We are setting out to build an open source house conforming to the most rigorous sustainable housing criteria in the world, the Living Building Challenge. Open Source: In production and development it is a development model that promotes universal access via a free license to a product's design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone. The Living Building Challenge™ is the built environment's most rigorous performance standard. It calls for the creation of building projects at all scales that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature's architecture. To be certified under the Challenge, projects must meet a series of ambitious performance requirements over a minimum of 12 months of continuous occupancy. Our design intentions We are setting out to open source what seems to be the most rigorous sustainable housing criteria in the world. What this means is we will attempt to document everything thoroughly enough that someone could easily replicate what we have done. In practice, this means putting all CAD drawings, construction documents, bills of materials, and instructional videos online for free under an open source Creative Commons license. Likely we will use the CC-BY-SA 4.0 license which allows people to share, copy, redistribute in any medium, adapt, remix, transform and build upon the original work, so long as they provide credit to the creators and anything they share must utilize this same open source license.
Ultimately we would like to build at least one house in each major climate region so that the project as a whole will have the widest range of applicability. We also want to do so at an affordable price tag and hope that we can break below $50 per square foot. With regards to this first iteration in Fallbrook California, the design intent is for the house to blend into the landscape, use extremely local materials (such as dirt from the site to create earthen berms), and use passive, low-cost, appropriate technology wherever possible. Of course, we also want the home to be net energy and water positive, enhance the biodiversity of its surroundings, build soil, sequester carbon, and look more and more beautiful each day of its life.