Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving: The EcoCenter Foundation has Been Poured the Tanks have Been Delivered!

Greetings friends, it is only appropriate that on the dawn of Thanksgiving I write you all to let you know how much we have to be thankful for this year. A Lease, A (near) healthy capital budget, and, ta da, a Building Permit and a Permit to install our WastWater Treatment System.

Its been a while, almost a year since I last "blogged" in, I hope someone in cyberspace forgives me. I have been pulled in many directions and am just now coming down to earth---if you will. I know you have all been dying to find out about the next regulatory challenge or mile of redtape we have had to move through to get our precious center on line.

So let me bring you all up to speed!

I am happy to report that truly, we are well on our way to finalizing the building!
We received our building permit in August--eight months after applying for the permit--in good time. With permit in hand, we worked with Ryan Engineering, a San Francsico based soils excavation firm, to do all of our soils work including all the excavation, import, and compaction. They were extremely generous--we owe them a great deal!

Last week we finished the foundation pour, using a specially batched mix thanks to Bode Concrete which boasts of 75% slag and 100% recycled aggregate. If anyone has any connections to a concrete trade mag, please let me know, we need to get an article out asap! The foundation is already testing 4000psi--1000 more than mandated by our structural engineer. Bode concrete was very generous and worked with our team very closely to adapt a really sustainable mix for us that we can boast for our foundation to the structure. The pour went really smoothly, with very few bumps, the aggregate was a bit chunky at first, but it smoothy out quickly. The foundation has 12 tons of rebar in it and it magnificently floats over the site.

Alltold, it took three months to complete all of our survey work, soils work, site preperation, and foundation slab.

Stay Tuned, our waste treatment system install is coming up!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Hi all. I have just returned from a great voyage to New Mexico where I spent time at the Earthships Compound outside of Taos.

I was really encouraged by their off-grid electrical and water systems that have been developed by Mike Reynolds and his team in Taos. Their systems can be transferable particularly to communities in need that don't have access to the "grid" and are struggling to find affordable and realistic solutions to energy and water needs.

I was particularly thrilled to learn about the tecnical features of their off-grid solar array and wastewater treatment as it relates to the EcoCenter.

Most inspiring!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Groundbreaking at Herons head Park

Hi all, we had a fantastic time at the groundbreaking for the EcoCenter at Heron's Head Park! I can't believe what an incredible turnout we had. Mayor Newsome spent the morning with us, Monique Moyer (Port of SF), Jared Blumenfeld (DOE), Sam Suchat (SCC), Sophie Maxwell, as well as an amazing turnout of folks in our community. I was really honored that so many people in San Francisco support this initiative--and really stepped up to the plate.

We got some great coverage of the day! See below!


Pictures from Mark Palmer at the DOE!

And Bill Wilson:

NY Times National Edition featuring David Gavrich's newborn goat and
our very own Jamila


Fog City Journal:

San Francisco Sentinel:

Bay City News:

San Francisco Chronicle op-ed by one of our youth:

From the Mayor's Press office:

San Francisco Bay Guardian

Channel 20:

Government Tech, one of the premier sites for municipal buildings:

We also received coverage from Channel Five, Various radio stations,
and some international coverage.

Thank you all for your support! It was a wonderful joyous event for us