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Lakeside’s EcoTectura designer Michael Monterey teams up with eco-planner Jim Bell


May 21, 2010 (San Diego) -- Need a green career upgrade or an affordable green dream home? Want near zero or net zero energy bills, super low maintenance, and millennial durability?


Jim Bell and Michael Monterey, two of our region’s top experts on green design, have teamed up to offer information on their innovative new materials and designs for natural heating and cooling as well as ultragreen sustainability in areas with high temperature fires, earthquakes, high winds, mold, and termites. In other words, design elements ideal for East County!


At the Ecological Life Systems Institute (ELSI), Bell will host the first sessions of a leading edge green workshop series, the EcoTectura Workshops, presented by fellow green designer Monterey. The ELSI building is at 4862 Voltaire St., in Ocean Beach, 92107. Each series will continue at green building sites throughout the county.


The program starts Saturday, June 5, at 10:00 am, ending at 4:00 pm. Lunch will be followed by a technical tour of the OB Food Co-op, guided by Bell as he explains his green planning, problem solving, design, and supervision of the construction.


EcoTectura Workshops offer many unusually valuable advantages and options.


Sessions will provide hands on experience with next-generation green design, building materials and methods. The building projects feature Monterey’s new Ultradobe and other inventions enabling ultragreen yet affordable high performance. Instruction will be geared for industry professionals, teachers, future home owner-builders, best suited to each student’s skill level, goals, and needs. For the sake of clients and student professionals, Monterey offers flex scheduling.


This is a rare opportunity to work with pioneering innovators at the leading edge of the fast growing green tsunami. Jim Bell will not be the only other veteran green expert giving presentations or training. Bell and Monterey will introduce the basics of project research, analysis, planning, and design development in the first class, but several of their green allies will attend as the projects and series progress.


For maximum effectiveness and focus, workshop session sizes will be small, just nine students each, maximum. Monterey plans for dialog, questions and answers before and after each session.


Monterey, an artist, ecotect, inventor-designer and author, said, “I want to give each student as much attention and help as they need. I need a manageable team at project sites.” Monterey has been on the cutting edge of many award-winning residential projects and high-profile commercial projects, also inventing Ultradobe building materials and neoprimitive "ecotecure" sustainable design elements.


There will usually be at least 6 workshop sessions per series. Each series will start with one introductory class for an extensive overview of the field and the workshop project. The number of sessions at building sites may vary. Each project will be unique, with a unique set of scheduling constraints and levels of complexity. The number of participants per session will affect the duration of each project and each workshop series. Additionally, students may sign up for only one or a few sessions (in advance).


Due to the time critical nature of innovative design-build projects combined with an educational workshop, there will be no refunds of pre-paid tuition for dropped sessions. Dropping a session means losing a crew member and precious time. Learning the importance of good project coordination, timing and scheduling is essential to the course and to successful green building.



Maximum tuition is $200 per single session or $900 for a full course. Distressed builders, tradesmen, masons, or students may request a sliding scale rate or work exchange. Advance registration and deposits are required. For more information on the programs and Monterey's work, visit

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