FAQ - Permits
FAQ - Technical


Paul Brunskill, PEng

Paul brings a diverse background of practical experience to engineering as the owner of Granite Engineering Services, a full service engineering company located in Muskoka, Ontario. He has experience with all types of conventional building materials and many alternative construction methods. Highlights include the complete structural, mechanical and electrical design for Leeds post & beam symmetrically opposite cottages with SIP panel exteriors as well as the mechanical and electrical design for a full domestic and firewater system in the village of Burk’s Falls. Paul emphasizes efficiency of power use and operation, and ease of ongoing maintenance in his designs. He also has extensive experience with solar systems. Before focusing on the construction industry, Paul designed robotic and automation systems in the early part of his career. He grew up on a farm near Fergus, Ontario.

Tim Krahn, MSc, PEng, LEED®AP

Tim grew up in southern Manitoba and spent time in the labour and skilled trades part of residential and commercial construction before attending university. He now finds himself in southeastern Ontario and practices engineering across central, western and northern Canada as a partner in Building Alternatives Inc. He specializes in natural building materials, appropriate technologies and energy efficiency. He has engineered projects using conventional wood framing, glulam, timber frame (traditional and hybrid), post & beam, straw bale, cob, rammed earth as well as the ubiquitous concrete and steel. Tim maintains a relationship with academia, in particular with the Alternative Village and Architecture faculty at the University of Manitoba, where he spent three years teaching and pursuing a inter-disciplinary PhD focussing on fabric formed stabilized earth construction.

Greg Leskien, CET, LEED®AP BD+C

Greg has been involved in assessing and improving building performance since 2004. He has extensive experience in the management and implementation of green building projects, from concept design to construction and operation. In his work he has utilized a broad range of assessment techniques, including computer simulations, on-site reviews/inspections, and on-site measurements. Greg is particularly interested in the design and construction of high performance building enclosures. Greg graduated with an Architectural Technology diploma from Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario. He is a Certified Engineering Technologist in the Province of Ontario.

Colin MacDougall, PhD, PEng

Colin MacDougall is an Associate Professor in Civil Engineering at Queens University. His research interests range from straw bale, to earthbags and earthblocks, to hemp-lime composites, and even conventional steel and concrete structures.

David Moses, PhD, PEng, PE, LEED®AP

David has been involved in over 200 structural engineering projects in Canada and the United States. David spent 10 years working for Equilibrium Consulting Inc. in Vancouver and Toronto before founding Moses Structural Engineers Inc. in 2010. David has specialized in timber engineering and natural building materials for nearly 20 years and through research, publications, awards and speaking events, he is a recognized leader in this field in North America. David is the 2009 recipient of the “Wood Engineering – Advocate” award from Ontario WoodWorks! for his work in designing and promoting the use of Ontario wood products. David sits on three CSA code committees in the Forest Products, is a member of the newly-formed APA Standards Committee on Cross-Laminated Timber and sits on three committees for WoodWorks! Ontario.

Sarah Seitz, PhD Candidate

Sarah is a PhD student at Queen's University working with Dr. Colin MacDougall and Dr. Darko Matovic. Sarah's research focuses on alternative renewable building materials for sustainable housing solutions. In particular, she is investigating the thermal properties of biofibre stressed-skin panels made from straw bales and plaster. In addition to her laboratory tests, thermal modelling and field investigations, Sarah is also using systems modelling to evaluate the logistics of fabricating, transporting and installing biofibre panels to remote communities considering the availability of agricultural materials and rail transport networks.

Anthony Spick, PEng, LEED®AP BD+C

Anthony has been responsible for the structural design of many projects, including the Haliburton 4C’s Straw Bale Building, the LEED Gold Thomas L. Wells Public School, the Madoc Arts Centre, and the award winning LEED Platinum Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company. Anthony has also been responsible for the structural design of many straw bale and rammed earth homes. Prior to choosing building construction in 2001, Anthony worked in the Marine Construction and Heavy Lift and Transport industries. He is now an associate at Blackwell Bowick Structural Engineers,
an adjunct professor in the faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto and a guest lecturer on Natural Building Structure at Fleming College.

Graham Tattersall, BSc, MASc candidate

Graham first stumbled across natural building during his undergraduate at Queen’s University after witnessing the structural testing of round bale columns for the Performing Arts Centre in Madoc, Ontario. Since then he has been performing structural testing of High Density Straw Bales, Hempcrete, Compressed Earth Blocks, and traditional Straw Bale walls as a research assistant at Queen’s. He has also helped design a moisture and temperature sensing system for a house in Cobourg, ON and worked with ferrocement walls and ceilings for a community centre in rural Kenya. Graham is currently finishing his Masters in Engineering at Queen’s University, focusing on structural performance of Straw Bale Walls, and Humanitarian Design.

Sam van Berkel, MASc, EIT

Sam grew up in rural Manitoba and was first introduced to alternative building technologies by his father. He studied Civil Engineering at the University of Waterloo and incorporated straw bale into his final design project. After graduating he went on to do a natural building apprenticeship with NaturalBuild.ca in Durham, Ontario. He now lives in Toronto and works for Watershed Technologies, where he is focused on energy conservation in buildings.