Rob Avis

Verge Permaculture / Adaptive Habitat

New Society Publishers


Engineer and ecologist Rob Avis is the co-owner and operator of Adaptive Habitat (a leading-edge property design firm for resilient homes, acreages, and farms) and Verge Permaculture (a globally recognized, award-winning education business). He counts more than 15 years of experience in project management, ecological design, and sustainable technologies. He lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Rob will be speaking at the Texas, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania Fairs


Check It Out!

Resilient Homes and Homesteads A permaculture engineer’s perspective

Engineer, ecologist, and permaculture designer Rob Avis shares the design thinking he uses with clients to design homesteads and farms that leverage and interact with the environment in which they’re built, producing their own energy and food, harvesting and storing water, cycling nutrients, and restoring the surrounding ecosystems. In addition to discussing goal setting and informed observation of the landscape, he’ll share considerations for designing water, roads and buildings, as well as present examples for appropriate technology including innovative heat supply and power-supply design. Lastly, Avis will present several case studies where appropriate innovative technologies were combined with environmental consciousness to create resilient, high-performance homes and farms.
Modern Homesteading Keynote

Available In:

Texas, Sunday 11:30-12:30 p.m., Yanmar Sustainable Agriculture Stage
North Carolina, Saturday 10:00-11:00 a.m., Mother Earth News Stage
Maryland, Sunday 3:30-4:30 p.m., Homestead Hustle Stage

Is Rainwater Safe to Harvest and Drink?

Although demand for and awareness of the need for rainwater use has increased in North America, debates continue about its safety. On one hand, North American regulators and some technical associations suggest or require that rainwater be sterilized or chlorinated before its use in the home. (The considerable cost and complexity creates an increased barrier to the widespread adoption of home-scale rainwater capture and use.) On the other hand, and on the other side of the world, more than 3 million Australians use rainwater for drinking, and 6.3 million use rainwater for some other household use. (Few of these systems use end-of-line sterilization or disinfection, and there have been no epidemics from rainwater use in Australia.) In this presentation, Rob Avis talks about this dichotomy, and he summarize the best practices for rainwater harvesting system design derived from a large body of independent research. He also explains why good design and sensible maintenance practices can deliver drinking-quality water, without the need for sterilization or disinfection.
Modern Homesteading Green Building

Available In:

Texas, Saturday 11:30-12:30 p.m., Heirloom Gardener Stage
North Carolina, Saturday 5:00-6:00 p.m., Sustainability Stage presented by Prestige Subaru
Maryland, Sunday 11:30-12:30 p.m., Heirloom Gardener Stage
Pennsylvania, Sunday 11:30-12:30 p.m., Homestead Hustle Stage

Introduction to Passive Solar Greenhouse Design

A passive solar greenhouse provides you more options in producing your own highly nutritious food and creating valuable products for your family and community. Rob Avis shares how to design a low-energy, resilient, four-season greenhouse. Save money and time by perfecting your design and avoiding mistakes!

Available In:

Pennsylvania, Sunday 2:00-3:00 p.m., Heirloom Gardener Stage

Designing the Sustainable Property of Your Dreams – A five step process

Our planet's in trouble, and land stewards large and small are rising to meet the challenge of the accelerating ecological, financial, energy, and health problems we are facing globally. However, many feel overwhelmed by the challenge of designing and managing land in a way that is ecologically regenerative, financially sustainable, and actually enjoyable. The root cause of this problem isn’t lack of information or skills, it’s the struggle to manage complexity. Engineer, ecologist, and permaculture designer Rob Avis shares the 5-step process and associated open-source design tools for Google Earth Pro developed by his consulting team and based on more than two decades of experience. This tested, proven process can help you break through confusion and start designing (and creating) the sustainable property of your dreams.
Green Building

Available In:

Maryland, Saturday 10:00-11:00 a.m., Mother Earth News Stage
Pennsylvania, Saturday 5:00-6:00 p.m., Mother Earth News Stage