How to feel more at home in the world

For Jason Caddy of Greenleaf Design, building the eco-mobiles in Pineridge West is not just about making dwellings but about creating places that reflect the relationship between human and environment.

EcoChalet1Now in the midst of building a second eco-mobile, Jason and his colleagues have excelled at creating modular, mobile homes with ecological specifications that set a standard that other caravan sites and mobile homes can follow. These buildings are designed to make use of passive solar, and the building materials chosen are those with the lowest possible energy. They are well insulated and powered by renewable energy systems that ensure that in the long term they are economically sustainable. “We are inspired to create homes that are not only affordable to build but also economical to run.”

These eco-mobiles embody the core values of the Findhorn Foundation community. By using less land, space is opened up for nature corridors providing niches for the flora and fauna that also abide with us on this planet. The landscape can also be productive, not only providing shelter but catering for our other needs such as food, water,
medicines, clothing and recreation. These structures support a sense of well-being. “It is uplifting to live in integrity, with a cleaner, lighter, affordable and lighter footprint.”

Upon its completion in August 2011, the first eco-mobile built on Pineridge West became home to Judith Bone and Ineke Vollebregt. Both have expressed how settled they feel in their new accommodation, fondly named Foxglove by the local builders due to the surrounding proliferation of these flowers. “I love that this is so much more sustainable than traditional buildings and was built with such love and care,” said Ineke.

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Martin Roche-Nishimori was over the moon when he heard that he and his partner Mie were to be the fortunate couple to live in Lupin, the new eco-mobile. “It will add value to my life. Not only is it a beautiful design, I feel comfortable knowing I won’t be wasting energy and will be contributing to a lighter footprint on planet earth.” He is excited about the woodstove. “Collecting wood connects me more with nature and besides, fires are romantic.”

Inspired by what they have learned, Greenleaf Design would like to take the craft of building one step further. “When we are building a house, we are also building a community.” Because there are many ways to create interior spaces, the size of these eco-mobiles does not limit individualisation. It is possible to be co-creative in the development of these homes. These builders hold the vision of having open discussion involving all the players before building the home. “By creating this full circle, we honour the collective vision and also shape a building to suit the personality of the people who will make it a home.”

Lisa Sutherland

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