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Phil Hawes

Phil Hawes
Phil Hawes
  • Adjunct Professor of Sustainable & Regenerative Living

Dr. Phil Hawes is an architect, and town and regional designer whose primary area of interest and expertise is sustainable community development. Born in Danville, Dr. Hawes attended architectural school at the University of Illinois, located in Champaign-Urbana. He holds a PhD in Sustainable Architecture & Town Planning from the San Francisco Institute of Architecture. He has created sustainable-design educational programs in architecture and community planning in the USA, Portugal, and France, and has lectured widely in the US and abroad on these subjects.

According to Dr. Hawes, the most pivotal experiences in his life have been:

  • To help design and build an 87-foot ocean-going, ferro-cement ship, on which he sailed for three years; twice across the Indian Ocean, and once across the Pacific, during an “Around the Tropic World Ethno-Botanical Collection Voyage.” His during these voyages included: In-Port-Liaison Officer, Expedition Supplies Chief & Bosun, and Sailing Captain (1 year).
  • Acting as master-planner, head-architect, and general building contractor on an adobe complex of 31 homes in Santa Fe, NM.
  • Walking alone across 400 miles of the uninhabited Australian outback.
  • Serving as the architect of record, the Director of Architecture and Design Development for all facilities associated with the Biosphere 2 project near Oracle, Arizona (between 1985-1992). Biosphere 2 was the world’s largest, sealed, human-inhabited CELSS (Closed Ecological Life Support System.) It was designed as an apparatus for the transformation of solar energy into biomass, and included seven tropical biomes and a human habitat. Biosphere 2 was stocked with some 3,800 species, and with all its levels, comprised five acres of enclosed area, and 6 million cubic feet of inside atmosphere. It was tightly sealed from any outside atmosphere or other material exchanges, but was open to exchanges of information, and energy.
  • Leading the design team for the Biosphere 2 Test Model, the world’s first completely sealed prototype habitat for one person, with total air, water and sewage recycling systems, including climate and computer monitoring/control systems, food production and marsh-type biological human waste system. As part of the project, we also the Biospheric Research and Development Complex, a support facility that included an active solar-heated Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory, and the Mission Control computer-controls building for the main Biosphere 2 structure.
  • Co-designing an Environmental Clean-up System with the University of Arizona Environmental Research Lab; a prototype unit to remove pesticide residue from the air and water in the Biosphere 2 plant-quarantine facility.
  • Designing the marsh-type sewage treatment systems for Biosphere 2, its Test Module, and for the Visitor’s Center, which was designed to have up to one and half million visitors per year, although the actual number never exceeded 300 thousand during the three years of Biosphere 2 actual closure. My wastewater system mentor was Dr. Billy Wolverton, then a scientist with NASA, who did innovative investigations of the chemicals that plants evapotranspire into the atmosphere.

For the last few years, he has been writing a handbook for the design and building of ecovillages, economically and ecologically sustainable communities of up to 5,000 population.


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