lime based stucco that they used for the exterior on Desert Rain. But Elite Plaster isn’t using old world technologies just because they result in a beautiful end-product that requires the honed skills of classic tradesmen. This stucco also has a lower impact on the environment and results in a healthier home.

Scratching the Exterior of Desert Lookout: the Benefits of Lime Based Stucco

The ‘scratch,’ or base, coat of stucco is up at Desert Lookout and the team from Elite Plaster will be using the same, lime based stucco that they used for the exterior on Desert Rain. But Elite Plaster isn’t using old world technologies just because they result in a beautiful end-product that requires the honed skills […]

Stonework on Desert Lookout

September: Progress in Pictures

September came in fits and starts for us with the construction of Desert Lookout – the newest part of our Living Building Challenge Project. We took huge steps forward, followed by small sticking points, and then more big lurches forward. This is nothing new for a building outside of the traditional box and we continue […]

3 Keys to Understanding Biophilia in Landscaping

I recently sat down with Rick Martinson, owner of Winter Creek Restoration, to discuss Biophilia as it relates to landscaping.  Biophilia is a philosophy based on the bond between human beings and other living systems and while it has gained some traction in the architectural industry, it only just beginning to be explored as a methodology […]

Tom and Advanced Systems Composting

Installing the Composter for Composting Toilets

Last week, Glenn Nelson from Advanced Compositing Systems (ACS), made the trek from Whitefish, Montana to Bend, Oregon to deliver and install our blackwater composter. Earning the LBC Water Petal requires that all of the water on the Desert Rain property is collected as well as treated for use again and again. Having a system of […]

Solar Collector Panels at Desert Lookout

The Challenges of the Living Building Challenge: an Unglorious Look at Our Experience

We haven’t spent much time discussing the challenges of the Living Building Challenge, but this month certainly exemplified some of the challenges we have faced throughout the process of creating Desert Rain. August has been marked by delays, unknowns, and revisions – all of which, over time, have weighed on Tom and Barb as well […]

apple trees

August 2014 – Progress in Pictures

As the end of August approaches, the  sun is just slightly lower in the sky these days and the dog days of summer are perhaps behind us. It’s a perfect time to look back at the month’s progress in pictures, knowing the days are still plenty long and there is quite a bit of work to […]