About the Sensible House Project

The Sensible House Project is about designing and building environmentally friendly homes that move our society toward more sustainable living, without sacrificing how attractive and expensive they are.  Its about thinking idealistically, but being pragmatic.  Its about understanding human needs and desires, and finding good compromises, or simply its about doing the best you can. Since environmental building is a rapidly changing field, the concept of what a sensible house will change as well.  The idea of the Sensible House is be environmental in a way that just about everyone would want, if only they knew it was available and had a chance to experience it.

The original website was essentially a blog about designing and building one house that contained a lot of background information.  Subsequently the background information has been greatly expanded, and a framework for adding more houses created.

There are many barriers to green building, from lack of information, hard to find products to reluctant building department officials; but the biggest may be lack of a huge demand from consumers, although that appears to be changing.  This website is an attempt to solve the lack of information problem.

We encourage others to build sensible houses, as we believe the best way to get people to want one is to experience it.  Although many fine "Green" demonstration houses have already been built, there needs to be many, many more of them, until there are enough so that virtually everyone knows someone who lives in one.

About Us

Many people have contributed to this collection of information, and much of it was also pulled from various sources both in print and on the web, and from contacts in the Ecobuilding guild.   The original information was collected over a 3 year period 2001-2004, but much of that has since been subsequently upgraded, most recently between 2013-2014.

This website is maintained by one person, see my biography below.

The following people have contributed significantly:

Jon Alexander, Sunshine Construction

Thor Peterson, Synthesis Consultants


bobBob Scheulen is a native of New Jersey who discovered mountains and moved to Seattle in 1981.  Interested in the environment since high school, Bob belongs to a variety of environmental groups and land preservation group as well as the Northwest Ecobuilding Guild, of which he was president 2000-2001.  In past lives, Bob got a BS from Stevens Institute of Technology, worked as systems programmer (compilers, utilities and operating systems) for over twenty years, owned a record store (Silver Platters) for eight years, oil painted in the realist style. Bob does a limited amount of finish carpentry, cabinet making and tile setting and spends a lot of time bicycling and hiking.