An ambitious project in Malibu, CA has recently received approval to build an incredible park that will also serve as an eco think-tank and a learning and demonstration center. This green dream was thought up by well-known photographer and inventor Douglas Busch, who envisions the development as a place to educate and stimulate the masses. To be located on Busch's 20 acre property above Malibu, the ecoPark has been designed to be totally net zero, sustainable, organic and cradle-to-cradle.
Busch and a slew of other green minded professionals started ecoTech Design Studio, a green product and architectural design/building firm, in order to start their dream project. ecoPark will consist of an eco-education discussion center and activity room, a solar heated pool, an energy generating gym, sustainable landscaping and trails, and demonstration eco homes. The entire 20 acre complex will be powered with renewable energy, use water efficiently, and grow produce organically.
Already built on the site are Busch’s home, design studio and pool, along with some of the infrastructure needed for the development. The design team received permission to begin construction at the end of August. Beyond the structures to be built, the ecoPark will feature a number of sustainable technologies in order to educate visitors to the park. When visitors arrive at the park, they will park in a lower lot and be transported via electric vehicles that are charged on site with renewable energy and also generate energy when they travel on speed bumps around the park.
Wind art sculptures around the property generate power to provide landscape lighting. A Koi and turtle rescue pond will serve as wildlife restoration and bio fertilizer, saltwater ponds will grow algae for biofuel and organic gardens will grow produce. The gym will generate energy from the exercise machines and the nearby pool is heated with solar power.
The buildings will be constructed according to Passive House standards and feature living walls, green roofs, native landscaping, solar power, solar hot water and rainwater collection systems. Solar ovens will be used to demonstrate alternative cooking near the pool and organic waste will be composted on site. A demonstration prefab house called the safeHAUS will also be constructed on site from reused shipping containers. Besides learning about the green buildings and technologies, visitors can also hike on the trails around the park.
If this project receives funding and the support it needs, the ecoPark will be an incredibly impressive project and definitely worth a visit.