The Friends Center brings together innovative work for peace,
social justice, spiritual growth and the environment in a variety
Housed in an energy-efficient straw bale
in central city San Diego—the Friends Center will feature
innovative, durable and proven straw bale construction, as well
as solar power, water recycling and other environmentally sustainable
materials, systems and techniques. Straw, for example, is a waste
product that is usually burned, which is bad for the atmosphere.
By using straw bale as a building material, the Friends Center
will demonstrate how waste materials can be used in keeping with
the right use of the earth’s resources. The grounds of the
Friends Center will also demonstrate environmental sustainability
through the use of permaculture—the planting of food-bearing
trees and bushes.
As part of the building’s mission of promoting “green” construction,
regular open houses will give individuals and professional builders
the opportunity to learn about new earth-friendly systems and techniques.
As a cooperative project among four partners, the building demonstrates
how peace and social justice advocates can collaborate and pool
their resources to build and share space.
The Friends Center will provide office and meeting space for the
four partners, and it will benefit other community organizations
by providing space for meetings, workshops and programs.
The two historic peace churches provide an opportunity for community
members seeking spiritual growth to connect with others of like
The two peace and justice organizations involved are important
voices in the community speaking out against war and injustice
and for nonviolent social change, while providing opportunities
for meaningful involvement.
Architects for the building are the San Diego firm of Hubbell
and Hubbell,www.hubbellandhubbell.com, well known for their green
building projects, which are both environmentally-friendly and
Design and Materials
Juergen Zierler, Project Architect
This online video was first offered as a presentation by Juergen Zierler, project architect, at a May 2007 fundraising and informational dinner for the Friends Center building project. His talk and slide show laid out the various aspects of the Friends Center and how they manifest sustainable building philosophy and technique.
Click here to watch video
- Ken Aeschbacher
- David Barrows
- Sara Haldeman-Scarr
- Gordon Jacobsen
- Carol Jahnkow
- Chuck Orr
- Alvin Stern
- American Friends Service
- Special thanks to former members, Hal Brody, Roberto Martinez, David Neptune, Anne Penery, John Penery and Rae Stern
To see a list of the values used in choosing
our building materials, click