About Us

The CHURCH Institute is a private institute developed to (re)create a number of 1970's methodologies that leveraged a whole lot of common everyday wisdom of our ancestors to solve problems.  Today, the Church Institute is doing the same kind of stuff using contemporary technology and mainstream media.  Above all, the goals of this institute is to identify, promote, and educate the various ways that are available to the public so that they can improve our shared quality of life by improving their own.

One of the first things we need clarify is when we say we are an institute that leverages industrial design methodologies in uses for sustainable efficiencies by the public - we are not walking around in white lab coats, with teams meeting in the design lab expounding on the theoretical aspects of the composition of materials or the efficiencies of various polymers when subjected to high volumes of ultraviolet light waves.

Its more like a few people talking while prepping the soil or hauling some high grade manure - saying

"Did you know straw bale constructed buildings have an R value of over 55?"
and then the other says
"Alternative building materials have been around for ages, stick built homes are so much less efficient that many adobes". 
Another overhearing this chimes in with
"Better yet, look at rammed earth design like the earthships, the strength and r-value of adobes combined with the re-purposing of waste tires, and you got a solution that saves resources and puts to beneficial use an item that reduces waste disposal." 

Everyone looks towards one another and says "wouldn't it be cool to build one!"

suffice to say, that is about as institutional as this institute seeks to be - support creative critical thinking without the analysis paralysis that distances science and technology from the public.

Secondly, our approach is two-prong because if we can't support ourselves through our work, it will quickly stop and that isn't why it was started in the first place.   To do this, much of what is being designed here is termed "low impact manufacturing" - we do this for a number of reasons, one of which is it provides an opportunity for vocational programming, skill training and general trade craft.  The other being it demonstrates a more earth-friendly approach than other methods of manufacturer. (more on this later, since we get asked about it often - and here)

Meanwhile, there will be a number of posts related to the different aspects of working and living more efficiently or perhaps simply.  Much of it will be trial and error, others results of simply trying – the breakdown of these interests lie in a multitude of areas but currently the focus is being limited to these areas (each in varying stages of completion).

Above all, we seek to share in methods of sustainability - how far people take each of these will be up to the individual and their need.  Regardless, we hope that these and other venues we will be exploring provide a basis to justify peoples own personal initiatives for sustainability.

Water & Food

  • Micro Farming (Container Gardening and SIP Irrigation)
  • Rainwater Harvesting and Storm Water Re-purposing  (we got a grant for THAT)
  • Natural Wildlife Gardens with Native Plants (NWF Certified)

Energy Exploration

  • Actively Passive Solar
  • Bio and Geo Thermal
  • Micro-Hydro
  • Bio-mass efficiencies
  • Energy Storage
  • Micro Wind Turbine


  • Square Foot Living
  • Mini-Home Design (can't wait!)
  • Alternative Design Efficiencies (Straw Bale/Rammed Earth)
  • Urban Integration (we got small lots!)
  • Building Re-purposing (what we are doing with our Church)

Sustainable Economy

  • Low Impact Industry Paradigm
  • REAL Education Aids (real material s with a touch of technology)
  • Vocational Program Development
  • Commercial Kitchen
    • PRODUCE2PRODUCT means Value Added Produce
  • Cottage Industry
  • Bespoke Design

While that list may seem like a lot, it isn't when you realize that like in life, much of what we do overlaps into the other areas of our lives.  Regardless, over the coming months there will be (as time/energy warrants) an increased amount of updates as photos and drawings are uncovered from the dark recesses of our hard drives and as we move material from our sister site.

Lastly, there are those that wish to know if the Church Institute is a religious institution, the short answer is no.  It is our feeling that looking out for one another, sharing knowledge, helping those that require help, and supporting similar qualities in one another should never be the providence of any one religion but rather the underlying fabric of what makes us human.  So while non-denominational sounds like a fit, we prefer the more altruistic nature of people doing nice things for the right reasons.

Above all, never forget that even small steps like these can make a difference over time.