Architecture in College - but graduated with a degree in Conservation Biology. I have been involved in all phases of construction
and feel very strongly that our housing design and construction methods should not only serve our needs and desires; but be in harmony with the
needs of the World. Our "modern" technology has allowed us to
combat our environmental influences. We need to learn (or remember) how
to live with Nature - not fight it.
I can visualize a beautiful hillside where the trees and landscaping are
the dominant features. Where residents look out spacious windows at
views that are unobstructed down the hill and across a valley. Where
every resident can enjoy the view without looking between homes and over
dozens of shingled roofs. The residents of each home having a sense of
personal space without living behind a restrictive 8' high wooden fence.
A hill I can fly over in my small airplane and notice the meandering
road system among the living trees, bushes and flower gardens. Only when
passing by in the evening do I realize how many homes are on the hill by
the lights that shine in the windows. The homes are part of the hill -
they did not just capture a space and perch on it. 30 families could
live there - each within a stones throw of another house; yet no family
looks into the yard of another and they seldom hear their neighbors -
and there are no fences.
These families enjoy comfortable, spacious homes with absurdly low
utility bills and virtually no maintenance; with the satisfaction of knowing
that the house they built will last hundreds of years.
A dream? At this time it is still a dream - but an attainable reality!
I can show you how to build the most cost effective, comfortable and livable home I am aware of. These designs and techniques have evolved
over several years with input from friends and professionals that I will
be introducing you to through these pages.
About 15 years ago, my good friends Tom and Rita asked me to help them
design and build their home. It was a grand and fun project that
resulted in a two story home set INTO a hillside rather than on it. The
house is attractive and efficient with it's conventional roof; but I am
looking for ways to improve on an idea!
Tom is a computer programmer by profession - tinkered by avocation. He
has an inventor mind that asks the right questions and suggests
innovative answers. If you ever want to develop an idea - find someone
like Tom to throw thoughts around with! We spent many hours theorizing
on various ways to make the next house better and Rita was a great
reality check to let us know if our ideas made sense! Those discussions
were the start of "Castles in the Ground".
There is an old saying about building castles in the air - (referring to
lofty ideas with no foundation.) "Castles in the Ground"
describes my intent to help people build attractive, comfortable, affordable and
SOLID homes. Homes that are built on a foundation of well grounded concepts
with durable materials...modern day castles.