The Lopez Community Land Trust (LCLT), a non-profit, community-based organization that acquires land to hold in trust in order to provide for permanent affordable housing in an environmentally sensitive and socially responsible manner is offering sustainable building internships for the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2009 in Lopez Island, WA.

Straw Bale and Natural Plaster Construction

The sustainable internships will include construction with straw bale and natural plaster construction specifically involving mixing and applying lime plasters and washes over earthen plastered straw-bale walls, building trellises as part of the passive solar element, constructing deer fencing, path construction, cob oven construction, and a host of other tasks connected with completing the Common Ground neighborhood. The Housing Internship Program, which runs when the LCLT develops a new housing project, is a unique opportunity for individuals to gain comprehensive, hands-on experience in home construction.

LCLT is in the completion stage of its fourth neighborhood, Common Ground. This latest project includes 11 single-family homes, two studio rentals and an office/resource room. The goal is to have all the buildings achieve zero-net energy within 5 years through use of sustainable building practices and materials. The project incorporates both passive and active solar systems, rainwater catchment, solar hot water systems, rain gardens and natural building methods. Their north, west and east walls incorporate straw bales for high insulation value, ease of construction and use earthen plasters and clay finishes.

Interns come from many different backgrounds and interests, including college students in architecture and construction management programs, persons with interest and commitment to developing sustainable living models including agriculture, people dedicated to seeking solutions to the affordable housing crisis and food security issues, and aspiring owner-builders seeking skills and experience to apply to their own future project. We have had interns participate from the US and 10 countries around the world. Internships on Lopez bring you into an intimate setting, with many opportunities to enjoy the natural surroundings of the San Juan Islands, and the experience of living in an island community where we depend on and celebrate one another.

Internships require a minimum six-week commitment & four days per week on site. Interns receive $100 per week stipend for food and expenses. Housing and/or tenting are available, and require a day of work-trade in exchange.

How To Apply

1. Please begin the application process by completing the “Intern Construction or Sustainable Agriculture Application”, and returning it to LCLT by email, mail, or fax. No payment is required. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; we have no fixed deadlines for

2. Construction interns need to review the “Construction Agreement”. Signing is not necessary until you become an intern with LCLT, but it is important to understand and agree to the terms of our agreement.

3. LCLT will contact you after reviewing your application, usually within three weeks.

Still Have Questions

For more information on this internship see: Lopez Community Land Trust Sustainable Building Internships

If you have questions before you apply, please contact Jan Scilipoti at 360-468-3723 or lcltadmin_AT_rockisland_DOT_com.

© 2009 – 2010, Chris de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Chris de Morsella (146 Articles)

After a decade performing as a lead guitarist for rock bands, Chris de Morsella decided to return to the career his uncle mentored him in as a youth....Software Engineering. Since that time he has thrown himself into his work. He has designed a compound document publishing architecture for regulatory submissions capable of handling very large multi-document FDA regulatory drug approval submissions, for Liquent, a division of Thompson Publishing. At the Associated Press, Chris worked with senior editors at facilities around the world, to develop a solution for replacing existing editorial systems with an integrated international content management solution. He lead the design effort at Microsoft for a help system for mobile devices designed to provide contextual help for users. Chris also helped to develop the web assisted installer for LifeCam2.0, the software for Microsoft’s web cam and developed late breaking features for the product He also served with the Rhapsody client team to redesign and build a major new release of Real Networks Rhapsody client product. His most recent assignment has been Working with the Outlook Mobile Time Management team for the next release of Outlook Mobile for the SmartPhone. Chris' interests are in green building and architecture, smart grid, the cloud, geo-thermal energy, solar energy, smart growth, organic farming and permaculture. Follow Chris on Twitter.