Category Archives: Types of Building Construction

fireside@theDoighouse #2 ‘Exploring Natural Building’

Our monthly fireside@theDoighouse sessions provide a space and place for people in our community to come together and share thoughts and exchange ideas.

The Permaculture ethics of Care of Earth, Care of People and Sharing of Abundance will inform and guide our discussions.

November 28, 2018
6:30-8:30 pm
Topic: Exploring Natural Building

Welcome: Chief Michael Recalma
Guest speaker: Russ Hannay, Errington Green Homes
Guest speaker: Mark Fleischhaker,
Hosts: Susan & Tony Doig,

Natural Building, recycled materials, using (non)-traditional and recycled building materials are all ways to reduce the energy footprint in our homes.  From site placement, solar gain, rainwater collection are some of the considerations when building a natural structure.

Earthships are recycling on steroids!  Recycled patio windows, car tires, pop and beer cans, glass bottles.


Glass Bottle Wall detail

Firesides@theDoighouse include speakers evenings, films nights, presentations and discussion panels.

Other topics will include:

  • What is permaculture?
  • Protecting our aquifer
  • Recycling building materials
  • Natural building  (cobb, rammed earth, strawbale, hempcrete)
  • Energy Conservation
  • Solar Passive Design
  • Solar collection systems
  • Food Security

Please email with any suggestions of topics and speakers you would like to hear.  The 2019 series is currently being developed and we’d love to include your suggestions.


Getting to tire course 5

We started the summer with passion, some really great volunteers, a cleared building site, a desire to build and no building permit.

A bit of a pickle really.

We decided to move ahead and work to the first building inspection (foundations).  A bit of a gamble as we are using tires as our foundation – but we felt confident in the work by our structural engineer, Mark Fleischhaker and our architect, Keith Tetlow and the unofficial feedback from the Regional District of Nanaimo that we decided to take the risk and just start.

First… getting the plans finalized and submitted to the RDN …and then waiting for approval, answering questions and following up with information.

These are the Earthship plans by Mike Reynolds modified to meet the BC Rainforest climate, the BC building code and the National Energy Code.

The RDN have been great to work with, a reflection of the quality of work and attention to detail by Mark, Keith and Daniel.

So..first things first.. if you want to host volunteers, you need some stuff.

The Bear Paw Cafe.  Just saying it got it’s name from a couple of visitors (the black furry kind)… but that’s a story for another day.

Continue reading Getting to tire course 5

We want you!!!!

Similar to the concept of ‘barn raising’ an Earthship build is typically a group of volunteers working together to build community; learning new skills; making new friends; and raising a new building.

This summer we will be hosting theDoighouse build.  We are anticipating a global experience with volunteers from around the world and are currently accepting applications from people interested in working and learning together with us. Tire pounding, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, cement mixing/pouring, food prep and meal service are just some of the opportunities.

theDoighouse is committed to a safe build;  all volunteers will be covered by WorkSafe BC.

Continue reading We want you!!!!

5 little sheds get built

lapis blue stone

Our goal this summer is to build 5 small storage sheds.  Nigel and Horizon have been helping.  Together we’ve poured the 5 cement slabs, used the sawmill to cut the logs into the size of boards required, and then used the boards to build the sheds.

Last weekend I spent the day prepping and painting the fascia boards; getting them ready for hammering into place. Guess I should have worn gloves! LOL

Continue reading 5 little sheds get built