EcoNest Natural Building Workshops and Timber Framing Workshops

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Articles by Paula Baker-Laporte

  • Buildings that Stand the Test of Time

  • In our fast-paced and ever changing culture we seldom have the luxury of making choices based on a long track record of success.  This becomes quickly apparent in choosing building products. I recently called a major manufacturer to find out what was in a new product developed to prevent mold growth on framing lumber. I wanted to avoid the use of biocides for this chemically sensitive client.

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  • If Doctors Made House Calls

    Interview with Dr.Erica Elliott MD by Paula Baker-Laporte

  • When I was a kid and I got sick…the doctor came to me. My mom would scurry about cleaning up the house as this honored guest was on his way.

    It is unfortunate on many levels that doctors can no longer offer this service. Having spent many years speaking to hundreds of people who have suffered from environmentally induced poor health I have come to wish that every doctor was trained to make at least a verbal house call as one component of a holistic case history.

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  • Color in Accordance with Nature

  • Building Biology advises us to use color “in accordance with nature” in our built environments. I never grasped the full significance of this until I was called upon to design a healthy home for a pair of birds!

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  • Building Biology and the Healthy House

  • Until about 25 years ago, indoor air pollution was a very limited phenomenon, but three basic things have changed in the evolution of building technology resulting in the current widespread concern about the environmental quality inside our homes.

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  • What A Workshop Means

  • At EcoNest we hold four Natural Building Workshop sessions each year. Students are met at their own level and then gently challenged, to cultivate and hone the innate builder within them.  Whether the entry point is “screw gun 101” or refining complex wooden joinery skills the environment is created and the tone is set for enrichment… but not just of building skills. There is something significant that happens on a soul level when we come together to build with common vision….a vision of working in balance with nature.

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Paula’s Mother Earth News Blogs

  • Breathe: Creating a Healthy Indoor Climate

  • There is an ideal relative humidity range for our health and that is somewhere between 35% and 55%. In modern life we have introduced many new sources of moisture into our homes. Daily showers, laundry, cooking and dishwashing tend to create concentrated bursts of humidity.

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  • What a Healthy Home Consultant Can Do For You

  • There are many reasons for hiring a Healthy Home Consultant and many different types of consultants. This article covers the four main reasons for hiring a healthy home consultant and 5 major requirements for achieving a successful healthy home construction or renovation.

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Articles about EcoNest and Baker-Laporte & Associates

  • Backyard EcoNest . . . BEN!

  • How would you use a small space designed for your well being . . .

    a creative space for your best writing

    a welcoming cottage for your beloved guest

    a tranquil corner for meditating

    an inspirational studio for creating

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  • Natural Building and Traditional Craft

  • "An approach to building that can sustain us ecologically, enrich us culturally and create places we're happy to call home."
    We had the pleasure of working collaboratively with Patrick Webb on an EcoNest in Pennsylvania.
    Traditional Building

    February 4, 2019

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  • Healthier Kitchen, Healthier You?

  • At EcoNest, we are always focused on health . . . whether it's choosing building materials that don't off-gas hazardous chemicals, or creating buildings of natural, carbon-sequestering materials that outlast standard construction and biodegrade when their useful life is over.

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  • IBE Announces Newest Certification Track

  • The International Institute for Building-Biology & Ecology (IBE) is proud to now offer BBNC, a newly formulated holistic design and building certification track. This Building Biology New-Build Consultant certification track is designed for professionals who shape our built environment.

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  • IBE 214 & 215 Students Say . . .

  • The International Institute for Building Biology & Ecology (IBE) recently launched their newest certification, Building Biology New-Build Consultant (BBNC) with two new classes: 214 and 215.

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  • New Building Biology Course – IBE 215: Design for Health

  • This new 4-day seminar explores the broad spectrum of Building Biology design principles and applications so crucial for design and building professionals to incorporate into their practices.

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  • 2017 Nattie Winner!

  • We are honored to have been awarded the Green Builder/Remodeler of the Year in the 2017 Natural Choice Awards by Natural Awakenings healthy lifestyle magazine.

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  • October Book Signing!

  • Join us at Bloomsbury Books in Ashland Oregon on October 26th, 7-8 PM. Lydia Doleman, author of the new book, "Essentials of Light Straw Clay Construction," will be joined by local authors and EcoNest founders, architect, Paula Baker-Laporte, FAIA, and builder, Robert Laporte, to discuss the many virtues of straw based natural wall systems.

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  • Architects in Schools

  • Last spring, Walker Elementary School's 5th graders visited EcoNest headquarters as a part of the Architects in Schools program.

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  • Best Health Radio Podcast with Paula Baker-Laporte

  • Recently, Paula joined Dr. Lindsey Berkson for the podcast: "Is your home making you sick?"

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  • Fixes for a Healthier Home

  • Recently, Paula participated in an interview about healthier homes with Carrie Murphy of The Broadcast.

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  • In the News . . .

  • Learn more about EcoNest in the news! You can find EcoNest on the radio, print media, and the internet!

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  • Excerpt from The EcoNest Home: Introduction to the Modern Timber Frame

  • Timber Framing is the craft of post and beam construction connected with mortise and tenon joinery.  Coveted from generation to generation, the natural strength and warmth of a hand-crafted frame graces a home with a profound connection to the forest, invoking a deep sense of serenity.

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  • New Sample Plan: Peregrine GH2

  • Our newest addition to the Peregrine Family of sample plans features a modest footprint of 830 square feet with the enticement of outdoor living.

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  • Tips from An EcoNest Owner and Mortgage Banker

  • I live in an EcoNest in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  I am also a mortgage banker.  While I enjoy all of the benefits of this type of construction, I am aware that it is "different".  However, the differences are primarily qualitative and should not affect an EcoNest owner's ability to finance a home.

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  • EcoNest Wins “Best of Houzz”

  • Houzz is a platform for home remodeling and design, bringing homeowners
    and home professionals together in a uniquely visual community.

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  • New FolkNest Sample Plan

    FolkNest FN-1: The Little Nest that Could

  • We are excited to unveil our newest sample plan: the FolkNest FN-1. 

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  • “Prescriptions for a Healthy House” Inspired Home

  • This Mulmur house was designed from the ground up with healthy living in mind.

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  • Excerpt from “The EcoNest Home” – The Larsen Truss

    Constructing Corner Larsen Truss Jig

  • In this technical section of "The EcoNest Home," you will learn how to construct a corner Larsen truss jig. Whether you are setting up a permanent shop or building a single home it is well worth your time to create a proper work station for efficient mass production of the many hundreds of framing components.

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  • Excerpt from The EcoNest Home: Matrix Framework

  • The following excerpt is an example of a technical section of "The EcoNest Home."


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  • Excerpt from The EcoNest Book: Using Natural Unadulterated Building Materials

  • In 1990 Robert went to Europe in his quest for a natural building system with which to enclose his timber frames. He was seeking an eco-friendly replacement for the pressboard and petro-foam panels known as SIPS (structural insulated panels)...

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  • Excerpt from The EcoNest Home: Challenges and Rewards on the Road Less Traveled

  • Creating a biological home from scratch is an opportunity to enrich your life while contributing an inspirational example for others.

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  • Paradise Lane Awarded 1st Place Residential at the 2015 People’s Choice Awards of AIA Southern Oregon!

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  • A Breath of Fresh Air

  • A husband-wife designer-builder team relies on natural materials and a tradition of craftsmanship to create their healthy New Mexico home.

    Natural Home

    March 2002

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  • Building Healthful Homes

  • A centuries-old building technique combines timber and clay to create durable homes in New Mexico. Home designed by Baker-Laporte and Associates and built by the EcoNest Building Company.

    Fine Homebuilding annual issue on Houses

    Summer 2002

  • Breathing Room

  • In the foothills of Santa Fe, a pair of globe-trotting yoga teachers build a house as healthy as they are.

    Organic Style

    January/February 2003

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  • Home Free

  • A simple blueprint for restoring body and soul.

    Alternative Medicine

    September 2003

  • Yoga Journal’s Guide to Bringing Yoga Home

  • Harmonious Homes, eco-dwellings that shelter the soul and protect the planet.

    Yoga Journal

    October 2003

  • The Healthful House

  • Natural, sustainable materials are gentle on the environment and on the homeowners.

    Inspired House

    April 2005

  • EcoNest Building Company

  • Designing and building human nests.

    Santa Fe Real Estate (Santa Fe New Mexican)

    January 2006

  • Healing by Design

  • Creating a living space that can relieve illness and promote good health is less complicated - and less expensive - than you may think.

    Santa Fe Trend

    Winter/Spring 2006

  • Spaces of Spirit and Straw: Learn Why People are Building Green

  • The wondrous and perhaps alchemical permutations of clay, straw, water and wood have always provided New Mexicans with structures of sublime beauty and comfort.

    April 2006

  • Kemp Lake Oasis: A Labour of Love

  • The Conwright home on Kemp Lake Road is an innovative home utilizing green technology.

    Sooke News Mirror

    October 2008

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  • For the Birds

  • While creating a healthy home for her beloved parrots, a New Mexico eco-developer gets an education in green living.

    Natural Home Magazine

    January/February 2009

  • Building Biology 101

  • Just as wellness is more than the absence of disease, a healthy home means far more than a toxin-free environment.

    Natural Home Magazine

    January/February 2009

  • Unwanted Exposure: Making the bedroom an EMF-free sanctuary

  • Eliminating EMFs in the bedroom.

    When I was a very young girl the full page add on the back of Life magazine read “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette”. By the time I was a teenager it was rumored that smoking cigarettes might stunt growth. Now it is commonplace knowledge that cigarette smoke can cause cancer.

    From House to Home

    February/March 2009

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