Sustainable design alternatives on view at AltBuild

Learn more about sustainable design and green living as Altbuild, the Alternative Building Materials & Design Conference and Expo, opens Friday at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. 

Architects, builders and landscape designers will be among the more than 150 exhibitors on hand to discuss green design, including modular housing, rammed earth building, solar power and water conservation.

Among this year's highlights:

  • Larry Santoyo of the permaculture design company EarthFlow will answer questions about sustainable landscaping, composting and raising chickens.
  • Off-the-grid “granny flats” by Modular Lifestyles will be parked in front of the civic center for tours. These kinds of "accessory dwelling units" are meant to be alternatives to traditional house additions.
  • Lisa and Ade Agbalaya of Sirecon Rammed Earth Architecture will demonstrate an electric hand rammer, transforming dirt into a rammed earth wall.
  • Beth Pratt of the National Wildlife Federation will talk about creating a certified wildlife-friendly backyard.
  • Environmental Sculpturing will discuss how to convert conventional pools to swimmer-friendly habitats without chemicals. 

Altbuild's lineup of speakers also includes TreePeople founder Andy Lipkis; David Hertz of the Studio of Environmental Architecture, Julie Eizenberg of Koning Eizenberg and Bob Hale of Rios Clementi Hale Studios; and interior designer Sarah Barnard.

AltBuild Expo runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St. Admission is free.

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