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sustainable, nature-integrated, adult communities
(BuildingCircles is a project of
Institute, a nonprofit corporation)
INTENTIONAL ADULT COMMUNITIES
FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING
Project on Vashon-Maury Island (VMI), Washington is committed to helping
residents build intentional adult communities to achieve independent living.
We will facilitate affinity-based, co-housing-like communities based on
affordable, ultra-green and nature-integrated housing. We have a
particular interest in building adult communities now that will be viable
for people in their coming elder years. These projects will demonstrate
that intentional community building using principals of universal
design will serve individuals with special needs of all ages and will result
in stronger communities for society.
These emerging “creative elder” communities
can be as simple as a few neighbors who wish to plan ahead, creating a
system of mutual support. For example, this might include pooling
of resources to sponsor services like grocery shopping, transportation,
or on-site medical care. These support systems will improve efficiencies
and lower the cost of living for people of all ages.
More complex creative elder communities
can include structural improvements or additions that permit assisted living.
These improvements could create on-site residential rental dwellings for
professional caregivers as needed.
Ultimately, with motivated people,
available land, and community support, a comprehensive cooperative community
could be built. The community we envision will be based on environmentally
and human-friendly land planning, structures, and relationships.
BuildingCircles Project is a project
of LifeSense Institute, a new nonprofit corporation
on Vashon-Maury Island. Robert Bornn
and Laura Worth founded LifeSense
Institute to facilitate programs, including the BuildingCircles Project,
to improve quality of life on Vashon-Maury Island and beyond.
DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNITY
To realize these dreams the BuildingCircles
project leaders will bring together:
vision, inspiration, and motivation
strong business leadership
experience and expertise
group facilitation services
coaching and mentoring.
If you have interest in creating
a community support network, retrofitting your home to support ultra-green,
independent living, or building a model intentional community similar to
what we describe below, please contact us.
If you do not already have people
in mind to share your dream, we can help you identify potential stakeholders
for your intentional community.
Vision clarification and concept development
begins a process that identifies your short-term and long-term goals.
After a guided exploration of feasibility, strategic planning leads to
a step-by-step action plan that sets the project in motion. Facilitation
of this process develops trust and communication among stakeholders:
essential cornerstones to the ultimate success of the community.
The next step after creating the plan
is to implement it. That might mean installing universal design and
authentically-green home improvements. It might mean helping you
create a design-build team or working with your existing design-build team
to realize your vision.
We can help you plan for financing
and ownership of your community.
will contract with individuals or organizations to facilitate BuildingCircles
building projects of all sizes. Grants, donations, and membership
fees paid to LifeSense Institute are expected
to lower the cost of these facilitation services.
Why BuildingCircles Project?
FIRST, we believe that advanced
housing structures, subsystems, and land use plans can result in retrofitting
and new building that is both affordable and environmentally sound.
BuildingCircles Project is committed to promoting new structures that will
ultra-green design, including highly-efficient
water and energy systems
acoustic and visual privacy
inexpensive heating and cooling
nature-integration with load-bearing
roofs for full plant growth
low maintenance and earthquake resistance
Project can also promote a new cooperative, team-building approach to the
organization of the people and resources required to build these contemporary
Homebuilders can benefit from "barnraising"
strategies that will allow them to encourage professionals and volunteers
to share expertise, skills, physical labor, and financial resources.
THIRD, inventors and innovators
may also participate in other LifeSense Institute
projects, such as Vashon Energy Project.
Participation in pilot projects of the Vashon
Energy Project may lower homeowner costs.
The BuildingCircles Project will assist
you in bringing together professional and volunteer participants representing
disparate motivation, skills, and resources loosely represented as three
are the highly motivated people who, with guidance from the BuildingCircles
Project, create a community plan. This may mean simply designing
practical social support systems with neighbors and friends.
For new building projects these people would create a land use plan, design
their homes, obtain creative financing for land and materials, and organize
the various contributing participants. They may also wish to participate
Advisor and Supplier Circles: These
individuals, often professionally licensed and generally expert in particular
applicable fields, may volunteer a limited number of hours to the BuildingCircles
Project. Their expertise will be key in training and sharing information
with the other participants. It is likely that many will participate because
of a desire to open themselves to new planning, design, and building methods.
Some may wish to learn skills outside their own field of expertise that
are applicable to building their own homes. Some may participate
in building as interns in various academic programs or through hands-on
workshops or classes. Individuals and companies may donate subsystems
Explorer Circles: These
individuals may gather and organize legal, technical, and other information
for review. They may also help with physical labor. Similarly
to the advisors, motivation for these individuals will also likely come
from a desire to learn skills applicable to building their own future homes.
Goals for New Building
We will help clients who wish to build
new structures to organize the planning and construction of affordable,
sustainable, nature-integrated structures on Vashon-Maury Island.
Affordable structural improvements, homes, and/or community developments
of many sizes and types can be built. We will facilitate architectural
choices which offer significant earthquake resistance; fire and vermin-proofing;
easier maintenance; and inexpensive, comfortable, temperature and humidity
These extremely low-maintenance and
low-energy-use homes and communities can also include:
Micro-power generation with “neighborhood
grids” based on solar energy
Water harvesting and disposal
Composting and related sewage solutions
Full-scale gardening and "micro-farming"
on their load-bearing roofs and solar green houses.
WE SHARE WHAT WE LEARN
will share what it learns about these model community developments.
Sharing will be achieved through web, various media, conferences, and other
We are actively
seeking participants and donors for LifeSense
Institute and the BuildingCircles Project. In-kind-donations
(services, materials, and equipment) are welcome. We anticipate collaboration
with a network of local and worldwide professionals with expertise in relevant
fields. We are forming a dynanmic advisory board to optimize our projects.
you have interest, please
us to join our mailing list, learn of sponsored informational events,
and programs and activitites.