2019
We refined some of the terraces, creating ramps and paths between them, and building interceptor drains, outdoor rock sitting areas, hugelkulture agricultural berms, and a small 86 square foot building with a loft for multiple uses during construction. Hydro has been hooked up and the shack will be completed this fall.
We’ve retained both the lower and upper driveway sections with a 130 foot rock retaining wall, planted a drought resistant/ no mow ground cover to prevent soil erosion on disturbed areas, and milled five batches of both site cut and local, sustainably sourced logs into lumber for use in the house.
We are now awaiting the building permit in the next couple of weeks and energy/moisture modeling, and estimating.
From fall 2016 to Fall 2019, in preparation for construction, we:
- surveyed and mapped the contours and trees
- completed a basic plan for a regenerative and resilient site design including: renewable energy, perennial and annual vegetables, livestock, and aquaponics
- felled several trees to clear the driveway and building site
- established access with a rough driveway
- installed 230 feet of interceptor drainage
- designed the demonstration home
- selected a list of drought resistant, plants with emphasis on evergreen and food producing plants
- conducted a perc test and a soil resistance bearing test
- Expanded our team of consultants*
* See: collaboratorsand advisors.
From 2014 – 2018, we developed a platform and a voice for the mission and Harmony Habitat became a uniquely non profit Community Contribution Company. Governance currently includes three volunteer directors. This structure supports the essential alliance of private and not-for-profit interests. We have:
- completed the organizational development, background building science and industry investigations
- developed advisory relationships with numerous industry experts
- forged alliances with supporters and volunteers
- developed a strategy for a win win collaborative path to change
- researched and adapted our legal structure to a uniquely non-profit C3
- created project specific web content and video to promote the vision
- established an MOU for the mutual, long term use of the privately owned home for the demonstration project
- began a demonstration-specific directory of deep green technologies and design options
- shared project plans with neighbours and began a neighbourhood email list
Industry Review and Planning
- The Industry Review conducted in Phase 1 is described on this page.
To learn about the unique non-profit organizational structure, and our list of directors, advisors, and collaborators, please visit the menu for the About tab on our website. To read more about the project, please see the Eco Healthy Homes page and the pilot project page