Monday, August 31, 2015

Sustainable Settings awarded 2015 Randy Udall Energy Pioneer Grant!

Sustainable Settings' Dairy Barn Team just received word that we will be receiving $75,000 from CORE to help complete the renewable energy systems for the new Dairy Barn!

Steve Novy, Green Line Architects' principal, co-wrote the grant application with Brook LeVan, Executive Director of Sustainable Settings.

The grant award will be used to offset the costs of the Solar Hot Water System, PV Solar Electric System, and Anaerobic Methane Digester.

You've probably heard about solar hot water and solar electric systems, but what about methane digestion?  What is that all about?

Capturing and burning methane is a holistic process with many benefits: 

-The methane provides energy and offsets the use of propane.
-Burning methane eliminates a greenhouse gas that increases global temperature 25 times more than equal amounts of CO2.
-Burning the methane eliminates odors on the farm and significantly reduces flies.
-Two byproducts of this process, the separated solids and effluent, will be used as organic fertilizer on our pastures.  The effluent from the digester is a potential income generator as it is a product that can be sold to small scale growers.

Meet our talented Project Team:

Brook Levan - Team Leader
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Brook Levan received a MFA, NYSCC from Alfred University, BFA, Kansas City Art Institute. He is a certified Permaculture designer and consultant and an alumnus of the Institute for Social Ecology (1978). He has consulted, practiced and taught sustainable design, green building, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, wetland creation and art and design. Mr. Levan is a Fulbright Scholar and has extensive research and travel in Africa, Asia and North and Central America. He has held faculty positions at Pomona College, University of Connecticut and James Madison University. He has published, lectured and exhibited internationally. Mr. Levan is a National Advisory Board Member of Solar Energy International and The Wright Way Foundation, a founding Board Member of the Thompson Divide Coalition, and Board Member of Grass Roots TV.
Rose Levan
Co-Founder, Office Manager and Agricultural Manager (and daily gopher!) Rose Levan has a BFA in Graphics and Communication, Florida State University. Mrs. Levan founded and directed Cultural Arts Together, as an education outreach program of The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Omaha, NE. She was the Art Director at Sandven Advertising, Kansas City, MO. As a Mentor/Educator, Mrs. Levan worked with children in the BOCES program, New York and COMPASS Mentor/Apprenticeship Program, Woody Creek, CO. Mrs. Levan is a baker, organic garden-farmer and green builder.
Over the years, my wife Rose and I have received grants from CORE and other organizations.  We believe that we have demonstrated a unique ability to maximize the results of money raised.  We have leveraged donor funds and grant requests and shown that we are extremely well qualified to manage grant funds; and to complete projects on time, on budget and according to plan.

Zopher Sabo
Herdsman, Zopher Sabo, grew up in Kansas and worked in management and sales for The Sharper Image. He started at Sustainable Settings as an intern in 2011. As Herdsman, Zopher manages the land, including irrigation, rotational grazing, and planting the pasture. He manages the animals including dairy cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, and horses. He operates and manages the dairy including milking, herd health, marketing, sales and bookkeeping.

Sunny Morehouse
Market Garden Manager, Sunny Morehouse,  She holds her Permaculture Design Certification and completed a Herbal Medicine Internship: Jama-Cohuaque Forest Reserve in Camarones, Manabi, Ecuador. Sunny brings her experiences from Roaring Gardens, CRMPI, and Rolling Acres Farm to Sustainable Settings. Sunny joined us as our Garden Manager this winter 2015.  She is in charge of plantings, rotations, harvesting and sales. Her responsibilities include managing the CSA, Ranch Market and Ranch store sales.

Steven A. Novy, AIA, Principal - Project Architect
Steve is a native of Denver and studied in Lyon, France in high school before moving to Boulder, Colorado. There, he received his bachelor’s degree in environmental design, with an emphasis on historic preservation, from the University of Colorado. He and his wife Julia lived in Nagano, Japan after college, where Novy planned large water recreation resorts for Nihon Sekkei (Japan Architecture). He is a building scientist and team leader who is continually pushing the envelope of forward thinking building design. Steve spearheads the design work of Green Line Architects', working out elegant solutions to tricky design problems.
Applying for a grant named after Randy Udall has great meaning to Steve.  He had the unique privilege of working with Randy Udall and Joani Matranga on the NextGen Affordable Homes in Blue Creek Ranch outside of Carbondale, which is an applied research project showing the many benefits of thoughtful sustainable design.  NREL’s testing and monitoring of these homes shows that anyone can build a home with zero incremental cost increase as compared to the local standard of care, and achieve 20% better energy efficiency than a code-compliant home, just by using good design practices.  The research also showed that with solar hot water and PV, which was a mere 10% cost increase over the standard construction, can achieve 50% better energy efficiency.Mr. Novy wrote and received a $25,000 Home Depot Foundation grant to offset the costs of design, testing and monitoring of the homes, which helped leverage REMP funds received from CORE and initiated many in-kind contributions from project partners.

Beatriz Soto
Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, Beatriz grew up in a bicultural setting. She graduated from Basalt High School and studied architecture at “El Instituto Tecnologico de Chihuahua” with an emphasis on vernacular studies and design. She holds the title of Arquitecta.  Beatriz has had the opportunity to work both in the US and Mexico on very diverse types of projects such as high end residences to affordable housing, community/recycling centers to restaurants and commercial buildings. She is passionate about sustainable and conscientious design, and loves to travel.

SGM- Mechanical, Energy, Transportation, Water Augmentation

Louis Meyer, PE – Principal Engineer

Jeff Grebe, PE – Senior Energy Engineer


Mike Suhrbier, CEM – Energy Modeling Expert


Lee Barger – Transportation Engineer

KL & A - Structural Engineering
Brian Malone – Timberframe Expert


Solar Hot Water/Heating/Plumbing Expert - SolarFlair - Patrick Johnson


Solar Electric Expert - Sunsense - Scott Ely


Special Consultant - Amory Lovins, RMI Founder


Special Consultant - Bill Browning


Special Consultant - Dr. Temple Grandin

Friday, August 21, 2015

KSNO radio interview… 8 minutes of info on the Oculus

Steven A. Novy, Principal of Green Line Architects, describes an exciting off-grid project called the Oculus on KSNO radio…

Monday, August 3, 2015

A fresh perspective on design.

Dr. Temple Grandin consults with Green Line Architects on two new designs. 

Green Line Architects was honored to spend the day with one of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World" last Tuesday, Dr. Temple Grandin. Temple began her day at Sustainable Settings Ranch in Carbondale, Colorado, were she advised the new design and cow-handling plan of Green Line's proposed Dairy Barn project. Grandin's input helped Green Line staff to understand design details that will reduce stress on the animals and improve the working environment for Sustainable Settings young group of gardeners, ranch-hands and activists.

Sustainable Settings is a poster child for the future of farming; permaculture, integrated pest management, intern work-study programs and community involvement.

Photo of "Ruby" the dairy cow and from left to right; Marci Krivonen from Aspen Public Radio, Sally Bernard from Ascendigo, Dr. Temple Grandin from Colorado State University and Brook LeVan from Sustainable Settings. Photo by Rob Hollis from Green Line Architects.

After a farm-to-table meal at the ranch, we were excited to have Dr. Grandin come back to downtown Carbondale and tour The Yellow House. The Yellow House, designed in partnership with Ascendigo, an adult adventure camp for youth and adults across the autism spectrum, is a home for up to three autistic individuals to begin to gain independence and skills in their pursuits of a fulfilling life. Temple was excited to see that the home had all the infrastructure and capabilities of a medical facility, yet the feel and look of a comfortable home. Temple was also thrilled to see that the design included a wi-fi master shutoff and the absence of TVs in the bedrooms, concluding "your (sons and daughters) are not going to develop if they don't get outside the house and learn to help other people."

Dr. Temple Grandin was very helpful in consulting on these two projects with Green Line Architects. You can see the two talks she did for the community, at the end of a very long day, online at Grassroots TV:

Thanks to our partners Sustainable Settings and Ascendigo for helping to bring Temple to the Roaring Fork Valley.