Modern Eco-Shed on Bowen Island


I imagine you've seen some of the 10 "insanely" green sheds in a recent publication of Popular Mechanics.  I read the article and was captured by the Eco-Shed, a structure that cost owner and author James Glave about $100,000 to build.  With the help of Dan Parke of Salal Architecture, Glave put together an incredible low-impact writing studio. Check it out. 


This 260-square-foot shed is located in Bowen Island, British Columbia, and was built with reclaimed or certified lumber, low-E windows, low-VOC paints, an R20 concrete slab, steel roofing, rainwater harvesting, and a 2,400 gallon cistern that irrigates Glave's organic farm.  

Glave started out with a budget of $50,000, which he thought was pretty large, but it turns out he needed more.  All this is discussed in his Thoreauvian book, Almost Green, which I intend to read in the near future. 

Eco-shed-james-glave-desk Eco-shed-james-glave-kitchenette


[+] Learn more about James Glave's Eco-Shed.

Credits: James Glave.

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  • Sea Wolf

    Sweet little shed. Hat’s off to Glave for a cool building. Yet I struggle with why this shed is on a green building blog. $100K? All that material (green or otherwise)? I have a shed in my backyard in Seattle that’s 8-ft. x 12-ft., built in a day by an outfit based just south of town, insulated by a local contractor on a second day, sheathed inside with no-VOC plywood and painted with no-VOC paint by me in a few more days. Cost: $5K. It’s where I do my writing. Would my shed appear on a green building blog? I doubt it. Is it “green”? I don’t know what green means anymore. Is it the sort of writer’s studio one builds when one is trying to be part of a more sustainable society? I’d like to think so. Is my shed greener than Glave’s? Not a question worth asking. My point is broader than whatever the answer to this question would be. And as I said, hat’s off to Glave for a cool building.

    • Preston

      Great thoughts, Sea Wolf.

      I’m interested in reading the book written by Glave where it seems he touches on some of these green issues of building the structure. There’s no question this shed/guest house/writer studio was built with green materials. Which is why we’re talking about it. But the broader question is something we’re going to leave to our readers to think about.

      By the way, I’d consider blogging about your green shed. All depends, but email me if you want to discuss.

  • Preston C.

    Often “green” and “sustainable” are used synonymously. Here are a few synonyms for “sustainable”: maintainable, supportable, bearable, justifiable, viable.
    Is this shed any of those things? I certainly can’t justify a cost of over $384 per square foot…

  • Jen Pennington

    I’m with you Sea Wolf. My husband and I built a little 110 sq. ft cabin about 4 years for 5K. It has been the best investment we ever made. We stay in it every weekend while we are building our house which we are trying to build as green as possible at about half that cost. I do love the design of the cabin, it’s gorgeous, but prohibitively expensive for most. There ‘s definitely a difference between building green and spending green. It’s a gap that needs further bridging.

  • Sea Wolf

    Thanks for the offer, Preston. I’ll pass. But not before thanking you for this blog. It’s my absolute favorite, a must-read for me every day. I often add a comment that questions a post, and I’m glad you take that in the right spirit. I truly appreciate the opportunity Jetson Green presents to discover new things, think through ideas, and express opinions. Keep it coming.

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