Building Community Block-by-BLOCK

A few weeks ago, six members of the ecoTHRIVE team had the opportunity to meet Bernard “Berns” Troyer, the Construction Project Manager at the BLOCK Project shop. The shop is a construction site for beautiful small homes that are built with love, mostly by volunteers from the community who are guided through the process by BLOCK project staff. 
The BLOCK Project is a program of Facing Homelessness and ecoTHRIVE has been inspired by their work- not only for the beautiful, regenerative homes they build (net positive- they generate more energy than they use!) but for their emphasis on building community. BLOCK and ecoTHRIVE share the belief that “relationships are the building blocks for healing our communities.”
On the day of our visit, there was no building going on. Instead, we got a grand tour led by Berns. After giving us the history of the BLOCK Project, Berns led a tour of the shop, explained how the homes were constructed, and answered all of our questions about the BLOCK home construction process. We found out that the warehouse is set up with a series of jigs. A jig is a station that facilitates a step-by-step process to build each of the components of the home: floor section jigs, wall section jigs, etc. There are 78 different jigs used to build all the modules. Once all the modules are completed at the shop, they can be loaded and transported in 2 - 20' flatbed loads to the site. Once at the site, the truck is unloaded and carried part by part to the site where all the utility connections are in place- and a home is assembled in 4 days.
The home's materials are all eco-friendly. The wood is Juniper which is harder and more durable than cedar and the insulation is a material that does not include fiberglass, I am told that you could brush it against your skin and have no reaction. There are 2 walls without insulation when they arrive that, when set up, allow for the wiring and utilities to be installed without interruption to the rest of the construction. 
Once assembly is completed the utilities are installed. The BLOCK home can easily be disassembled if needed and the only waste would be the water barrier strip, a strip that is on each piece and creates a seal to keep moisture out. The finished home is a well-designed living space, complete with a bathroom and shower, kitchenette with cabinets, cook space that consist of 2 ceramic burners, a 3/4 size refrigerator/freezer, a living room with a couch that folds down to a bed, and a large picture window that provides natural light. The house is powered by solar panels that are connected to the grid.
And that my dear readers is the wonderful tour of the BLOCK shop! I hope that you were able to visualize our tiny home tour. We look forward to learning more about these incredible homes!
ZsaZsa Floyd 
Outreach & Resident Circle Delegate and Board Secretary

To learn more about ZsaZsa and her heart-led work, please check out her bio on our website.

Join us for this journey.

Let’s build community connected by housing. 

Together we can create the new paradigm.



Community Information Session

December 18th, 11 am - 12 pm PST

We are hosting our Public Community Information Session and Q&A Saturday, December 18th from 11 am - 12 pm and we would LOVE for you to join us! Our information sessions are a great introduction to the work we are doing at ecoTHRIVE.

We’ve been working behind the scenes to strengthen our business plan and organizational structure to help us stay connected, informed, and engaged in this community-led process to create affordable housing.

Please bring your curiosity- and tough questions! We look forward to collaborating with you!


Sociocracy For All's Sociocracy In Communities Conference was Saturday, November 20th. ecoTHRIVE participated and now has access to all the recordings.
Emma (our Project Manager) completed Diana Leafe Christian's Sociocracy Training. To learn more, check out Diana's website.
We had a lovely team holiday lunch where we got to enjoy delicious food and wonderful company.


Here are some direct links to content we've shared on our social media accounts in the past month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to stay up to date.

From Banks and Tanks to Cooperation and Caring

A Strategic Framework for a Just Transition from the Just Solutions Collective

Read The Booklet

Theories of power and social change

Power contestations and their implications for research on social change and innovation 

Read The Article

Vienna’s Radical Idea? Affordable Housing For All

Bloomberg Quicktake/CityLab explores how Vienna is tackling affordable housing for all in the city.

Watch The Video

How community control of housing and land can help solve the housing crisis

Communities are turning to land trusts and real estate cooperatives as possible solutions.

Read The Article
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