OBI SME Advisors

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Use this form to submit Subject Matter Expert Suggestions

The approach of OBI is to integrate all known knowledge on regenerative construction, and make it available to everyone - open source and free of charge - to lower the barriers to affordable, ecological housing. The list of subject matter expertise areas is found below.

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Subject Matter Adviser Qualifications and Agreement

The basic terms are that the Adviser agrees to provide technical expertise and public feedback on Open Building Institute designs. This is an unpaid, volunteer position dedicated to the common good. Our goal is to assemble significant expertise across about 100 technical areas of house construction, listed below.

  • Technical subject matter expertise (SME) in an area relevant to autonomous housing technology, from structural, to utilities, to infrastructure, to build execution, to training curriculum, to build Enterprise development - including publicity, social media, communications - focusing on a modular, incremental, open source.
  • Availability for a minimum of 1 hour of review and consulting meetings with OBI staff every quarter
  • Review consists of commenting or collaborating on conceptual and technical designs, either realtime via a meeting or off-line
  • Interest in sharing knowledge in the public interest
  • Adviser agrees not to introduce any confidential or privileged information that cannot be shared with a greater audience
  • Advisers should have an interest in innovation, systems change, and 'hacking the system' to provide innovative, integrated solutions to pressing world issues
  • Adviser understands that OSE is a nonprofit education organization, and that both OBI and OSE are completely open source - forever without exception. This is consistent with providing enabling tools and techniques to the world for regenerative development.
  • Feedback from the SME adviser will be a matter of public record, unless explicitly requested otherwise by the Adviser.
  • Given the open source nature of contributed designs and feedback - users are free to use the resulting creations in any manner that they see fit, consistent with the Open Source Hardware Definition. This includes using, distributing, modifying, or selling information or products
  • All knowledge shared by advisor is open source or public domain, no exceptions
  • OSE and OBI does not sign NDAs, but only FDAs (Full Disclosure Agreements)
  • The term is for 2 years, where there is an option to renew your advisory role. Termination can happen unilaterally if the fit is not right or the role is not serving the mission of OBI

Top Technology Areas

Single green check mark by the name indicates that the individual has been contacted, a second checkmark is that they responded, and a third checkmark is that they have agreed to serve as an OBI advisor. see OBI SME Log.

SME priorities are based on the priorities of the Nov 2016 builds. Here are known contacts, and other more general areas are to be crowdsourced.

  • Check.png.Biogas, separating toilet - Dr. Thomas Culhane [1], the world's leading authority on temperate climate, home scale biodigesters.
  • Request: a replicable temperate zone, 100% cooking-for-two biogas system, modularly expandable. Design evolution to aquaponics integration for urine. Design and productization assistance. Ozonator, sand filter, charcoal filter
  • Ozonator - Stuart at Aquatic Eco/Pentair technical division - Just call and ask for Stewart in the Tech Support division when you get the advice tree on the phone…he's amazing.;
  • Check.pngCheck.pngCheck.pngPV - Dr. Joshua Pearce
  • Check.pngCEB, Soil Mixer - Powell and Sons have expertise in soil mixers. Invite them to an open source soil mixer design.
  • Check.pngPanel Framing System - [2] - physics to construction.
  • Check.pngCheck.pngCheck.pngBIM - Yorik, key FreeCAD developer and architect.
  • Check.pngOpen Source Architecture - Paperhouses.
  • Request: Collaboration on documentation and development platform, and publishing (Wired).
  • Check.pngThermoelectric Generation -
  • Check.pngNatural Building - Dr. Owen Geiger, Ph.D.(in Social and Economic Development) [3], is the former Director of Builders Without Borders and Founder and Director of the Geiger Research Institute of Sustainable Building ( He is an author, engineer and licensed contractor specializing in strawbale construction, earthbag and other types of sustainable building. His new Earthbag Building Guide and accompanying Basic Earthbag Building video are now available. He co-authored the Builders Without Borders Straw-Bale Construction Guides and contributed to Building Without Borders: Sustainable Construction for the Global Village. Dr. Geiger has consulted on numerous international housing projects and worked closely with Habitat for Humanity for seven years. He is also a correspondent for The Last Straw Journal and a Mother Earth News Green Homes Expert. Email:
  • Area of request: code compliance of natural building, publishing venues, and collaboration with Habitat for Humanity for improving each other's house designs.
  • Check.pngArchitecture - professional architect - Bob Berkebile
  • Check.pngCheck.pngArchitecture - professional architect - Peter Cowman
  • Check.pngWikiHouse
  • Check.pngIncremental Housing - Alejandro Aravena
  • Cellulose Insulation -, or Mark Bomberg, George Chrenka
  • Edible Perennial Landscaping - Eric Toensmeier
  • Silicate Mineral Paint - $20/ton for sodium silicate binder
  • Continuous Lime Production - German AT paper -
  • Check.pngCheck.pngCheck.pngUrban Planning, House Infrastructure Systems - Mitch Joachim
  • Architecture - Pragnya
  • Autonomous House - Rachel Preston Prinz, architectural historian - [4]. Critique of Earthships.
  • Hydraulic circuit design - Candidates - Brendan Casey [5].
  • Check.pngPellet Burner - peeps that make the burner kit
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Check.pngCheck.pngCheck.png WebGL integration - Michel Dhoore
  • Biogas - Keith Addison - Journeytoforever. L John Fry plus second guy f. Dan
  • Autonomous House - Brenda+ Vale , The Autonomous House
  • Hydraulics
  • EATON - hydraulic windmill design
  • Eco-paints and finishes
  • Open Source Inverter - Ken Boak
  • Open Source Energy Monitoring - Trystan Lea

Core Seed Home Technology

See Seed Eco-Home Features for a description of the technology embodied in the November 2016 build at the OBI/OSE headquarters. We are seeking subject matter expertise to opensource all of the following features. There are 3 levels to hardware opensourcing:

  1. Open source of the design, using commercial, off-shelf, proprietary components. For example, open-sourcing design of the toilet using proprietary toilet, wood from the big box store, etc.
  2. Open sourcing of the components used in the design. For example, not buying a commercial pellet burner, but building it from raw materials.
  3. Open sourcimg the materials used - such as a process for melting scrap steel to make new steel that is used to build the stove. The materials opensourcing can occur at 2 levels: (1) involving recycled materials; (2) involving raw natural materials.


Materials Production Facility

See the infographic for all the technologies required for a full Open Source Materials Production Facility.

Included in the 2017 version are:

  • Stabilized CEB production
  • Lumber production
  • Multiwall polycarbonate glazing production
  • Paint production
  • Biofiber insulation
  • Lime concrete production from limestone
  • Biomass pellet production
  • Continuous pellet charcoal production
  • 16 kW VAWT Windmill electrical production
  • Water catchment

Later versions include:

  • Strawboard production
  • Oxygen production
  • Hydrogen production
  • Biohydraulic fluid production
  • Lubricating oil production
  • Wood-plastic composites
  • Metal production from scrap
  • Solar grade silicon and PV panel production
  • Bioplastic production
  • Extraction of aluminum from clay

Real Estate

  • Real estate planning and investment. Land trusts and other legal vehicles.
  • Real estate sale contracts


  • Wood Plastic Composites - Forest Products Lab
  • UV Stabilization - for Polycarbonate Multiwall Glazing
  • Building Material 3D Printers - RepRap
  • Regenerative Housing
  • Architect, urban planner, contractor.
  • Landscape architecture - Phil Lewis
  • House microbiome - Jessica Green
  • Engineer - to stamp the design
  • CEB - Auroville
  • CEB manufacture- CNC torch table oxyfuel auto height control
  • Passive House Design - Jerome Ostenkowski
  • Lime Plaster - Plaster/Stucco is binder + sand. For Lime Plaster, binder is Lime.
  • Cement Stucco - Plaster/Stucco is binder + sand. For Cement Stucco, binder is Portland Cement.
  • Open Source Mapping and Site Design - QGIS leaders
  • Site Mapping and 3D Site Render - OpenPilot
  • Surveying -
  • Affordable Housing - Rural Studio
  • Masonry -
  • Building Codes -
  • Real Estate Development
  • Economic geology


  • Spirulina
  • Fish - tilapia
  • Oxygen injection
  • Commercial vegetable production
  • Azolla, duckweed systems
  • IPM - Ron
  • Shrooms - Peter
  • Commercial vermiculite
  • BSF - 3D printed +


  • Lumber production - [6]
  • Block production - Powell and Sons?

Infrastructure Systems

  • Sand Filters - Earthship clean water filter - [7] - Helene Dube
  • Sanitation - Francis De Los Reyes
  • Carbon Filters
  • Rainwater catchment
  • Franchise Agreement - use of Logo.
  • Broadacre regeneration - darren doherty
  • LCA Embodied Energy - such as block is 1/4 embodied energy of brick.
  • Global Materials Sourcing Supply Chain Mapping -
  • Hydraulic circuit design - Candidates - Brendan Casey [8].
  • Fluid Simulations -
  • CAE Simulations
  • PV charge control design
  • Windmill controls design
  • Swing Blade Sawmill - SMEs
  • Industrial Ecology -
  • Gas Burners
  • IoT monitoring - Aquaponics Lab
  • Mushrooms - Peter McCoy
  • Vermiculture
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Electronics Fabrication
  • Extreme Manufacturing - Andy at Red Bull or - Tim Ferris
  • Check.pngCheck.pngCheck.pngLarge Format 3D Printing - panels for the aquaponic greenhouse - Jeshua
  • Power electronics - oxyhydrogen generator
  • Power electronics - inverter
  • Power electronics - windmill
  • Pelletizer -
  • Machine Design - tractor, backhoe, trencher, cement mixer
  • Cement Mixer - India contact
  • Compressed Air Storage - ?
  • Gasifier Stove - heat
  • Open Source Aquaponics - William Bombardier
  • Check.pngCheck.pngCheck.pngAquaponics IPM - Ron Whitehurst
  • Continuous Biochar Production - ? guy from YouTube
  • Check.pngHydraulic Wind Turbine - [9]
  • Biohydraulic fluid - Eric Toensmeier
  • Check.pngCheck.pngCheck.pngBiochar Fuel Crops for Landscaping - Eric Toensmeier
  • Continuous Lime Production - Grat Publication
  • PV Manufacturing Line -
  • PV Installation -
  • Solar Hot Water Heating -
  • TEG Backup Power - papers on TEG - select Affordable TEG paper
  • Check.pngCheck.pngCheck.pngBusiness Development Advisor - Cameron Herold
  • Marketing Advisor -
  • HR Advisor - building an effective team - Jimmy Lin, Rare Genomics Polroject
  • IT Advisor -
  • Distributive Enterprise -
  • Curriculum Development -
  • Hydronic Stove -
  • Water Purification - sand filters, charcoal, ozonator system
  • Water Purification - open source ozonator
  • Closed loop water systems

Check.png*Hydrogen production and storage - 200psi medium pressure storage - Walt Pyle

  • Separating electrolyzer -
  • Aquaponic Oxygen injection -
  • Gas Burner - methane cooking
  • Duckweed and Azolla -
  • RedWorm Towers
  • Tilapia breeding - Open Source Aquaponics
  • Superefficient refrigeration -
  • Spirulina
  • Worm Towers
  • BSF breeding + dogshit
  • Sprouts - sunflower, alfalfa, mustard


  • Charcoal continuous production
  • Check.pngCheck.pngCheck.pngSolar Hydrogen - Walt Pyle
  • Bioplastic Synthesis -
  • Check.pngCheck.pngCheck.pngPolycarbonate Glazing Proudction - Jeshua Lacock
  • Biohydraulic fluid - [10]


  • Check.pngCheck.pngCheck.png Living Building Challenge - Bob Berkebile
  • Chris - Strategic Executive Search - on finding SMEs
  • Community Platform - who are the most successful community managers? - See Paperhouses
  • Heavyweight Product Management -
  • Open Source Product Development
  • Check.pngCheck.pngCheck.pngSweet Home 3D - Emmanuel Puybaret
  • Blender renders and animations -
  • Check.pngCheck.pngCheck.png -Interactive Media - Mathieu Lietaert
  • Python -
  • Power Shift - Alvin Toffler
  • Kdenlive - editing. This person also does video in Blender - [11]
  • Natron
  • Webcasting software
  • Stack Overflow equivalent
  • Showcasing software
  • IP lawyer
  • Sructural testing lab
  • Fire testing lab
  • thermal performance testing labs
  • IoT Home monitoring for thermal, humidity performace
  • Network with Habitat for Humanity - Access to land — meaning the laws about who owns and has rights to land — is one of the top priorities for the Habitat network. Removing current barriers to access would benefit millions of people around the world. Improvements would include greater gender equality, increased disaster resilience and decreased slum conditions. - [12]
  • Blockchain microgrids - [13]
  • Check.pngCheck.pngCheck.pngStorytelling - Dave Hakkens.
  • Esra'a - crowdsource contributioj platform
  • Exploded part animations - FreeCAD
  • Open Source Web Server Optimization - server + CDN strategy.


  • Salman Khan, Khan Academy
  • Andy Langford, Gaia U

Business Development

  • Lesa Mitchell
  • Cameron Herold
  • Cyril Ebersweilder

Compliance & Engineering

  • Structural engineering -
  • Foundation Engineering & Soils