Bill Badrick is more than just an architect. He believes in protecting our environment and it shows through his architecture and lifestyle choices. From bike riding to aquaponics, getting to know Bill is just as exciting as his blueprints.
Hi, Bill. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I hold a Degree from the Architecture School of the University of Oregon, and was Licensed as an Architect in 1987. I am currently creating a wild 100 foot tall ultra-modern home in England.
I exhibited my Green-Building/Bridge Art in Portland City Hall! I’ve also designed projects from North Carolina to Arizona, from Dubai to the South Pacific. I am currently designing a Civil Rights Fountain for Portland’s Waterfront Park with a Team lead by Rev. Willie Banks. We can use all the support from the community we can get, so everyone call the Mayor and City Commissioners!
What led you to care so much about sustainability? Were you raised eco-consciously?
I was raised in a progressive family, and we were encouraged to read and learn about the world. My folks’ idea of a family weekend when we were growing up was hiking and fishing all across Oregon. I have seen and enjoyed a great deal of the wild in the State of Oregon. So, caring about the Land I have loved leads naturally to thoughts of protecting the Environment from the ravages of Industrial-Humanity. Sustainability is our Moral Obligation, for every one of us, every day.
Agreed. There are so many signs of major issues within our environment. It often confuses me how many people fail to notice it or just don’t care. Why do you think that is?
I agree with you completely. Going back to my previous answer, I was raised [at least on weekends] in the outdoors. If you spend time out there, you realize how glorious Nature is, and you passionately want to protect it. But far too many people in the western world never go outside the city/suburb, and if they do, only inside a machine. Folks are not evil, just ignorant of the actual planet they live on. We need to get all our children outdoors, hiking and fishing and climbing and biking. They should all be in a 2-3 month Outdoor Schools, out in the farms and forests, and the attitudes of the next generation would change.
You know, I easily got a sense of your fresh perspectives when I looked at The Delight. I found your artistic use of colors and tones to be interesting. What made you go with those choices to present your idea?
Color is important in my work because color is how we identify with the world, all throughout our evolution. Can you spot an apple in a tree if it wasn’t red? Would you know if a berry was ripe if it was green? Color-reading is built-into us, we use color to create meaning. I use color in design to signify function and attitude. In The Delight, the intent was to make a joyous place to hang out by the canal. We wanted happy colorful surfaces to let you know that ‘HEH’ this place is FUN!
I am so disappointed in the younger generation of architects who insist on making every building black. It is the hipster-architect thing of this time. Black is the color of death and destruction. A poor attribute for a new building, eh?
Very small homes are also trendy these days. Your thoughts on the tiny house movement?
Tiny Houses are incredible! Nothing shows real commitment to sustainably living on our planet like a tiny home. The government should be building hundreds of them to give to the poor folk on the street. Tent cities are not a civilized way to treat our neighbors. We should re-zone a large part of the city to allow tiny homes. The existing property set-backs meant for the suburban life of the nineteen-fifties are out-of-touch with the needs of all the people today.
On that note, I noticed the stair tower of your Self-Sustained House supports aquaponics, and aquaponics is pretty incredible! Can you break it down for people who don’t know much about it?
In an aquaponics system, water from an aquaculture system [raising fish in a tank for food] is fed to a hydroponic system [growing plants in water tanks for food] where the by-products are broken down by nitrification bacteria into nitrates and nitrites, which are utilized by the plants as nutrients, and the water is then recirculated back to the aquaculture system. Basically one system [the fish] benefits from the other system [the plants], which then benefits from the first system as the endless positive cycle goes round and round!
Mediterranean, European, Classic, and Modern. Those are just a few of the design plans out there. Along with being eco-based, what design style motivated your sustainable home concept?
Well, the idea behind sustainable design is that there are no real styles. The buildings are formed based on the qualities of the building site, and principals of passive solar gain from the sun. My ‘self-sustained home’ is designed to maximize the solar gain, not only to heat the home, but additionally to grow food on the roof and in the greenhouse bay-windows. The other driving force in the design was the desire to build a very small and effective building footprint, so that many more of the homes could be built per acre, in compact, friendly and safe communities. We want to be able to bike and walk where we go, and this all starts with efficient home site layouts. We need to build 5 million of these a year and make our planet better. Go check out the web-site and see what you think!
So, to help educate others, what is a tip you can share for anyone who wants to live more sustainably and make their current home more environmentally friendly?
Well right now, I have just gotten an electric bike, and it is awesome. I did bike commute for 6 years and I encourage anyone who can Go By Bike to get out there. The more of us that are out there, the safer it gets. It does not have to be every trip you make, but do it whenever it makes sense to do it. The exercise will relieve your stress, and it IS fun! I rode 12 miles a day every day of the year. You get used to the rain if you have good rain-gear. You get in great shape and you are energized when you get to your destination. And for those who can’t deal with the work of peddling, the electric bike does it all for you, and it is quite quick, so getting from A to B is much faster. Ditch The Car!
Learn more about Bill’s work at www.selfsustainedhouse.com where you can also purchase his design plans.