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San Diego Sustainable Design Symposium

  • Energy Innovation Center 4760 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard San Diego, CA, 92117 United States (map)

We have a great lineup to cover sustainable food, water, shelter during this half day event. Please join us to learn what is happening in San Diego in this arena and who and what your resources are!


10am – Energy Innovation Center Tour

The Energy Innovation Center is 1 of 10 buildings in the world to receive a double Platinum LEED certification. During our tour at the EIC we will learn about the latest in energy and environmental technologies. The building exhibits a solar system that produces 20% more energy than it utilizes on a daily basis and a community garden fed by a rainwater catchment and grey water system; amongst many other inspiring features!

11am – Introduction to Permaculture Design

(Presenter: Christopher Marciello of Ecology Artisans)

Permaculture is a creative design process based on whole-systems thinking that uses ethics and design principles. It guides us to mimic the patterns and relationships we can find in nature and can be applied to all aspects of human habitation, from agriculture to ecological building, from appropriate technology to education and even economics.  By adopting the ethics and applying these principles in our daily life we can make the transition from being dependent consumers to becoming responsible producers. This journey builds skills and resilience at home and in our local communities that will help us prepare for an uncertain future with less available energy.

12 – Lunch Break

1pm – Introduction to Natural Building

(Presenter: Rebecca Tasker of Simple Construct)

An introduction to a range of natural and sustainable building systems such adobe, cob, and rammed earth, with a focus on straw bale building as ideally suite to our region. Learn about the surprisingly-sophisticated ways in which simple materials such as clay, sand, and straw perform hi-tech roles like providing super insulation and thermal mass; dealing with water vapor and buffering changes in humidity; protecting from wildfire and earthquake; and creating better acoustics and air quality. Learn the pros and cons of different systems and how they can be effectively and legally utilized in San Diego.

2pm – Efficient Water Systems

(Presenter: Brook Sarson of H2OME)

Learn how to use Integrated Strategies to Provide Water Resilience in Southern California.  With the use of greywater, actively and passively harvested rainwater, and appropriate landscaping you may be able to use little to no municipal/well water to irrigate a productive garden and landscape.  Find out how much rain you can actually capture in a year, how to store it in tanks or in the soil, and how rainwater means you’ll use less water for your plants.  Greywater is a simple way to add to your water budget.  However, there are many things to know and understand about how to use it safely, how to be compliant to local and state codes, and how to find the most efficient ways to get water from each source outside.  Onsite water is far better for your plants, our watersheds, and our state!


Later Event: November 7
Wilderness Awareness Workshops