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, this will have a cupola in the center serving as a utility space for solar energy collection and observation tower, with decorative spires at several locations on the roof. We have received permission from the city for this project and construction has already been largely completed, with final construction in 2016.

  • Rainwater harvesting: cistern and kinetic rainwater sculptures. 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.
    One future project is to collect a portion of the roof water in a cistern that could be used in case of failure of the public water supply, as could happen during an earthquake. At present, the cistern holds well water for emergency use.
    Also, falling water can be visually as well as acoustically pleasing so we would like to create kinetic sculptural elements integrated with our rainwater harvesting that come alive with images and sounds during rain events.

  • Solar shower: it is a fairly simple matter to heat water with a simple solar collector fashioned from black poly pipe, then use this for hot showers when the sun is shining. We plan to implement an outdoor shower to exploit this free source of hot water.

  • Outdoor kitchen: Food preservation, by canning and drying the surplus Summer and Fall harvest, makes eminent sense. This will be facilitated by creation of an outdoor kitchen with space for cooking and washing the harvest.

  • Solar 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 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.