Dr. Owen Geiger is the founder and director of the Geiger Research Institute of Sustainable Building and has two engineering degrees and a Ph.D. in Social and Economic Development. His lifelong goal is to alleviate substandard housing by using natural building materials and sustainable building methods.
Owen is author of dozens of articles on affordable, sustainable building. He is the former director of Builders Without Borders. He co-authored the Builders Without Borders Straw-Bale Construction Guides and contributed to Building Without Borders: Sustainable Construction for the Global Village. Owen worked closely with Habitat for Humanity for seven years in Colorado, and created three online straw bale construction training and certification courses. He is the author of e-book Earthbag Building Guide, and he produced the DVD Basic Earthbag Building: A Step-by-Steo Guide.
Owen's 30-plus years of construction experience includes hands-on building, designing and inspecting homes, training hundreds of workshop participants, and managing housing projects as a licensed contractor.
In response to the December 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, Owen worked with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on disaster-resistant earthbag and bamboo building systems, resulting in two finished designs. The final report and drawings for the Post-Tsunami Affordable Housing Project are available at www.grisb.org/publications/index.htm .
He currently teaches, writes for THE LAST STRAW JOURNAL and MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, works as a consultant on international housing projects, and develops online content for GRISB.org , EarthbagBuilding.com and the Natural Building Blog .
Owen's latest work involves designing and building affordable housing prototypes. His Earthbag House Plans features 100 affordable earthbag house designs, many of which could also be built with straw bales, adobe and other natural building materials.
Owen can be reached by email at: naturalhousesATgmail.com.
Kelly Hart is the founder of greenhomebuilding.com, and has been involved with green building concepts for much of his life. Kelly spent many years as a professional remodeler, during which time he became acquainted with many of the pitfalls of conventional construction. He has also worked in various fields of communication media, including still photography, cinematography, animation (he has a patent for a process for making animated films), video production and now website development.
Kelly produced the DVD A Sampler of Alternative Homes: Approaching Sustainable Architecture, which explores a whole range of building concepts that are earth friendly. Kelly is knowledgeable about both simple design concepts and more complex technological aspects of home building that enhance sustainable living. He even designed and built a solar-electric car that he drove around his neighborhood.
Kelly designed and built an earthbag home in the mountains of Colorado that he documented in a DVD titled Building with Bags: How We Made Our Experimental Earthbag/Papercrete House . He adapted the concepts popularized by Nadir Khalili and his "superadobe" building, by filling the bags primarily with crushed volcanic rock. This creates insulated walls that are similar to strawbale, except that they are completely impervious to damage from moisture, insects or rodents. Kelly published Earthbag Architecture: Building Your Dream with Bags. He collaborated with Dr. Owen Geiger on creating www.earthbagbuilding.com and its associated blog.
Kelly can be reached via email at: kellyhartATgreenhomebuilding.com
Patti Stouter is a landscape architect and building designer involved in aid buildings for the developing world. She mostly works with Wycliffe Associates on projects in Africa, and around the world for training facilities used by literacy experts and Bible translators.
In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake Patti helped Kelly and Owen organize the this website devoted to information about earthbag construction for aid organizations. With the help of Haitian friends and acquaintances, she has also researched and developed information about Haitian building styles. She believes that all aid work should be culturally appropriate and empower people to use simple technologies to care for themselves.
Patti has degrees in fine arts and landscape architecture. Her 20 years of designing for private landscape architecture firms, county planning departments, and a small family construction firm give her a broad view of the development process. A longstanding interest in climate-appropriate design forms the basis for her building designs for the tropics that focus on maximizing ventilation and avoiding solar heat gain.
She lives in new Nexixo and speaks some French. She can be reached at simpleearthstructuresATyahoo.com. Patti has assembled buildsimple.org that focuses on her work with earthbag concepts for inexpensive, sustainable, disaster resistant housing.