Institute for Energy Studies Speaker Series
Chris and Chom Greacen - "Building and living in Common Ground, a net zero energy community land trust project on Lopez Island"
- Wednesday, May 2, 2018
- Western Washington University CF115 at 4 p.m.
- Free and open to the public
Abstract: Common Ground is an award-winning net-zero energy capable affordable housing neighborhood on Lopez Island, operated as a cooperative. The homes were built by residents, volunteers, and contractors under the leadership of the Lopez Community Land Trust. This talk will cover the Community Land Trust model, and the experience of building and living in one of these super efficient straw-bale homes for the past ten years. Each of the 11 homes is heated largely through the passive solar features, augmented by electric heat (mostly with mini split heat pumps) that receive electricity from the community's net metered 33 kW solar array. Rainwater catchment provides water for laundry, toilets and outdoor spigots and permaculture. We'll discuss lessons learned, and how we would do some things differently if we were to start again, aided by technology changes and cost reductions since 2007.
Chris and Chom Greacen helped build, and now live on Lopez Island in a solar powered straw-bale home in that is part of the Lopez Community Land Trust’s Common Ground community cooperative. Chris grew up on Lopez, while Chom grew up in Bangkok. They both work on policy and regulatory aspects of clean energy, especially in SE Asia, and most recently in Myanmar. As founders of the nonprofit organization Palang Thai, they drafted Thailand’s policies for Very Small Power Producers and conducted studies in support of the country’s feed-in tariff program. Chris works a consultant to the World Bank, the German International Cooperation (GIZ), US Department of Energy, the Asian Development Bank on regulatory frameworks and technical analysis to support scale up of mini grids with a focus on Myanmar, SE Asia and Africa. Chom works with NGOs and government officials to advance public interest considerations in power sector planning in Myanmar. Chom and Chris hold MS and PhD degrees, respectively, from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California at Berkeley.