Here is a sampling of some of our proposed future projects:

  • Exterior makeover: modeled after an Asian temple as drawn by the visionary Mark Lakeman, our exterior makeover has already begun with the completion of a cupola in the center of the main building serving as a utility space for solar energy collection and as an observation tower, with decorative spires at several locations on the roof.¬†However, we have yet to install the roof top spires and other aesthetic features on the exterior walls.

  • Further rainwater harvesting projects:¬†Our roof collects over 200,000 gallons of water yearly. We have already diverted this water out of the sanitary sewer so we can keep it on site to replenish the local aquifer from which we draw our irrigation water. Another 200,000 gallons of rainwater falls on the driveway and has also been diverted to the wetland gardens, where it is cleansed and returned to the local aquifer. We have already implemented extensive rain gardens including kinetic sculptures. However, the full aesthetic potential remains to be achieved. So we anticipate further progress in our rain gardens and sculptures, including adding musical elements powered by falling rain.

  • Outdoor kitchen: Food preservation, by canning and drying the surplus Summer and Fall harvest, makes eminent sense, but can heat a residential space to an uncomfortable degree. An outdoor kitchen can perform these tasks using surplus scrap wood as fuel. The existing utility sink using solar heated water serves to clean garden produce. An outdoor kitchen will also be a valuable resource during an emergency event, assisting emergency preparedness. We hope to install a variety of wood fired stoves such as different fuel efficient rocket stoves.

  • Solar thermal energy harvesting: Oregon is blessed with abundant solar radiation, mainly in the summer, but actually year round. We anticipate implementing a preheating system using solar collectors to elevate the temperature of water entering residential units from the current 45 degrees F to significantly higher, thereby greatly reducing the electric energy needed to raise the temperature of indoor hot water to the desired 115 degrees.

  • Courtyard mural: our eastern building wall faces the street and would make an ideal canvas to create an inspiring artwork.

  • Permitted humanure project: Oregon REACH code, and the new International Uniform Plumbing Code Water Efficiency Standards, is gradually evolving to permit owner built composting toilet systems. We would like to implement a permitted composting toilet system and have been in touch with city of Portland permitting officials. At this time there appears to be contradictory Oregon regulations regarding composting toilets. We are working with local and state of Oregon officials to sort out the situation but hope to proceed with an permit application as soon as it is feasible.

  • Remodeling of 4000 sq ft crawl spaces as workshops: We have abundant conditioned space in large crawspaces between the community room, the Men’s Dorm, and the Laundry/Mail rooms. Although this would require significant excavation and engineering, we have the potential to create a significant work space that could be used by residents for numerous projects.