Concord Oasis (mini)E-coHousing Straw Bale Construction Status
From: mdemaio (
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 16:21:24 -0600
March 12, 1998 - We finally got our final foundation inspection approval
(ok to pour) for our post and grade beam/ rubble trench Rastra block
system, and plan to pour concrete either Saturday March 14 or Monday
March 16. This is probably the most "alternative" portion of our project
as designed (more to come?!)  Believe it or not, I think the building
department is starting to like us!  Anyone interested in helping- we
could use a hand, particularly if you have some concrete experience.
Non-intrusive spectators with other skills (cook, photographer, misc
other support), are also welcome.  After Friday 4pm call 510-687-2560. 
The site is located at 994A Oak Grove Road, Concord (East SF Bay Area),
on a private drive next to Concordia Lutheran Church. 
Feel free to pass this information on to others.  We will be running some
informal workshops on Saturdays (dates TBD), and will be taking e-mail
adresses for those that wish to be on our e-mail project progress/
workshop/ potential volunteer list. If not yet on this list, reply to
mdemaio [at] with the message "green list subscribe" in the subject
heading to be put on the list.  A message to this list will be sent out
every month or so. If you recieved this e-mail and would like to be taken
off the list merely reply with "green list delete" in the subject line. 
We will also be starting an e-cohousing e-mail mailing list for outreach
of elements more of interest to persons interested in ecologically based
cohousing in Concord and/or possibly the foothills/ Tahoe area.

It is likely that  Concord Oasis E-coHousing will cosponsor a booth at
the Concord Pavillion Contra Costa Earth Day on Sunday April 26.  The
tentative theme this year will be hybrid/ mixed green media, and we are
looking at doing a number of mini- workshops.  Any one wishing to show
off some of thier specific skills ala Natural Building Colloquim style is
welcome to send me a mini-workshop idea (Bale Pinning 101, Bale tying,
clay slip making, Cobb Making, light clay, bamboo, integrating recycled
materials, etc.).  Or just attend and visit.  The booth was extremely
well attended and prominently located last year.  CCEarth Day maintains a
year round web site(see my straw bale writeup for last year at 

In Sustainable e-Community,
Mark DeMaio

Brief project description/ additional information follows:
An alternative  two story flexible floor plan post and beam straw bale
structure is under construction in Concord, Contra Costa County, CA. 
This structure is part of the development of a minicohousing seed source
called Concord Oasis E-coHousing, and includes common house elements.
We're finishing  the pre-pour foundation work for a post and grade beam
foundation which will minimize concrete, use significant amounts of
recycleable materials, and facilitate an earthen floor.  Anticipated
completion date is late summer/ early fall 1998, with soft scape and
other projects to follow. We seek  volunteers, and have some potential
for paid help($6-9/hr), particularly among those who can regularly commit
time and vision, and seek to be involved at the grass roots level in
development of an environmentally responsible community based non-profit
design build entity.  We provide quite an opportunity for hands on
experience as well as input from participants. We are also looking to
expand our current cohousing group with true participants, and have
existing openings/ opportunities at quite a range of commitment levels.
Please contact Mark DeMaio, PE, at mdemaio [at] or 510-687-2560 for
more information.

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