October 2006

The Next Journey

My apologies at the outset since the organization of this section is a bit cobbled together, the narrative is weak and the Web navigation is in a sorry state. After an incredibly busy two months (no, it’s actually been almost three months), I really wanted to publish a small selection of pictures that captured the essence of our home construction project. Someday I hope to expand this section since building your own home, especially an EcoNest, is worthy of much more attention.

A Short Prologue

On August 1 2006, we became the owners of 2.5 acres in the Northwest area of Santa Fe (see our home page for the story of the odyssey that brought us to Santa Fe). The next day, we sat down with Robert Laporte and Paula Baker-Laporte to discuss our EcoNest project. To provide some important context, the reader should visit the EcoNest web site to gain an understanding of natural building systems and healthy homes. Our home is the Peregrine 2 on the EcoNest Web site at From the outset, the project was on the fast track since an EcoNest workshop was scheduled to begin on October 16th. Not only did we need to get final drawings completed, we had to get through the state and county permitting process during the usual late summer rush by builders. Key subcontractors needed to be lined up and it became clear from day one that there was almost no slack in the schedule. On top of this challenging schedule was another significant risk factor — I wanted to general contract this project myself as an owner-builder.

Paula and Robert, no doubt with some trepidation since there were 18 people from all over the U.S. and Canada scheduled to attend the October workshop, agreed to take on our project. Thanks to Paula’s patience, Robert’s exceptional coaching and the wonderful EcoNest team, the workshop started on schedule without a day to spare. We are well on our way to moving in to our new home by the March 31 2007!

Building an EcoNest

See the EcoNest pictures for highlights the amazing (to first-time owner-builders like us) sequence of events that results in a new home springing to life. The term ‘life’ is really important when you consider the natural materials and the community effort involved in building an EcoNest.