Jon Miller Log
Wed Nov 9, 2022
Sun-Monday Nov 6-7, 2022
Current "Operations Order" for Seed Eco-Home 1 here.
Sat, Oct 29, 2022
Submitted final ARPA grant here.
Wed, Oct 12, 2022
Mon, Oct 10, 2022
Spoke to Jesse Beaudin of UMKC - excited to write a letter of support, I need to draft a template and get it to him. He recommended we reach out to Mary Esselman of Operation Breakthrough. It's a Kansas City based community dev program that includes Ignition Lab, which supports 300+ students 14-18. I'm in the process of connecting everyone.
I had my monthly check-in with Richard Henegar today. He graduated in August and was offered a job teaching/managing the machine shop at Western Virginia Community College. He's very interested in coming out when we select a build site/date. He's also well positioned to integrate OSE curriculum into what he's doing and even potentially start his own OSE apprenticeship in the future.
In other news, my brother sent me this article. The housing market is "getting weird," which is to say there is a combination of forces driving affordability down (median home price increasing as a percentage of total income), supply is stagnating, and owners are getting locked in due to rising interest rates. I haven't read in-depth, but all signs point to a need for affordable, single family homes. This is potentially good data to support ARPA Grant.
Tues, Oct 4, 2022
We currently have responses from S&S Electric and TDR electrical services in St. Joseph. They both inquired about compensation. S&S seemed interested as long as we could ensure the equipment we were installing was approved by local utilities, so I reached out to RS Electric, which is a commercial electrical firm. It might be a long-shot, but I submitted an online inquiry form.
Wed, Sep 28, 2022
Brian and I are meeting with Lisa and Melissa again to confirm that OSE's project is a good fit for the application. Specific concerns highlighted by Brian are from section 8.3 and 8.7 of the guidelines:
- 8.3: "Applicants must clearly articulate how training will lead to the placement of eligible beneficiary classes with a company(ies).The Applicant’s training plan should be developed in collaboration with a company(ies)and focused around thecompany’sspecific training needs."
- 8.7: "The Applicant will need to clearly outline how the company(ies)will engage and collaborate with partners of the proposed project."
In other words, we are not yet a fully operational employer ("Company"), and once we are, we will be simultaneously filling the role of "Company", "Grant Applicant/Trainer". Our key questions are essentially:
- is this arrangement acceptable?
Yes, confirmed by Lisa
- is it sufficient to request grant funds for the expected future viability as an employer?
Yes, to mitigate risk we need to articulate past history of training and emphasize DoL approval and due diligence as a business
- Lots of interest from applicants so far
- Every state got ARPA funds, different approaches to allocating money toward broadband, workforce, healthcare, etc.
- Top scores get fully awarded, if there are more eligible applicants, they are willing to negotiate lower awards.
- Really need to partner with a school or some institution that can help monitor
- Start with small chunks and grow from there
- If we are the company, we can also be the training/recruiters
- The apprentice model is precisely what the Grant was designed for--they are not judging us with a crystal ball.
- One of the beneficiaries is people already employed but need greater earning potential and new skills, so it's ok if our training is the employment, and the post-apprenticeship employment is uncertain.
- Whichever person we choose to be the applicant is the grant administrator
- It's helpful to have someone tracking the grant, and whoever applies can decide, it can be a company
- We can be an applicant, and a partner in another applicant's project
- If we're a partner with another applicant, it won't impact our $4M cap
- They expect community colleges to have more than one application
- Can pay instructors, supplies and materials, recruitment. For the marketing, focus on the skills.
- The matching percentage only matters for points -- to get max points, we need to request less than $4M.
Electrical Contractor Search
Working on electrician search for Seed Eco-Home permitting in St. Joseph. It appears that there may be two sets of documents required. The first is the electrical permit. The second is related to the PV system. Full details are on this Residential PV Checklist, but it generally amounts to the following:
- Complete design of array mounting system – stamped and signed by a design professional licensed in the State of Missouri certifying compliance with the 2011 National Electrical Code, the 2012 International Fire Code, and the 2012 and International Building Code and all other applicable codes and that the roof structure is capable of supporting the additional loads.
- Complete electrical design stamped and signed by a professional engineer licensed in Missouri, certifying compliance with the 2011 National Electrical Code.
The full list of recommended St. Joseph electricians provided by Marcin can be found below. I'm tracking outreach progress on this document. Note that of the 12 recommended shops, only 4 have websites with online contact forms. I will personally call the remaining 8.
Fri, Sep 16, 2022
ARPA Grant Meeting
I met with Lisa Marshall (Federal Grants Manager for Missouri One Start) and Melissa Richards (Apprenticeship & Business Training Program Coordinator, East Central College) to discuss how OSE's Seed Eco-Home Apprenticeship would fit into the ARPA workforce Training Grant. Here is what I learned:
- The biggest risk to applying is future audits of spending. The entire grant is structured to reimburse funds only--nothing is paid up front. This means we need a human being to manage our budget and provide monthly reports w/ receipts.
- If MCC is supporting our apprenticeship, they might be able to assist with the application, or even serve as the "Applicant", which would help greatly with respect to funds management.
- We can only request funding for training/recruitment and limited CAPEX. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking about production costs, marketing costs, travel costs, tools, and supplies for training/recruitment; and tools, renovation material, site support equipment for CAPEX.
- Any outside donor funding counts as a match on our budget, which will strengthen our application and increase the bottom line request. This means we can allocate a higher nominal amount for administration costs, which are capped at 4% of bottom line budget.
- Our narrative needs to be simple and clear, with as much specific detail as possible. They emphasize the SMART framework for a reason.
- Our beneficiary population is the total number of people we expect to train in the next 4 years.
This is a huge opportunity and Lisa and Melissa believe we should definitely apply. The biggest challenge is going to be administration. We need to be prepared for an audit, which will require paid full-time management of this grant if awarded. Given competing demands on all of us, we need to be deliberate about assigning roles and responsibilities for the future.
Tues, Sep 6, 2022
ARPA Workforce Training Grant Page created. Go here to review and edit the working application form.
Tues, Aug 30, 2022
Workforce Training Grant
The American Rescue Plan Act has provided the Missouri Department of Economic Development with $30M in grant funding for programs that "...address the broad workforce disruption stemming from the pandemic through grants funding projects to recruit and train individuals who are seeking a job that provides better opportunity for economic advancement."
I am currently working on our application for a portion of this funding. Here are the key highlights from today's information webinar:
- Application is due Oct 29, 2022
- Funds are dispersed sometime in December
- Funds are allocated for specific projects and must target a specific population
- Applications are assessed on a points system based on level of impact and other factors
- It will help if we can partner with someone who knows how to manage federal grant paperwork/tracking systems
- Awards range from $50k to $4M
More to follow, here is a detailed guide to the program requirements.
Mon, Aug 8 2022
Home Performance Laborer
This is the unfortunate title of a highly compatible apprenticeship we can fall into. The current approved standards are below. We can modify these slightly. There are three different versions of this document, but they generally say the same thing in different formats. Edit
My biggest question is what conditions need to be met before we officially enroll apprentices? Technically, the apprentice is enrolling for 2000 hours of paid labor over a period no longer than 2 years. Do we offer minimum acceptable wages as an apprentice and have an additional employment agreement with OSE to bring them up to the $50/hour mark? I emailed Jeremy Sheets at the DoL to see what our next steps are.
Fri, July 1 2022
Here is a start to the operational plan for SEH build 1. I intend for this to be the planning framework where we centralize everything relating to preparation and construction of the 1st Seed Eco-Home. This is a working doc we will expand upon as we make progress and bring more team members into the fold. This will also provide a consistent framework from which we can run our weekly Friday meetings. Estimate 20minutes per meeting to review changes and orient the team.
Fri, June 24 2022
Notes and key links from the OSE Seed Eco-Home public meeting:
YouTube Seed Eco-Home Contacts
As we prepare for the first production SEH--I've scrubbed my YouTube subscriptions for a list of builders/makers that I think could be awesome collaborators. Most of these are long-shots, but I've added an (*) next to the ones I have some connection to already, and an (!) next to the ones that I think would be really cool to collaborate with. @Marcin, if you only look at one, check out Tech Ingredients.
- Anne of All Trades (*)(!)
- April Wilkerson
- Xyla Foxlin (!)
- Chop With Chris
- Johnny Brooke
- Frank Howarth
- Ben Uyeda
- Bob Clagett
- Paul Jackman
- Jay Bates
- Jer Schmidt
- Jimmy Diresta
- Jon Peters
- Mark Rober (!)
- Matt Risinger (*)
- Mike Clifford
- Rex Krueger
- Tech Ingredients (!)
- This Old House (*)
Fri, May 27 2022
Working Budget for SEH
Tues, May 10 2022
The completed consulting team analysis is posted on the Yale Collaboration page.
MCC Apprenticeship Updates
After speaking with the apprenticeship coordinator at MCC, I learned that:
- MCC has funding through 2023 to provide the Related Training Instruction (RTI=Classroom Learning) required by the Registered Apprenticeship Program
- We have the flexibility to tailor an RTI curriculum from this course catalog. The Apprenticeship Certificate can be found on page 142, Course Descriptions begin on page 195
- If we have enough apprentices, it's possible to design custom courses
- MCC funding is primarily designed to fund MCC's cost of running the classes, though there is some possibility to cover logistics support for apprentices
- This program assumes that OSE is paying apprentices as an employer, eligible veteran apprentices receive GI Bill directly. This is not an educational program in which OSE would receive tuition payments from the GI Bill.
- The education pathway and partnership is still possible, but it would require having a conversation with a different office at MCC.
Mon, Apr 25 2022
The initial strategy still remains: develop a beachhead product (SEH), use that product to drive the infrastructure development we need to begin the OSE apprenticeship program. I updated the glide path to reflect a two month delay in our original timeline. We were also presented with a potential donor and shifted our focus accordingly.
- Over the past month, Marcin and I decided to take a break from weekly meetings to give him time to focus on documentation for the SEH.
- During that period, Brian found a potential donor, which shifted our collective focus to submitting a grant request.
- Due to time, manpower, and resource limitations, we decided not to pursue the NSF grant. We can still apply for Phase II of the grant in October.
- As we wait for a final decision from our Donor, Marcin continues to work on the documentation for the SEH.
- I am taking advantage of this lull in planning and operations to get my house in order.
Thur, Mar 31 2022
I also recommend checking out the 60 minutes segment. It clearly states the case for the Seed Eco-Home TL;DR
- US is currently short 4M single family homes
- Hottest market is sunbelt: people want space, nice weather, and low taxes. Pandemic increased work from home, so more people are moving from big coastal cities to places like ATL, Charlotte, Austin, etc.
- Tricon Homes is one example of a corporate landlord buying a bunch of single family homes and renting them out. Provide in-house maintenance services.
- Corporate landlords make up about 2% of all landlords.
- Segment implies that increased rents are the result of corporate landlords bidding up rental prices. More likely the result of housing shortage according to RedFin economist.
- Average starter home is $300k, well above the SEH.
Tues, Mar 22 2022
While I wait on admin data needed to begin registration, I started working on drafts for the Project Summary and Project Description, two documents that form the bulk of the grant application. I will need help forming a coherent narrative about OSE that addresses the Grant's specific requirements. Find both documents and edit links on the Pathways to Enable Open-Source Ecosystems page.
Mon, Mar 21 2022
To complete registration, I need OSE's tax information. So far, I've created an account in research.gov, but can't proceed until I complete registration in the SAM.gov database.
Sun, Mar 20 2022
Over the past three weeks, I've shifted focus away from OSE. Marcin has been hard at work in the field, getting the house ready for showing and I saw this as an opportunity to get ahead with my other clients and partners working on veteran transitions. Today, I'm beginning work on the NSF grant proposal. I'll start by translating the grant requirements into a working document and drafting our responses.
See the Pathways to Enable Open-Source Ecosystems page for the current working document. There are two checklists to guide our progress. The first is for new awardees and the second is for the application itself. My next step will be to try and create an NSF account so we can submit he first checklist and begin working on the application.
Thu, Feb 24 2022
I reached out to the St. Joseph, MO building department about consolidated build times and learned this:
- likely a 24hr turnaround from notice to inspection
- Master plumber and electrician must pull their respective permits and supervise work. GC must pull building permit
- Roughly 1 week turnaround from when plans are submitted to review by zoning department.
Fri, Feb 18 2022
National Science Foundation Grant Opportunity
Pathways to Enable Open-Source Ecosystems
Marcin notified me of this grant, with application deadline of May 12, 2022 for Phase I (Scoping Proposals) and October 21, 2022 for Phase II (OSE Development Proposals). My current strategy is to start by identifying requirements, filling in what I can, and simultaneously reaching out to potential connections for assistance.
At first glance, here are the key points:
- Matches OSE's current strategy almost perfectly. Note that the grants describes Open Source Ecosystems (OSE).
- "Importantly, the PEOSE program is not intended to fund the development of open-source research products, including tools and artifacts. The PEOSE program is also not intended to fund existing well-resourced open-source communities and ecosystems." I'm not exactly sure what this means.
- "the program aims to fund new managing organizations that catalyze community-driven development and growth of the subject OSEs. The expected outcomes of the PEOSE program are (1) to grow the community of researchers who develop and contribute to OSE efforts, and (2) to enable pathways for the development of collaborative OSEs that could lead to new technology products or services that have broad societal impacts."
- Phase I is designed to "enable scoping activities that could result in the preparation of Phase II proposals to grow promising research products that are already available in an open-sourced format into a sustainable and robust OSE that will have broad societal impacts, and to provide training to teams interested in building such an OSE." Limited to total budget of $300,000, and designed for 1 year duration.
- Phase II Proposals are designed "to support the transition of a promising open-source research product into a sustainable and robust OSE. Each Phase II proposal is expected to include a detailed project plan to support the community-driven and collaborative development and deployment of later-stage successful research tools into operational environments." Limited to total budget of $1,500,000, and designed for 2 year duration.
- The phases are not dependent on each other--we can apply to one or both.
- NSF estimates 20 Phase I awards and 10 Phase 2 awards.
- Proposals are submitted to [www.research.gov Research.gov] according to this standard or [www.grants.gov grants.gov] according to this standard.
- Proposal sites these examples as previous Open Source Ecosystems: Apache Spark, Galaxy, RISC-V.
- A list of full requirements can be found on the NSF OSE Grant page.
- The budgets for Phase I and Phase II can include salary, setup costs, and mandatory training (up to $10,000)
- Bonus for grants awarded to women, persons with disabilities.
- Ethical data use is paramount
- Applications must succeed on both Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.
Thur, Feb 10 2022
Follow Up from Marcin’s Meeting with Bernie
- 3-4 day delay to receive city inspections
- Three total inspections: Foundation, Rough, and Final
- Do we look outside KC to find a jurisdiction with easier rules?
- Probably have to put on Spec Market
- Inspection schedule in Galena? - swarm thing
- From Bernie: housing is expensive due to realtors and builders–driving prices for commissions?
- Bernie possible for Construction Management, $225/hour, manage crew of 24, can do it more as QA/QC, legally not allowed/insured to tell people what to do on-site.
- Maybe there is a way to massage the inspection schedule based on connections with Bob Berkibile, and the fact that OSE is non-profit.
- What about a joint venture with Habitat for Humanity in KCMO? They provide coordination and labor, we provide the plan.
- Bernie calls it a “contemporary saltbox”
- Can we meet with the city to get special treatment on handling codes.
- Lookup Land Bank in KCMO
- Think about Jon’s role in the structure of future education pathway–Building a total integrative curriculum.
Update on 3rd party consultants
- Travis Brundgart mentioned a company called Permit Services. I think this is them. They appear to be downstream of what we need right now--less consulting and more execution of actual permits.
- Most other companies accessible on Google are focused on higher level commercial and industrial operations.
- Cross-referencing with the Better Business Bureau, I found this company that appears to be more our speed.
Tues, Feb 8 2022
Yale Sustainable Business Consulting Clinic Capstone (SBCCC)
OSE is now matched with a team of 4 students at Yale SOM/SOE as part of the Sustainable Business Consulting Clinic Capstone; a 1-semester course that empowers students to consult with Yale-affiliated businesses. Our meeting notes and collaboration will be documented here: Yale Collaboration
Thur, Feb 3 2022
Weekly Meeting Notes
This week was another phone call; Marcin was finishing the siding on the Rosebud and Jon was hamstrung by an unexpected daycare closure.
Main topics covered:
- First meeting with Yale SBCCC team scheduled for 2/15 at 11am EST.
- Jon needs to search for additional options for 3rd party building permit/code consultant in MO.
- We discussed the possible inclusion of Georgian Economics into the Seed Eco-Home–is there a way to run a pilot Combined Ownership Self-Assessment Tax (COST) a la Radical Markets by Glen Weyl and Eric Posner? We also talked about a recent discussion of the Capital Institute and regenerative economic models. We need to study up on this as it sounds like we are executing a lot of what John Fullerton talks about.
Wed, Jan 26 2022
Code and Inspections Update
- Found a third party inspector named Bernie Reams, who works for PST Engineering. He is willing to give a free 1-hour consultation on our project. He prefers in-person, at his office in KC. He has lots of experience and connections in KCMO. I get the impression he has the expertise we need. Said "anything is possible with planning," which is exactly the attitude we need.
- Charges about $375 per foundation inspection. This includes footings, foundations, slabs, retaining walls, and foundation walls.
- He clarified that third party inspectors can only sign off on everything up to framing. KC building department takes over all inspections from framing to final.
Labor Recruiting Strategy
Below is a loose structure to my thoughts on how to assemble a 24-person crew. I start with a broad view of our process, from preparation to reconsolidating. I then identify the task organization we need during each phase. From there, I can identify big gaps in capability. I conclude with possible ways to address those gaps and where to recruit the right people.
- We need to assess interest in volunteer, pay-to-play, and paid positions as crew members. Maybe a teaser announcement and survey from the OSE platform can get us there.
- For 24 crew members, I think it is worth organizing into 4x 6-person teams, where each team is one leader and 5 team members.
- Sequence matters if we intend to mix paid/unpaid positions. Without clear differences in responsibilities and expectations between those volunteering and those paid, things can get messy. HFH does this, but their entire organization is non-profit.
Tue, Jan 25 2022
- Footing Inspection
- Foundation Wall Inspection
- Groundwork Inspection
- Floor Slab Inspection
- Backfill Inspection
- Rough-in/Framing Inspection
- Electric and Gas Service Inspection
- Final Inspection
Wed, Jan 19 2022
Weekly Meeting Notes
No video call this week - Marcin working hard on finishing the house.
- Connected with potential buyer, Open House is next step
- Free land in Kansas City, MO–additional option for first build site
- Steve assisted with following up for HFH, Marcin will reconnect with proposal.
- Feb 15 ish or March 1 for house completion
- Jon - pass along new adjustments for plumbing for review
- Connect Marcin to Mike Cartner
- Training construction managers and leaders
- Jon - First thing to figure out is to talk to CompassKC people if they can facilitate the inspection schedule. Reach out to third party inspectors and price out options.
- Jon - Design complex recruiting strategy that includes: “crash course” model, Extreme Build Edutainment event, Corporate Team-Building events, 4-hour driving radius youtuber community.
Tue, Jan 11 2022
Chat with Noemi Reveira and Kelly Renaud of Habitat for Humanity
- Primary focus for HFH is building faster and cheaper.
- High construction costs right now. Volunteer labor for framing. Pros for foundation, mechanical, roofing, and electrical. All in, about $300k for construction costs for 2000sf.
- Concrete houses are one story.
- Architectural review board is a challenge in NOVA
- Making connections to find land is primary focus
- Primarily rely on trade partners, pay market rates and offer promotion for participating
- Habitat for international comes up in top 100 builders in US
- Land availability is biggest limiting factor
- Permitting and inspections are treated the same as any other builder
- Heavily subsidized from grants
- Always have 2 staff members on site. Use dedicated volunteers. Delegate specific tasks to groups. All instruction is verbal.
- Level of subsidy depends on AMI–primarily serve 40-80% of AMI (Area Median Income)
- 12-16 months to complete a single home
- No shortage of volunteers
Fri, Jan 7 2022
- Successful conversation with Brian Potter - setting up future collaboration
- Marcin still working on EV application
- Fundamental problem could be culture around hard work
- Can Jon start search for participants for first build? Think about plan and strategy for recruiting. Think about specifications for who we need? Maybe start with Travis.
- Trigger for targeted recruiting is stamped and completed plans from Engineer.
- Wants Jon to start with virtual walk-throughs and video game...part training and part engagement.
Wed, Dec 29 2021
Abbreviated due to heat-pump issue in MO and Jon is on vacation
- Product is still primary objective
- Recruiting makes sense to focus on once we have engineer's stamp - Jon might be helpful to draw out key milestones. Also, we haven't clearly identified needs enough to identify task organization
- Think of ways to produce financial independence for people in trades by up-skilling and entrepreneurship
- Think of recruiting local you-tubers who clearly have skills and interest, and are trying to grow
- train the trainer is key and construction managers and foreman positions are necessary--we need to think of task-org for build
- If Marcin can do first draft of workflow, we can take to Travis and other mentors to help build task-org
Tasks for next week
- Jon and Marcin - Draft two of EV grant
- Jon: begin recruiting plan and task organization plan. Goal is to have a draft we can send to Travis for review (task org)
- Jon: Follow up on Rob Robinson's email connecting with Frank Zummo
Wed, Dec 22 2021
The plan for Jon was to research commercial buildings, make progress on EV application, and connect to Brian Potter and continue searching for a KC contracting mentor. Marcin's plan was to build Rosebud, work on CAD and documentation, and study for GC exam.
Priorities for Next Week
- Emergent Ventures Application - Marcin adds input and Jon edits, iterate from there
- Connect with mentor, Travis and Brian
- Marcin continues building house and CAD documentation
Friday, Dec 17 2021
- Sent introductory e-mail to Brian Potter
- Connected to KC area builder through Jake Bruton
- Began comparing commercial buildings as rapid solution to infrastructure
Thurs, Dec 16 2021
Notes from meeting with Richard Fenati
- Look into Habitat for Humanity - they have permitting and inspections clocked, as well as good operational plans
- Think about Solar Hot Water heating under the foundation
For my edification, I asked about the conceptual framework for residential construction. Here is how he laid out the process following architectural approval:
- Buy a lot through broker, ensure it is zoned properly
- Plan to put shovel in ground the day you buy land, or consider buying an option on the land to buy time for permitting.
- Apply for permits and budget time for at least one round of comments. Foundation permits usually occur first, but most jurisdictions allow for simultaneous permit applications. CompassKC will help us manage this process. Most permits need to be pulled by someone with a credential. We need to investigate KCMO-specific requirements as there are different standards for different projects.
- Pour foundation, put up framing, conduct structural inspection.
- It might be possible to have 3rd party engineers inspect, but this is jurisdiction dependent.
- Keep walls open for mechanical and electrical inspections.
- close walls and complete building inspection.
- Obtain certificate of occupancy
Weds, Dec 15 2021
Priorities from last week
- Emergent Ventures application: Jon outlines content to prepare for refinement and submission before New Year.
- Scheduling time with the Development Assistance Teams: Ball is in KCMO's court, waiting to hear from John Pajor.
- Documentation: Marcin filters existing content and submits to Jon for refinement.
- Jon signed OSE up for Yale SOE's Greenlite  program and for student collaboration in Spring 2022. Second is the School of Engineering
- Jon meeting Thursday, Dec 16 with local mentor with several years experience in construction management.
Communication with John Pajor indicates the following requirements for residential project:
- Construction Plan - Requires full CAD model, engineer review
- Site Plan - Requires survey, recon, GIS data, CAD
- Building Permit - Output from site and construction plan application
- Trade Permits - applied for individually?
- Licensed Contractor - Marcin is primary, hiring is secondary
Priorities for next Week
- Research commercial buildings to potentially solve initial infrastructure challenges
- EV Grant application and reach out to Bryan Potter re: his award and Construction Physics
- Manage communication with DAT and update plan accordingly
- Build Rosebud
- Build CAD
- Get licensed
Fri, Dec 10 2021
- I signed OSE up to become a client for the Sustainable Business Capstone Consulting Clinic (syllabus). If accepted, grad students from Yale SOM and SOE would enter as collaborators on a project that counts as class credit.
Weds, Dec 8 2021
- Tasks: feed information to be translated into Human Readable form to Jon; Jon continues on Emergent Ventures data gathering.
- I need to ask Marcin about Richard's Visit
- I spent an hour on the phone with a good friend who recently graduated from the Yale School of Environment. We discussed different strategies to recruit students for independent study projects or summer internships at OSE. She suggested opportunities in both grad-school and undergrad populations around land development and sustainable food program development. To make a compelling pitch to the student body, we need to formalize the opportunity and offer competitive compensation (unless remote work for independent study project).
- Re: the Emergent Ventures app, I am reading through Marcin's library of published work to identify key narrative threads for the application
- Request for Development Assistance Team meeting submitted 7 Dec. Email notification likely goes to Marcin until I can figure out how to add myself to his account as a collaborator.
- Can Jon participate more on Cabins? Make the cabin course happen. Model is in Sweethome 3D.
- Inviting people for tour on February 1, 2022
- Considering bigger priority shift to develop leadership capacity to lead crews.
- Shift me to more looking at documenting project into a set of build instructions. Process management and build procedure. Jon needs to get schooled up on Seed Eco-Home plans. Start at foundation.
- Start pulling together narrative threads for emergent ventures app.
Weds, Dec 1, 2021
- Notes - upskill labor while simultaneusly using existing supply chain.
Weekly Meeting Notes
- potential swarm build partnership with high school/students, may solve labor problem and add some cool impact to project. Key is detailed instructions, scrum board, finances, etc.
- progress on remote control heavy equipment
- Jon, identify inspection timeline and requirements
- Marcin - register under CompassKC
- Jon - look into cottage housing provisions in KC, make contact with Assistant City Planner.
- For logic model: Practical application for solving world issues
- Proceed with foundation for Emergent Ventures application with goal to write 1500 proposal before New Year
- Read MIT article from Innovations Journal, we need to work out the philosophical foundation - what are we trying to do and why?
- Upskill labor while simultaneously building houses with existing supply chains.
- I'm not sure how to think about the progression from Spec Build to OSE campus being ready for OSE apprenticeship. One possibility is using $200k of funds to pay for the labor and material to build the campus and curriculum. Alternately, we could go with the progression of Tiny Home workshops.
- Marcin thinks earned revenue could fuel investment with remote crews brought in.
- There is a gap between getting the product to market (Seed Eco Home) and being apprenticeship ready. The funding will be easier once we have proof of concept: prove concept, get money, build infrastructure.
- Still have labor issue. Jon working on that as I develop construction timeline.
Notes from S2A Modular Builder Investor Call
- Disruption in construction industry is happening and accelerating:
- increased sustainability requirements,
- standardized codes for factory built homes,
- off-site production, automation,
- and on-site production
- Forbes article on S2A's 35 new factories in 3 years
- Goal is net-zero factories and products (homes)
- Their value prop for modular, factory homes: time, price, strength, controlled environment, neighbors, contractors, reduced theft and vandalism, state inspections
- Founded in 2018 by John Rowland and Brian Kurds - Rowland built second ever Tesla powered smart home
- Historically, scaling was the problem: hard to build to higher specs without switching costs for existing factories.
- Goal was to aim for 55+, $3-400k price point.
- S2A has exclusive rights to graphene solar technology (30-45% greater output)
- SH1 model, closest to Seed Eco-Home, most affordable, designed to address homelessness crisis, designed to be dropped into place with 0 site work. Not yet produced, many potential institutional clients tentatively.
- Five factories broke ground, 20 OTW with fund raise, 6 months-ish to complete.
- Incorporating hemp products in construction
- Margins higher for commercial units, average $50k/unit profit
- Projecting 5000 units over next 5 years
- On January 1, 2022, looking for $920M from institutional investors
- Installation revenue goes to developers and builders
Mon, Nov 29, 2021
Updated priorities for Jon (from Marcin):
- Build timeline for construction to account for administrative requirements and gov. compliance.
- Emergent Ventures Application (Build logic model from current work to vision)
- IG promotion, using Tim Ferriss and Balaji Srinivasan
- Kansas City Building Codes - I accidentally created a second page called "Kansas City Building Requirements" and want to avoid confusion. Is there a way to delete it so all info is posted on "Kansas City Building Codes"? Maybe we rename to "KC Building" or something more general?
Wed Nov 24, 2021
Weekly Meeting Notes
Priorities: 1. Emergent Ventures Application 2. Completing Summer Ex and 3D Printer Workshop 3. Product Development 4. Client acquisition 5. Research Inspection Schedules for KC Building
- Marcin is wrapping up Summer Ex.
- Siding arrived for Seed Eco-Home
- Marcin will have 3-day Teacher's Seminar next week
- Talked to Brian, might have funding for Mortgage
- Options include risk share with client, or do a spec build, or find a client who owns land and applies for a construction permit
- Marcin is working on 3000sf workshop design. Focusing on rebar trusses. link
- Developing the pedagogy - iterative and immersive. Show don't tell. One example is Fab Academy
- GM University Emergent Ventures Grant is a priority. Need to work on describing moonshot idea. We need a logic chain from Seed EcoHome to achieving larger vision. Jon- do some research into Emergent Ventures and how we pitch.
- Jon needs to audio excerpt Tim Ferris Podcast for marketing, contacting Balaji Srinivasan who is speaking on OSE's behalf.
- Do we need to hire technical writers to put together a visual build-book for the Seed Eco-Home? Does that start with a promo video?
- From the Outlaws Inc. Newsletter published on 11/22/2021:
Progress Report, 11/23/2021 Thanks for your interest in our partnership with Open Source Ecology! Here is a brief recap:
OSE and Outlaws Inc. have partnered to create employment and education pathways for transitioning service members and veterans. Both education and employment will be covered by the GI Bill. Our vision: Veterans will move to the OSE campus in Maysville, MO, work and learn on site as either paid apprentices or students. Once complete with the curriculum, they will be prepared to start their own business, supporting the OSE mission directly, or ready to enter the economy with a diverse skillset. Last week, I traveled to the OSE campus and developed the plan for the OSE Apprenticeship. Here is where we stand…
We received conditional approval for our Apprenticeship Curriculum! Two representatives from the Missouri Department of Labor conducted a site visit and were impressed with everything OSE has accomplished and the potential to turn it into a Registered Apprenticeship for both Production Technologist (2-year), and Tiny-House builder (1-year). Together, we formed a 12-month glide path to become apprentice ready. The first step is to build a Seed Eco-Home to a client in Kansas City in the early Spring of 2022. This first build will serve as a proof of concept for the full apprenticeship, generating revenue we need to build out the OSE campus for future apprentices and students.
How you can help! To achieve our next milestone—selling a Seed Eco-Home—we will be recruiting 24 workers to travel to Kansas City, learn the modular construction process, and build the actual home. The entire build will take 1-2 weeks and workers will be paid ~$50/hour. Exact wages are TBD.
Please spread the word about this opportunity. Tell your friends to subscribe to this newsletter for the latest updates.
Mon Nov 22, 2021
- Swarm build and crash course model concept + economics - 
- OSE democratizes technology
- OSE lowers the barrier to entry for a regenerative economy
- OSE lowers the cost of technology and STEM education
- OSE empowers distributed enterprise and human development
One liner of main interest is 'to create the collaborative economy'. That sounds like a general idea, but the specifics are testing one business case for a distributive enterprise that matches or exceeds the growth rate of unicorns and results in distributed market substitution of one sector of the economy. By working out an open enterprise development model. Build that around 'Housing'.
Or we can keep it small, such as 'Solve Housing.'
The key would be excellent communication, with which Steve could help.
Jonathan Miller 6:39 AM (1 hour ago) to Jeremy, Tracy, Debra, Catarina, Brian, me Good Morning! Thanks again to both of you for making the trek out to Maysville last week. I hope you enjoyed the weekend after all that travel. I just wanted to touch base and confirm where we are: OSE’s work process for Production Technologist is technically approved, but OSE is not apprentice ready. Specifically, OSE will build more on-site infrastructure to support long-term work/learning. If we need something official from the DoL that helps us in the grant-writing process, we will let you know. Brian Weinberg is cc’d as he is helping us navigate the grant writing process. OSE will update you as we build the infrastructure to support apprenticeships. You will send us the standards for the “Tiny House” work process. We may be closer to apprentice ready for this than we are for Production Technologist. Finally, a question: if we submit an acceptable Tiny House work process, did you find any reason during the site visit why we wouldn’t be able to Register as soon as we found a willing candidate? Great meeting you again, and I look forward to working together! Jon Miller Founder, Outlaws Inc. My Calendar Leave a Review
Thu Nov 18, 2021
Jon Thoughts on Compensation
- Truly free market existed somewhere in middle east?
- Cost should reflect your risk. Institutions figured out how to take out the risk, and still charge you as if they were taking risk. Debt by David Graeber. First thing that was traded was women. Barter preceded money preceded credit - it really happened in reverse. Within tribes it was credit - iou if you give me some wheat. Between tribes, it was barter. When you remove trust. Capitalists call that a success.
- Compensation should scale with unique value creation
- Recurring revenue should be capped to avoid rent-seeking
- Must reward innovation
Draft Memorandum of Understanding
- Summarizes work accomplished during Jon's visit
- Create common operational picture
- Manage expectations
- Formulate realistic plan
- Low income housing with vets
- Microhouse village with vets - social service way to provide labor
- Sweat equity labor - way to provide labor. Future homeowners spend 50 weekends over 2 years
Apprenticeship Financial Model (GI Bill)
- Common opearational picture
- SEH Product - Spec Build - Infrastructure are key elements
- How do we account for payroll taxes once we have an apprentice?
Wed Nov 17, 2021
- MVP tinyhouse crash course - 
Tue Nov 16, 2021
- Inventory of workshop
- Equipment, organized, operations for it
- Organize steel pile
- Not just clean up - but system to prevent future entropy
- Repair as needed
- Design new building layout
- Same for hablab
- Life support
- Food - how it comes in, managed, prepared
- Think of systems
- How are bathrooms cleaned
- Where are people parking
- Areas: life support, workshop, materials storage and handling, 2nd workshop
- Build the workshop as we want to build the workshop
DoL Talking Points
- Match masking behavior
- SEH 1 first
- Ask by Jon - what's the best use of your time?
- Cool let's take 5 minutes to talk
- What you're looking at is a house that Apprentices will be building
- We should make it clear that we have skin in the game,
- Way there is - this is our house; this is our design; we build it (not hired a contractor)
- Carpentry apprenticeship if it doesn't follow industry standards- harms the industry. 3rd option is to create a new standard.
- Ex - building rafters - we don't do it
- Burning hours idea - you build over and over. To quantify what they do in daily life.
- Gatekeeping is reporting hours worked in pre-defined work process
- How do you qualify apprentices? It's hours.
- Recruiting - full trash can. Proper response - where is your trash can liner.
- Engineer social interactions
- Systems - how do we manage
- April 1
- Solve for people first
- But, to solve for people we need to solve for living conditions
- Infrastructure and operations - but these need people!
- People -> infrastructure -> people -> money
Wed Nov 10, 2021
- Bringing structure to OSE vision
- DoL - system level constraints to scaling Apprenticeship
- Maybe 2 year apprenticeship is one of multiple things on a menu
- Crash course - part of making OSE an education and employment pathway
- Operationalizing a plan for Builder Crash Course
- Jon imagined a place like OSE before met me. Learn by doing, plus education - thermo, civ e. Originally - make products that you can sell.
- Have: brain; prouducts ready for commercialization; within context of sust and regen. Perfect match for where employment and edu is going.
- Vets - cultural, awareness, and bureaucracy issues.
- Change the narrative around slave live. To financial independence etc. Rewrite vet transition story
- Others - gig workers, not college grads, young people in hs who didn't buy into academics but who care about a better world; marginalized communities
- Chambers of Commerce - we have a formula for scaling economic dev. New skill base dev, help local enterprise start up.
- Work used to be: factory, widget, get paid.
- Prove a new model for edu and employment.
- Build a microfactory?
- Before that: build a program. Ops manual. Bible. The bible could be the insurgency.
- Get this to copy. 100% getting the message out there.
- Teaser - we need feedback etc.
- Putting people in place to execute.
- Operations Manager -
- 2 routes: boatload of cash, hire experts. Or - bootstrap iterate, ex Builder Crash Course.
Sun Nov 7, 2021
Thoughts: '"it is unlikely that OSE would be able to make it through the certification process due to current statutes that are in place. As of now, it is important for certification programs to teach skills to a certain depth so students are marketable in the job market, and while OSE teaches a variety of extremely useful skills, it does not teach them to the depth to where they could realistically attain a job in the field.”' Why if we could start a welding program, don't confuse the people.
- Swarm Build Ops Manual 
- Swarm Build Doc - 
- Career Faur Soreadsheet - 
- Podcast invite - 
- Proprietary school exemption - 
- MO dept of higher Ed application - 
- Yale architecture - 
- Kiva loans for $15k 
- State approving agency - 
- Unaccredited programs - 
Wed Nov 3, 2021
- OSE 4 Year Program
- Proprietary Non-academic Exemption
- Shorter apprenticeship
- Deconstruction service of existing structure - controlled demo - reusing existing materials.
- Builder Crash Course Curriculum Development
- Jon - goal is to rebuild the American Dream. If you work hard, you'll get success. Manufacturing in the USA. Unsustainable work-life balance. Transform culture around the military. Veterans. Not restricted by current jobs.
- Thought his ME was hot, but saw a farmer rig up creativity on a tractor...
- 150k vets. 50% get education. Culture of "I need a 4 year degree to be successful"
- College doesn't interest them
- Navigate benefits - lots of red tape
- Some get employed
- There is a culture in the military re dependency, disabled vet sense of entitlement.
- Unconventional education, system change, collaboration with institutions.
- Brian, Jon, Marcin. David Leasure not today.
- Ranch in South Dakota - actually seeing it. Getting hands dirty on a ranch.
- Production Technologist - apprenticeship title. Submitted to DoL
- Established Relationship, willing to approve on paper, we're far away from apprentices on the ground. They are still to approve standards. But before that it is a site visit. It would be a local level DoL.
- Scenarios - no, this doesn't meet our standards for Apprenticeship, here are changes. OR - 'you are good -
- Education - students
- ARPA - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Rescue_Plan_Act_of_2021 - Brian applied for a $100M grant
- Missouri Community College - MCC
- Education Route - Builder Crash Course. Submit as independent program. Exemption under non-vocational status. This would make OSE a proprietary school in Missouri - 30 day turnaround.
- Nonvocation - could be basketweaving. Not putting people into workforce.
- Allows us to start clock on GI-bill approved facility.
- Waiver - from high up in the edu world.
- Financial Instruments-
- Purchase orders
- MCC financial aid
- Financial Innovation - how to finance anyone who wants to go in
- Kiva Loans- $15k of labor.
- General Assembly - got VA to sign off on their program by. General Assembly went the education pathway. Financing handbook by General Assembly.
- Look at their financing handbook - . For how to finance students. Brian knows GA founder
- Build in 2 weeks - we build a kit!
- Hire a company to productize -
- Income-sharing agreement
- We want to unjob people, not employees - Brian sez.
- Add a layer of support via financing structures.
- Smuggle thems in, koz pimping ain't easy
- Jungletown - not a Marcin but had good intentions - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6749344/
- https://www.givingback.org/ - fiscal sponsor of Foundation for Regeneration
- Economic Gardening - selling innovation to other markets. https://economicgardening.org/
Wed Oct 27, 2021
- Workforce dev + refrigeration units
Wed Oct 20, 2021
- Less of this likeminded geniuses to the normal
- People show up, we accomplish things, people leave happy
- Plan that can run on autopilot. That would be growth.
- Less from pay for a 3D printer - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/622508883/open-building-institute-eco-building-toolkit?gclid=CjwKCAjw_L6LBhBbEiwA4c46upx-L9G9s9VQcfiAA_siAjnDGh6_qMBP4aT6NbSwjikJUu1yDaToURoCjVQQAvD_BwE
- Check out the Stages of Organization Model - https://arthuryoung.com/applications/the-sibbet-le-saget-stages-of-organization-model/
- This is relevant to our notions of collaboration.
- Plan - finish eating this candy bar. Then open up the next candybar.
- Summary - categorize all that we have. $30k. It's when you have the numbers figured out.
- Richard Henneger - get word out, message has to be cohesive.
- Time and task organization - step 1.
Wed Oct 13, 2021
Planning Doc - Troop Leading Procedures - standard framework for any planning in the military:
- Analysis of situation
- Sustainment - logistics and coordination
- Command and Control - who reports to who, roles, etc - roles and responsibilities
- DOL is willing to approve, but want an in-person site visit. Mid Nov but depends on budget
- Gaps - paying people, instructors
- On visit - eye wash equipment, safety posters, etc.
- Fire extinguisher, eye wash station, emergency station - have that prepped
- Prior to finding client:
- Product specification
- Education discussion - they won't approve something not well-defined.
- More compelling argument on specific
- 97% use GI Bill for education
- 3% do employment
- Swarm Build doc - 
Wed Oct 6, 2021
Rusk, Jack <firstname.lastname@example.org> Attachments Tue, Oct 5, 2:21 PM (18 hours ago) to Jonathan, me
Jonathan and Marcin -
Wow! Thank you for thinking of me. This is a really exciting project and I’m very much in love with the ethic behind Open Source Ecology. I’m game to do what I can to support you in bringing this to fruition.
I really wish I could volunteer myself, but I have a few other things lined up. What I could do, though, is: 1) Forward an email to the School of Architecture about this opportunity. I’d imagine that you would draft boilerplate and I could tune it to the audience. 2) Ask if there’s a student in the Green Building class (which Jon took) that would be interested in taking this on as a class project. 3) Connect you with the people who run the Green Light ideation workshops at Yale School of the Environment. They host half-day chartreuse working with real clients on real problems.
Let me know if any of that could be helpful? Or if there’s anything else I could do.
Sent from my iPad
- Wage schedule, timeline, curriculum
- 2 year apprenticeship.
- Rapids Database, GI database
- Good relationship with Tracy - DoL missouri. Jon talked to Deborah, state relationship.
- Application is a living document
- Next: complete the application and submit it.
- Concrete final month is 85% of it
- GI Bill will give Vet $1250/month, decreases every 6 months by 20%
- TBI - traumatic brain injury
- What you think is possible is only a fraction of what is possible
- If this is s
Mon Aug 9, 2021
- Context: I recently partnered with Open Source Ecology a non-profit based an hour outside of Kansas City, MO. Together, we are building a 2-year curriculum that could double as a registered apprenticeship and supplement a 4-year engineering degree. The program would teach students to construct a modular home system called the Seed Eco-Home by combining foundational STEM and building science with hands-on construction and the integrative design process. I am directly assisting with curriculum development and pathways to the veteran community and benefits. I’ve cc’d OSE’s founder, Marcin Jakubowski.
- Ask: Is there a way we can tap into your networks to spread awareness of OSE and lay the groundwork for future partnerships? This could be through the UnBuild It podcast, or maybe even the Build Show. Marcin is currently running their first apprenticeship class in collaborative design. It could also be through warm intros with industry professionals who find the idea intriguing. Jake—is this something you might be interested in checking out as it is relatively close to your base of operations? In general, your thoughts as building professionals and scientists would be extremely valuable.
- Opportunities for builders/employers to tap into veteran benefit programs and recruit long-term apprentices and employees.
- My personal journey working with a building scientist (Paul Herron) to upgrade the 1980s single family home over the past month. This includes rebate programs, solar, insulation upgrades, and energy audits.
- The Open Source Ecology model for empowering the next generation to tackle big problems through applied learning in home construction."
Mon Aug 9, 2021
Aug 8, 2021, 10:01 PM (8 hours ago)
Sat Aug 7, 2021
Sat Jul 31, 2021