Mother Earth Living

Paradise Found: Sustainable Design Courses

With spring comes the start of the Sustainable Design/Construction course at the island of St. John.
By Katherine Pettit
March/April 2002
Add to My MSN

Photos courtesy Maho Bay Camps
Slideshow


Content Tools

Related Content

What Does It Mean to Go Green?

Guest blogger Tracy Herz juggles greenspeak 101 while considering what products and certifications s...

Destination Restoration

Organic cotton slipcovers are finally available for those in search of a sustainable solution to bre...

Opinion: Sustainable Herbalism

Viewpoints to consider: The importance of a sustainable environment to herbalists, plants and medici...

A Hobbit House

With a historical base, Gary Zuker built his hobbit house with a clay and straw mix.

Arriving at Maho Bay Camps on the island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands—with its wood-frame tent cottages, free-roaming geckos, and community bathroom eighty-eight steps up—feels a bit like being back at summer camp. But once the Sustainable Design/Construction course offered each May by Colorado State University begins, it’s clear this is no kid’s stuff.

Taught by Professor Brian Dunbar, director of CSU’s Institute for the Built Environment, the course is open to all who wish to learn more about sustainable building. A typical day starts off with a hearty 7:30 a.m. breakfast followed by a three-hour class session that includes lectures, open discussions, student presentations, and field trips. Afternoons are left open for snorkeling, sailing, reading, or taking a nap on the beach, until class resumes from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The classroom, a large open-air gazebo overlooking the bay, is a wonderful place to contemplate course subjects such as urban planning, landscaping, building design, and materials, the economics of sustainable development, the sun’s path and how it affects building design, and green building case studies. Through field trips, students learn about the history and culture of St. John and tour other eco- and not-so-eco resorts.

Maho Bay Camps, a highly acclaimed eco-resort, was originally developed in the mid-1970s by owner Stanley Selengut. The wood-frame tent cottages were raised from the ground and connected by boardwalks, leaving nature as undisturbed as possible. Selengut’s other resorts on the island, Harmony and Concordia, feature photovoltaic power, gray water systems, recycled building materials, composting toilets, passive solar heated showers, and a unique cabin design that brings in cooling ocean breezes.

For more information, contact Brian Dunbar, CSU Institute for the Built Environment, Fort Collins, CO 80523; (970) 491-5041; www.colostate.edu/Orgs/IBE.








Post a comment below.

 


MY COMMUNITY
no image
HarvestRight
8/21/2014 5:22:39 PM
no image
NatureHillsNursery
8/20/2014 10:03:07 AM
no image
NatureHillsNursery
8/20/2014 9:59:22 AM
no image
NatureHillsNursery
8/20/2014 9:30:07 AM
no image
melisastarr
8/19/2014 12:57:22 PM
no image
Peggy McMahan
8/18/2014 11:29:51 AM
no image
lorina21
8/17/2014 10:16:45 PM
no image
lorina21
8/17/2014 10:15:23 PM






Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.