Everything You Never Knew About Earthen Construction / by Positive Energy

Join us for a fascinating conversation with Stephen Colley on earthen construction. 

Stephen currently practices architecture and runs his own architecture firm and is a long-time practitioner of green design and sustainable living. From 2010-2012 he served as the Program Manager in Green Initiatives for Palo Alto College in San Antonio developing training courses related to sustainable design and construction.

Stephen also participated in the Alamo Colleges Chancellor’s Council on Sustainability helping to write a new more sustainable policy for the Alamo College District.  The new policy was approved by the Board of Alamo Colleges in August of 2012. In his previous position as the Green Building Coordinator for Build San Antonio Green, he developed the criteria for San Antonio’s residential green building program, Build San Antonio Green, recognized by the National Association of Homebuilders as the Green Building Program of the year in 2009, and served on the Mayor’s (San Antonio, Texas) task force on Sustainable Policy as the City charted a significant shift away from conventional building, development, and transportation policy. Stephen was chosen by the National Association of Home Builders as one of the original stakeholders to write the Green Policy for the organization as basis for their nation-wide residential green building program, National Green Building Standard™.

In 2005, he co-authored the Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting for the Texas Water Development Board (3rd edition). The Manual is widely distributed and used as a reference for potable and non-potable rainwater harvesting system publications. He is also the former Chair of the San Antonio Chapter of the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment, a LEED® Accredited Professional, and President of Earthen Construction Initiative, a non-profit organization to advance and promote earthen construction. 


Photos Mentioned In Episode

Example of earthen construction.

Example of earthen construction.

Earthen Construction Masonry

Earthen Construction Masonry

Compressed earth block machine.

Compressed earth block machine.

Compressed Earth Block Machine

Compressed Earth Block Machine

Notice the earthen construction building in the background still standing after a huge tornado.

Notice the earthen construction building in the background still standing after a huge tornado.

Note: The city in Yemen referred to as “Manhattan of the Desert” is Shibam, in the Hadramut Valley in Yemen. It is designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Shibam

Earthen Construction Initiative

With a vision that earthen construction is soon recognized as a mainstream building option, the ECI is a member-supported and donor-supported non-profit organization. The ECI website is not yet active, but 2017 memberships are accepted by a check made out to the “Earthen Construction Initiative” along with your contact information at these categories, Student - $10, General Membership - $25, Professional - $50, Companies - $100, mailed to Earthen Construction Initiative, PO Box 39323, San Antonio, TX 78218

For more information, reach out to Stephen Colley.