Ekotecture

Co-created by Lee Porter Butler and his wife Jill Karlin Butler in 1992, Ekotecture: Essential Architecture, evolved over a 20-year period.     E K O T E C T U R E  stands on the shoulders of Lee’s earlier work, “Ekosea Homes”, his innovation/invention in construction “The Gravity Geothermal Envelope”.

Lee has inspired a generation of modern architect, designers and environmental activists. His work (Ekose’a Homes) has been case studied by the Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA Department of Energy and Environment and found to be the most energy efficient, CO2 benign homes they ever studied. (Published 1981). Numerous books and academic papers have been written about Lee’s work and his architectural designs. Throughout the late 1970’s to mid 1980’s Lee’s work was featured in publications such as: Popular Science, better Homes and Gardens, New Yorker Magazine, Mother Jones,  News & Observer, Raleigh N.C, New Florida, Earth Magazine, Ohio Magazine and other notable publications globally.

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Biospheres are organically conceived structures, buildings, vessels, arks, mobile living environments, manufactures according to the following data base: (characteristics and principles) ie, SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION STRUCTURES (patent pending)

(1) Integrates the architectural, structural functions with the utility, (water, gas, electricity, and sanitary) utility infrastructural functions.

(2) Utilizes solar, gravity geothermal and other universal scientific principles and energies to “power” the systems (photovoltaics, solar, water heaters, evaporative condenser purifiers, biodigestors, solar chimneys, evaporative cooling tubes and others.)

(3) Eliminates destructive friction and combustion resulting in maintenance and expenses.

(4) Produces “0” zero pollution, taking nothing from the earth, air, water, putting “0” nothing back into the earth, air, water.

(5) Utilizes the geometry of organic spiraling dodecahedral stacking crystalline structures to form super strength elements within the core of the building modules.

(6) Utilizes the indigenous cementous materials and recycled plastics to produce inexpensive, lightweight enough to float, fireproof, molded structural modules and tanks which resist mold, mildew, fungus, virus, bacterial growth.

(7) Utilizes compartmentalized flotation tanks in its “floating foundation platform, which is structurally integrated within the hidden superstructure above, enabling the structure to resist seismic horizontal earthquake shear forces, hurricane wind forces, floods, tidal surges, and tornadoes, while retaining its ability to provide utilities and keep water out. Designed for 250 MPH winds.

(8) Utilizes its organic wastes to produce organic fertilizer and methane gas.

(9) Maintains comfortable interior temperatures year round, in any climate by utilizing the gravity geo-thermal convection double air envelope eliminating friction/combustion mechanical systems for heating cooling, space conditioning, temperature, ventilation and humidity control.

(10) Controls winter and summer rain and breezes to maintain interior comfort.

(11) Utilizes an “interior garden (greenhouse space)” to grow foliage and flowers, which negatively ionizes the air, removes all particle pollutants, odors, toxic off-gassing” and to increase the oxygen content, introduce floral fragrances, eliminating the “sick building syndrome”.

(12) Utilizes low voltage direct electric current moving through “electrically activated (doped) portions of the structural wall elements, eliminating electrical wiring and the associated fire potential and shock hazard.

(13) Utilizes rain water and the latest radionics water treatment technologies and mineral-salts to produce a nutritionally superior, fresh, natural spring quality domestic water supply.

(14) Utilizes the gray water from the lavatories, showers, laundry and parking lot runoff to fertilize and water the landscape.

(15) Links the fertilizer resource being generated with ancillary hydroponic aqua culture and airponics horticultural facilities to provide fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, shrimp, and flowers for local markets.

EKOTECTURE offers superior returns on invested capital due to decreased life-cycle costs 1) minimum exposure to losses from natural disasters, acts of war, sabotage

2) the requirement to supply the system with natural resources (fossil fuel, hydro or nuclear)

3) the requirement to maintain real estate rights of way and distribution infrastructure pipes lines

4) lack of maintenance caused by heat producing friction, combustion, and nuclear power technology.

SOURCE: EKOTECTURE 1995

January 3, 1940 – November 22, 2005
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Environmental architect, Lee Porter Butler, was heralded for his invention of “the gravity geothermal envelope”, a way to heat and cool houses without using fossil fuels based on natural geothermal convection with no moving parts.

“The envelope” was featured on the covers of Popular Science, Better Homes and Gardens and Shelter magazines globally in the early 1970’s, while his company Ekose’a Homes built and sold plans of these homes.

Butler taught at University of California Berkeley in The Graduate School of Design and Planning. The United States Department of Energy and Lausanne Labs monitored Ekose’a Homes and discovered them to offer superior comfort.

Lee Porter Butler devoted the remainder of his life to solving the crisis facing our planet and humanity of dwindling resources, rising sea levels, and overpopulation that is underserved in food, water and shelter.

Ekotecture, founded by Lee and his wife Jill Karlin, is this solution: a way for humans to live in harmony with one another and Earth.

Co-created by Lee Porter Butler and his wife Jill Karlin Butler in 1992, Ekotecture evolved over a 20-year period and from Lee’s earlier work “Ekosea Homes” and his innovation/invention in construction “The Gravity Geothermal Envelope”.

Lee has inspired a generation of modern architect, designers and environmental activists. His work (Ekose’a Homes) has been case studied by the Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA Department of Energy and Environment and found to be the most energy efficient and CO2 benign homes they ever studied. (Published 1981). Numerous books and academic papers have been written about Lee’s work and his architectural designs.

Throughout the late 1970’s to mid 1980’s Lee and his work was featured in publications such as: Popular Science, News & Observer, Raleigh N.C, New Florida, Earth Magazine, Ohio Magazine and other notable publication

This list describes the functional, environmental limitations, qualities and characteristics of conventional building designs and building technology systems used to construct and maintain them. It provides the basics for the development of design criteria for the design process which will create future buildings which can be sustained and which shall sustain all human organisms, through this millennium and beyond. This is the time for an evolutionary leap forward in our design process and in our consciousness of the relevant criteria. EXISTING BUILDING DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY LIMITATIONS: (1) Utilizes a central utility grid which consumes natural resources in order to maintain building utility necessities: food, light, gas, and water. (2) As a result of utilizing natural resource consuming technologies (fossil, nuclear), existing buildings release toxic wastes into the air, water, soil. (3) Produces water, ground water and ground pollution as a result of disposal of organic waste ino the ground, streams, wells, oceans, and rivers. (4) Drain deep aquifers as a result of relying on deep wells causing foundations to sink, structural damage and sink holes. (5) Produces economic imbalances and political instability in the international community as a result of moving material resources across continents , oceans and national boundaries. (6) Contributes to the global ecosystem collapse caused by oil spills, fossil fuel off gassing, wars to obtain resources, burning the rain forrest. (7) Utilizes 10,000 year old manual trade unions and guilds, building technologies and construction systems which make the building far too expensive for 90% of the world market, preventing growth and development. (8) Do not protect the inhabitants against normal every day damage from earthquakes, floods, tidal surges, hurricanes, tornadoes and fires. Items 9-20 describe the building limitations which suppress the body’s own natural immune-healing system. we believe this is the primary cause of today’s high incidence of disease, environment and diet. (9) Do not provide the inhabitants protection against viruses, bacteria, mold, and mildew causing physical illnesses within the building. (10) Subjects the inhabitantss to the stress of discomfort (unhealthy) drafts, relative humidity, variations in room temperature, cold floors and indoor air pollution. (11) Deprives inhabitants of oxygen and subjects them to carbon dioxide and many toxic indoor air pollutants. (12) Subjects inhabitants to the detrimental effects of harmful electromagnetic fields caused by high voltage alternating current. (13) Subject inhabitants to inadequate levelss of full spectrum natural sun lighting, overworking the eyes. (14) Subjects inhabitants to excessive concentration of positive ions, altering body chemistry. (15) Subjects the inhabitansts to noise, vibration, friction, heat, odors, and ozone from high voltage alternating electric motorized appliances, creating stress, and toxic poisoning. (16) Subjects inhabitants to inadequate space, privacy, and light (especially in northern latitudes where northern light is very weak) causing psychological stress and depression. (17) Subjects inhabitants and workmen to lethal electric shock, reducing life expectancy. (18) Subjectss inhabitants to never ending financial pressure to pay for the acquisition and consumption of resources and treatment of dissease caused by the pollution. (19) prevents inhabitants from being able to relocate(stress). (20) Subjects inhabitants to high property taxes and ,maintenance charges (stress). (21) Do not allow adequate winter sun (for heat and light) to enter the building (22) Do not prevent summer sun (overheating and brightness) from entering the building. (23) Do not allow the window to be left open when it is raining. (24) Do not provide the occupant free access (from every interior room) between the interior and exterior environments. (25) Do not provide fresh floral fragrances to “charge” the air with aromatic essences. Of these limitations #7 is the most tangible issue preventing most people from living a healthy life. They simply can not afford to live the good life, because they can not pay for the home and its required services. In other words, the greatest barrier to providing homes for the world is cost. In order to qualify as a global solution to infrastructure, food and essential services, all solutions must be affordable to the vast majority of people who do not have them. This automatically means that any real solution must be a machine mass produced. mass design and mass production by automated factories using the latest information technology to streamline and control the process, from a single integrated data base will reduce the per unit cost to the end consumer, opening up major new markets in India, China, Africa. In order to qualify as a sustianbale solution, the structure must withstand the forces of nature. This demands an infinite space frame, central structural concept. It can be made from a polymer fiber reinforced lightweight cement containing a metalic-mineral crystal aggregate such as sodium silicate. The plastic mixture would be injection molded in aheated pressurized process, the core structures can be quickly with very short curing time before being ejected into a canal and floated down the assembly line to the next outfitting station. We have spoke n to the DOD regarding utilizing their abandoned naval manufacturing facilities. With proof of concept, of course, second stage funding will be available to build or licence more factories in Asia, India , Africa, and provide housing for expanding thrid world markets. Utilizing the open water of lakes, rivers, bays and open seas as new buildable territory, opens up lucrative economic possibilities for real estate developers looking to avoid future real estate taxes(these can be negotiated as payments, in lieu of taxes, with each taxing authority. No such taxes, state, federal now exit for marine environments (ships and boats pay a docking fee).

Ekose’a is an ancient Greek word which means, “the essence of being”. To the ancient Greeks, clearly to all ancient people, water, food, and shelter were the essentials, before children can be raised to form families and before families can build society. The essence of our being is our desire to reproduce our own being, thus the need for essentials.

The Ekose’a home provides the family a design which remains snug and warm during the winter and cool during the summer without fire, mechanical systems or expense. It provides reduced fuel consumption, reduced indoor pollution, and improved creature comfort levels over conventional single wall construction.

By surrounding the house with a film of earth heated air, and by using gravity convection to move the air, we eliminate the need for a conventional heating and cooling system. This is Lee’s first great contribution to the human race.

Thousands of these homes have been lived in. Some have been monitored and tested. There is reported comfort, quiet, and low maintenance features of this first version of living on earth without moving parts in heating and cooling.

During 1978-1981 Ekose’a Homes received color press publications whose circulation exceeded 10 million. 65 million pages of press extolling the virtues of the Ekose’a design : lots of natural light, plenty of open space for plants, and tested by Brookhaven National Laboratories and The Department of Energy as the most energy efficient, flexible design of any house ever tested.

During this period as a direct result of media attention Ekose’a sold more than 40,000 books with floor plans exterior perspectives and photos of houses in six distinct climatological zones mapped out in the United States.

Many of the designs can be modified to fit more than one climatological zone. In 1980 when the government change d and Ronald Reagan took away all tax credits for alternative energy and there was a moratorium from the press on covering alternative energy advances in the science about practical energy saving alternatives. The prime interest rate went to 19% and residential construction halted. The cut off of information, the interest, the government assistance to this fledgling new industry stranded.

Realizing that the real challenge was not a rural homestead or suburban American cottage problem, the real challenge was to invent and develop a way for America to export a viable new science , to create an export a viable new science, to create an exportable industry and products that can operate without resources. These scenarios for the underdeveloped world, where there are few resources and few people trained to properly utilize what they have , could get America going again. This time leading the way towards a truly cleaner, healthier, brighter future.

The term EKOTECTURE refers to floating ecologically sound architectural structures integrated into and on board utility and agricultural systems. EKOTECTURE is the logical evolution of the Ekosea Home and Bucky Fuller’s geodesic dome. Spheres are superior to domes in the following ways: Without the little struts and complex angles, molded spheres are cheaper and easier to build and openings can be any shape. In terms of efficiency and simplicity of design an d the simplicity of actually forming or manufacturing. The sphere gives absolute optimal structural strength and there are no extraneous cracks to seal against the leaking of water and wind. He integrity of the spherical structure enables it to withstand and survive great stress, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tidal waves, and tsunamis.

The Ekotecture floating home, patent pending as “sustainable construction structure”, the EKOSPHERE, not only removes the human habitat from the present material-resource consuming grid. It eliminates the need for buildable land , by allowing development to take place on the rivers, waterways and lakes. EKOTECTURE’s goal is to create a new global economic alliance which connects its advocates and clients to a dynamic interactive company information database and network, explain in regard to this new economy and the proprietary engineering details for manufacturing and monitoring and maintenance contracts that will constitute the new economy.

The new decentralized information age utility provides jobs and consumes human energy and labor but requires few materials , resources (fuel) for its daily operation and maintenance programs from a central location. Actual site visits are determined prior to predicted failures.

Ekotecture integrates many new technologies which have been field tested, refined, and developed for the past THIRTY YEARS (Lee wrote this twenty years ago)and are in operation, world-wide. EKOTECTURE will organize this global cartel of contractors, subcontractors, installers and maintainers, to produce and maintain the new systems world-wide.

We believe that the construction of very large EKOSPHERE biospheres, conceived floating island nations, can lead to the establishment of fresh new private management which must now reinvent politics and provide the consumer a beautiful place in which they can relax and enjoy the kind of life style they desire, protected and secure in their EKOTECTURE floating island healing center resort.

Written by Lee Porter Butler 1996 copyrighted

So many of the great enlightened ideas throughout history have happened in nature and more often than not by a tree. Buddha was born under a tree, received enlightenment under a tree, taught under a tree, and his last breath was breathed under a tree. And what about the father of modern physics, was he not inspired to understand gravity by an apple tree? The list goes on and on. Who among us has not enjoyed moments of deep contemplation and contentment protected in the cool shade of leafy limbs? For that matter, how many experiences that we think back to with warmth and fondness have a tree in the mental image that is painted in our mind? A chaste kiss, a romantic interlude, a glorious picnic. There’s no doubt that trees are special. Trees play a special role in the story of Ekotecture. In 1975 when the then 35 year old architect, Lee Butler lay with his arms folded under his head looking up at the magnificent pine tree on his property in remote west Tennessee, he was totally exasperated. For ten years since his introduction to Buckminister Fuller’s “Critical path” and the thinking of other great minds of the era, Lee had been struggling to make the breakthrough in understanding, which would enable him to design a building that would stay cool in very warm weather, and stay warm when it was cold outside, without mechanical systems. Throughout Butler’s professional life, his ideas and designs became more and more unconventional, as he tried to solve the problems to enable him to design buildings that are completely self-sustaining in any climate without fuel or friction. By 1970 Lee had moved his family to a piece of land his dad had left him in a slightly hilly part of west Tennessee to build a house that he felt he would live in for the rest of his life with his family. Lee built a fourteen level home 11,000 sq. feet replete with indoor swimming pool, three indoor waterfalls, a passive solar greenhouse 77’x40’ the entire south-side of the manse, 45’ in height at its highest point. It was the winter of 73-74 when an ice storm blew a wind so fierce and chilly through the countryside knocking down power lines for miles. During these crippled conditions, Lee began to see the profound impact of what he had designed. During the power outages Lee measured the temperature at the highest point of the greenhouse to be over 100 degrees. It was 6 in the morning and he could hear the icicles crackling outside the windows. This blast of hot air startled Lee, and it began this genius on a path of inquiry. It would take two years for the concept of the envelope to become crystalized. The clarity of concept came to Lee Porter Butler a fine April afternoon in 1975, with his hands folded under his head, lying back and looking at that pine tree. Lee asked the tree, “How can you have everything you need without running hither and thither, so peacefully, and why does man have to struggle and run around the way he does just to be able to get the basics?” Then came this enormous flash of insight, and he had to jump up and run into the house to draw out the first closed loop system, which would become the basis for “the gravity geo-thermal envelope”. The tree told him, “Orientation to the sun, mass contact with the earth, and insulation.” It was at that moment that the visual image came to him, as clear and perfect as a map. That is what he drew. It was from that insight that Lee Porter Butler discovered what to an awake world will be considered one of the most important discoveries since man’s discovery of the utilization of fire. What Lee through inquiry and design came up with is a way to eliminate the need for fire, or the need to burn anything in creating a comfortable living environment anywhere in any climate. Forty-one years later and thousands of usages of “the envelope design, Lee’s life time contribution, EKOTECTURE will be birthed. We present a building code for EKOTECTURE which is a result of Lee’s lifetime of research into what makes a building completely sustainable. We believe that a new global building code needs to be adopted by all earth’s citizens. This building code is the basis for EKOTECTURE. Buildings will not take anything from the earth, air or water in their operation, nor put anything into the earth, air, water in their operation. EKOTECTURE shows and proves how this building code can be realized, leading to a clean, healthy future for the entire world.

Mission & Vision

To address global warming and other crises facing our planet specifically through smart, sustainable, state of the art living environments which are manufactured and 3D printed on demand.

  1. To create a healthy interaction with Earth in the way we live through “Ekoarks”; buildings and communities, which produce their own lights, gas, water, waste recycling and food naturally within the infrastructure.
  2. To protect life in the event of any disaster, including earthquake, hurricane, tornado, fire, flood, and tsunami through the design of the floating foundation and intelligent skin.
  3. To promote the criteria of Ekotecture by which all buildings and communities are created to protect humanity and our earth.
  4. To “open source” the sub-systems refinements.
  5. To transfer this knowledge through webinars, and videos.

We are passionate about the environment in all contexts, from the preservation of architecturally historical and heritage structures, through to best-practice in sustainable agricultural and reforestation.

Conserving natural resources creating harmony on our planet forever.

Ekotecture is a new paradigm for a healthy world.

Ekotecture is an integrated design system, which allows for environmentally benign co-existence between humans, their needs and the planet.

Ekotecture is defined as the functional integration of architecture, utility engineering and agriculture with the forces of nature (gravity geothermal, solar) within a single building, neighborhood design, eliminating mechanical systems, fuel consumption, maintenance, pollution and human labor.

Ekotecture will provide state of the art ecological, smart homes in harmony with nature, safeguarding residents by virtue of a floating foundation in the event of any disaster. Utilities, including lights, cooking gas, water, waste management, and food production are integrated into the system. These homes are built with the principles of sacred geometry for balance within living spaces and the environment. In their operation they will not harm the earth, air, or water.

Today more than ever, the Ekotecture principles for harmonious coexistence between people and the planet is critical, when faced with the challenges of Climate Change, Energy, Food and Water security. Ekotecture provides an elegant solution to these pressing challenges through education, design and construction.

Ekotecture is Lee Porter Butler’s sustainable, green and clean, legacy to humanity. The Ekotecture Integrated Living Systems has the potential to address not only environmental challenges, we face but also address the social and economic challenges of the early 21st Century.

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