The EcoNest Affiliate Program for Professional Builders
Are you a quality professional builder who sees the need for real change in our profession? Do you want to be prepared to serve a growing clientele who are making health and ecology their top priority? Are you frustrated by a world of “Green Building” that is about sealing tighter with one more layer of plastic, consuming more cans of spray foam and one more roll of tape? Then you owe it to yourself to explore EcoNest Affiliate Program.
At EcoNest we have a vision of making natural building a “main stream” option. We believe that we have re-discovered and systematized a holistic way to build that embodies real solutions to serious issues and that begs to be shared. If you are ready to join forces with a rich community of innovators who are committed to right-livelihood and bringing building back in to balance with ecology then please read on…
The EcoNest Affiliate Program
The EcoNest Affiliate Program is not a franchise. Our income comes from doing what we love…building builders and designing wonderful buildings. It is our invitation to qualified builders to train with us and then add EcoNest to their Company’s offerings.
We have too often had to tell eager would-be EcoNest home owners that we don’t know of a builder in their area who can build one of our homes. We want to change that!
Who We Want
We are looking for professional builders with the following qualifications:
- Fine Craftsmanship
- A proven track record of very successful client relationships
- A keen interest in creating a legacy of health and ecology for your clients.
Benefits to you and your business
- 21 years in development….16 days to train you. You can learn the EcoNest building system in 16-day intensive training if you are already familiar with conventional frame construction. This training is offered at least 3 times a year. You will be able to tap in to the founder of the building system, Robert Laporte, and his wealth of knowledge gleaned through 21 years of innovation.
- Learn how and why to build with durable natural materials ….not toxic chemicals.
- Learn how to build for health from the Architect who wrote the bible on the subject (see Prescriptions for a Health House)
- Be listed on our website with your own Affiliate page. View other Affiliate pages.
- Join an exclusive family of EcoNest Affiliates. We have worked hard for many years to make EcoNest a nationally recognized leader in the field of natural, healthy and finely crafted homes and workplaces. With a feature book and scores of articles published by and about us, we now have an internationally recognized brand.
- Have the ability to offer stock plans and custom design through your Association with EcoNest Architecture. Paula Baker-Laporte FAIA and her team will work with you and your EcoNest clients to get it just right for them. When you become an Affiliate, we become the design department for your business enabling you to expand your services and not your overhead.
- Referrals: We will refer you to potential clients in your area who are seeking EcoNest homes.
- Client education. Our workshops and seminars educate and prepare future home owners for the building experience
- Employee referrals: Every year we run apprenticeship programs to train budding craftspeople in all aspects of our system. These graduates are eager to find work in the field. We are happy to refer our brightest and best to your company.
We realize that, as a professional builder the greatest cost to you will be in taking the time away from your work required to do our training. We have condensed that training into a 16-day package and structured it so that you can take the training all at once or in segments with each segment being offered a minimum of three times yearly. As an EcoNest Affiliate you will be required to:
- Attend a 16-day Intensive. We offer group rates if you wish to train two or more of your team at once.
- Attend a yearly Affiliate’s Continuing Education Seminar when offered. These will be offered in the winter when building activity has slowed down for most.
- Pay the cost (at our cost) to create and periodically update your web page on our site
- Maintain a link on your website to ours and display the EcoNest Affiliate logo on your website
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If I pursue the training is my certification guaranteed?
Professional builders run the gamut from mastery to minimal competency. The EcoNest Company reserves the right to certify those builders whose quality of work reflects our own. At the end of each training workshop you will meet with one of the EcoNest senior staff for an assessment. If, in our assessment, you are not on track to qualify as an affiliate, or will require additional training, you will be advised.
Do I need to be a skilled timber framer in order to be a EcoNest builder?
No. Not all EcoNests are timber frame structures. In the course of your training you will learn how to do load bearing truss walls with clay/fiber infill. However, most of the published examples of EcoNests show timber frame structures and the majority of clients who contact us for an EcoNest also want to incorporate timber-framing. The EcoNest Building Company is available to construct timber frames for Affiliates. The EcoNest Company also teaches several timber frame workshops each year for builders wishing to learn this craft. Many regions already have experienced timber framers available. Should you decide to incorporate timber framing but do not have the skills with in your organization, this part of the building process can be sub-contracted to others.
Am I required to hold workshops in order to be an EcoNest Affiliate?
No, we do not require you to hold workshops with each EcoNest that you build; however, you will acquire the leadership skills required to deliver a successful workshop during your training. Should you choose to carry on this tradition, we will strongly support your efforts. We have witnessed over and over again the power of the workshop. It is a way of bringing people together in your region and sharing the experience of ecological building with them. As a workshop leader, you would be a recognized authority for this form of construction. The workshop is a strong advertising tool; it is a way to let people in your vicinity know that you are offering these special homes.
If I take the training but do not go on to become an affiliate can I still build with clay/fiber?
You are free to use all of the building techniques learned in the EcoNest workshops. However, the name EcoNest is a trademark of our organization and you would not be allowed to use this name on your product without our written permission.
If I am an EcoNest Affiliate can I use my own local Architect to design homes for my clients?
You are free to use local design professionals to work directly with your clients and our architectural team is happy to counsel your architects as required in design with timber-frame/clay-straw and in the specification of healthy building materials. However, only buildings designed by EcoNest Architecture, Ashland Oregon, may bear the name EcoNest.
How do the stock plans work?
The EcoNest Architectural Office has produced 10 stock plans ranging in size from 700 sq. ft. to 1900 sq. ft. These plans will eventually, when there are a sufficient number of Affiliates, be offered to EcoNest clients only through EcoNest Affiliates. Currently clients who take our training have access to purchasing stock plans. This provides a valuable design service to our affiliates and their clients while assuring that the quality of the built plans meets our standards. The Architectural Office will also provide minor modifications and mirror images of these plans for individual clients. The cost of plans ranges from $3,500 to $5,000 for the one-time use of plans. Modifications will be performed at an hourly rate. All architectural costs will be incurred by the client and passed through the EcoNest Affiliate to the EcoNest Company. Local engineering, arranged by the Affiliate will be required on all stock plans. Other local permitting requirements may result in the need for additional time and charges to the client.
Is custom design available through the EcoNest Company?
EcoNest Design has highly qualified architects on staff who are available to create custom designs for your clients. In some jurisdictions, in order to obtain permitting a local Architectural Firm of Record may be required in addition. In every case a local engineer will be required for structural review. A member of the design team will need to visit the site and meet with your clients prior to commencement of design. The client would enter into a design contract directly with the EcoNest Architectural Office and we would work closely with the EcoNest Affiliate during the design process.