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Oasis Design Consulting

Ecological Systems Design • Architectural and Landscape Consulting • Water and Wastewater Systems • Financial Consulting • Industrial design • Design Consensus Facilitation

Summary: General information on Oasis Design Consulting.


About Oasis Design consulting

Oasis Design work almost always incorporates innovative, "growing edge" designs.

These enable greater attunement to the context, higher performance, and/or lower environmental impact and long term cost.

Most projects are either

Usually more can be gained by improving the connections between systems than by improving the systems. I can coordinate all specialists involved in a project to achieve a unified design consensus.

My best designs are for several intertwined systems in a complex, extreme environment. For example, a wilderness hot springs resort with several drastically different types of water, or a community with no water income at all for half of the year.

The earlier in the design phase you can involve me, and the more elements (greywater system, landscaping, architecture, water supply, energy efficiency…) I can have input to, the easier and cheaper it will be to accomplish more.

Intelligent user involvement enables designs to be more sensitive, elegant, and efficient.

The ideal client wants to accommodate their lifestyle to a better relationship with the earth.

To get started, have a look through the information and links below, then contact us.

Note that the large number of inquiries we receive precludes lengthy unpaid preliminaries.

Good luck with your project!


Typical types of consulting jobs

Site assessment

Assess site features and make recommendations for water supply, wastewater reuse/ treatment, legal compliance, citing of structures and gardens, privacy, scan maps or aerial photos to make brainstorming maps, etc.

Typically one to three days work, including a site visit or off-site review ofSite Evaluation Forminformation from client.

Design water or wastewater system

Assess Site Evaluation Form information and design a water and/or wastewater system which is optimal for the context.

Some clients save time by doing the design themselves and having me review it and give advice at points in the process.

Typically five hours to four days work.

Oasis Design house specialties

Most projects we do incorporate original designs. See Oasis design specialties.

Lead designer/ design consensus facilitator

Coordinate all the players involved with a project to move in a unified way towards the client's goals.

Delegate all the work I can, and do whatever can't be delegated. Each of the few projects of this type which I take on are exceptionally interesting.

Can span years and involve months of billed work, though some are as short as a few weeks.

Crafting policy

Write code related to the practice of integrated design/ sustainability.

Expert witness

Provide compelling, well-researched testimony in cases that advance Oasis's core objectives; pro-sustainability, anti-waste or exploitation of natural and social resources.


Job selection filter

Because I have many more offers than time to pursue them, I have to turn most opportunities down. How do I decide which jobs to take?

This is the filter I use. Most projects I take on have "Yes" answers to most questions:

  1. Do I believe in the project? Is it part of the solution, not part of the problem? Does it fit with our highest purpose?
  2. Are my particular skills the best fit to the job? If it seems possible any one else could do the job better, I will defer to them (see Ecological design links ).
  3. Is the project a good testing ground for new designs? Virtually every job I take involves some improvement to the state of the art. The ideal client is enthusiastic about supporting this. Note: I approach innovation conservatively. I grow designs out incrementally, so the probability of success is high. Generally I get results equal or superior to common practice from designs which have some aspect that has never been tried before (extreme example: Eco village house). On the other hand, it is always more work to set up a new system than fit into an existing one, and the risk that it won't work as hoped is greater, also.
  4. Is the project likely to be successful? Is there an appropriate budget (not too high, not too low), adequate support, a feasible time line? Will I have enough time to see it through to completion?
  5. Would I enjoy the work conditions and the people involved? Am I likely to have good relations and communication with the client and co-workers? If leaving my canyon is a necessary to do the work, a beautiful environment, nature play and dancing opportunities would help tilt the scales in favor.
  6. Will my economic position be better for my involvement, in good proportion to the energy expended? This is a deeper question than "how much will I be paid?" It considers expenses, lost income, future revenue from whatever I might learn and can reuse in consulting and publications, publicity, etc..

    One of the rewards of a lifestyle based on the principles of natural economics is never having immediate pressure to take a job for the money. Interestingly, more of the highest paying opportunities get turned down than the lowest paying ones.

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