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"Be the change
you wish to see
in the world..."
            -M. Gandhi

t a k i n g   g r e e n   t o   t h e   e x t r e m e



Down to Earth Design offers complete design services for eco-sensible residential & small commercial buildings, offering design of new strawbale structures and green additions/remodels.

Our focus...is exclusively to create symbiotic relationships between buildings and their environment.  All of our projects minimize energy, water, and resource use, while promoting healthy indoor & outdoor environments. Our specialty is building durably with strawbales in wet climates.

Learn more about our design process...

Our building designs integrate with the specific site, both visually and to maximize passive solar opportunities.  Materials are of the earth and indigenous, often directly from the site.  Each design solution reflects the client's personality & goals, melded with Down to Earth Design's ability to create efficient ecologically-focused spaces.

See some of our DESIGN PROJECTS that integrate eco-sensible concepts

Specializing in...


  • passive solar design

  • non-toxic, indigenous, & reclaimed materials

  • efficient use of space

  • minimizing energy & water usage

  • natural building, including strawbale & natural plasters

  • use of natural daylight

  • minimizing site disturbance

Collaborative Design

We create an informed decision-making process to guide clients through the many choices involved in designing or reconfiguring a home.  Our goal is for clients to feel that we are designing their home together.

Learn more about our design process...

recycled tile mosaic in cob wall by Sigi Koko

Hands-On Approach

We encourage and empower clients to participate during construction by leading natural building workshops, including strawbale installation, natural plasters, home-made natural paints, and sculpted cob features.


masonry heater with cob thermal mass provides efficient heat source

Lowered Energy Consumption

  • passive solar design

  • super-insulated structures

  • reduced heat gain

  • efficient lighting

  • Energy Star appliances

  • renewable energy, as feasible


Palette of Natural & Healthy Building Materials
use materials that are:

  • non-toxic

  • indigenous & natural

  • salvaged/reclaimed

  • rapidly renewable

  • low embodied energy

  • durable

counter made from salvaged bowling alley floor
trees are protected during construction

Minimal Site Impact

  • minimal site disturbance (rubble trench foundations, small building footprint)

  • stormwater management strategies (reduced impervious surfaces, living roofs)


Reduced Water Usage

  • composting toilets (as appropriate)

  • climate-adapted plantings

  • rainwater collection

  • graywater systems (as feasible)

owner-built composting toilet

Down to Earth Design
Sigi Koko, principal
215.540.2694 PA
202.302.3055 DC

2000 Sigi Koko & Down to Earth