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 Permaculture Design Client Survey

Permaculture Design Questionnaire.pdf Permaculture Design Questionnaire.pdf
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 What services do we offer? What to expect? Please read below. Fee structure at bottom of page. 

What Does a Permaculture Design Do?

       A permaculture design helps people develop the specific 

lifestyle they wish to live in a specific place. Permaculture design 

clients typically are environmentally concerned people seeking 

increased self-reliance. The design is a written report of 

recommendations for achieving specific goals such as energy 

independence, food self-reliance, alternative incomes and so forth. 

The report compares the stated goals, preferences and resources of 

the residents with the potential and ecological needs of the site. 

The design provides the residents with a plan by which they can 

meet their objectives by constructive development of the site as a 

whole system. In fact, the design process and the design itself are 

based on the principles by which Nature designs her ecosystems to 

efficiently utilize conditions of soil, moisture, climate, sun, orientation 

and available species to make most efficient use of them and 

produce as much life as possible both in quantity and in diversity.

Permaculture designs take a holistic approach--everything is 

connected to everything else in the design for maximum efficiency. 

Conservation of resources--the client's and Nature's--is the 

overriding principle of permaculture design. Change for its own sake 

is avoided and designs strive to become increasingly self-regulating 

and self-maintaining as they mature.

How is the Design Prepared?

        Suppose that you notify us that you want a permaculture 

design. First, you fill out our Permaculture Design Client Survey. 

This is has many questions for you to answer as fully as possible. 

Then  a review of your answers is gone over by TJ Warner,our 

Growing Freedom Permaculture lead designer. He will recommend 

how to proceed. If you decide to have a design prepared by us, we 

will interview everyone involved and also examine the site for which 

the design will be prepared. Based on what you want and what the 

site offers and needs, we will make our report.

What Topics are Covered in our Permaculture Design?

        Permaculture designs begin with a review of who the clients are 

and what we understand them to require from the design, as well as 

a brief description of the design site itself. It is hoped that this 

detached narrative will give the client another perspective on his/her 

situation and goals. The balance of the report consists of design 


       Topics routinely covered in  Permaculture designs are:

Food and Nutrient Cycles. Food production is almost always part of 

the design. Permaculture designs typically specify tree crops, 

unconventional gardening methods, and solar greenhouses as part 

of the domestic food production system. Aquaculture, bees, small 

stock, poultry, and other foraging animals are frequently included. 

Soil management is treated in this section, as is disposition of human 

wastes, development of forage systems, food preservation, and 

control of potential pests. For some clients, commercial food 

production and/or processing is designed.

        Energy. All relevant options for energy production are 

evaluated, typically including solar, wind, water power, biomass, and 

other biological forms of energy. Then we look at applications for 

energy such as transportation, space heating and/or cooling, 

cooking, hot water, food preservation, and operation of equipment. 

After describing relevant conservation measures, we detail specific 

proposals for utilizing available energy for the remaining work at 


       Water. With the availability of high quality fresh water in drastic 

decline worldwide, obtaining useful amounts of healthful water is of 

paramount concern in the permaculture design. Typical domestic 

designs include roof catchment systems. Designs for larger 

properties ordinarily provide for creation of ponds where runoff can 

be stored for gravity feed to the point of use. Systems for treating 

and using grey water and other contaminated water are often part of 

a permaculture design. The water portion of the design follows that 

described for energy above, first looking at the resources and then 

the needs. The design represents our best thinking on utilizing such 

resources responsibly. In some designs, excessive erosion or 

destructive flood waters require special treatment.

        Shelter. For existing housing, shelter recommendations of our 

designs detail retrofit for energy efficiency, food production, 

increase in quality living space, and housing of plants and animals 

appropriate to the needs and desires of the client. If new buildings 

are required, we often can recommend designs and construction 

methods which use local materials, preferably from the site. The 

designs for new buildings save money and energy compared with 

conventional approaches. Shelterbelt plantings, shade in hot weather 

and more efficient space utilization frequently result from design 


        Hazards and Problems. While hazards vary considerably from 

site to site, usually some of the following risks can be anticipated and 

protected against to a degree: extremes of weather, earthquake, 

tsunami or tidal wave, fire, pollution and human violence. Dangerous 

activities proposed by clients need to be addressed. These might be 

use of toxic substances, unfortunately common in the practice of 

many crafts  or physical activities on site. For example, one set of 

clients could propose retiring to the country after a lifetime of 

professional work and urban living, and cutting their own firewood. 

The risk of injury to unskilled, unfit people in the very dangerous 

work of felling trees is about 100%. We express concern and 

propose alternatives.

        Special Treatments. Often, a client will have a specific goal 

which is best treated in its own section of the design. 

        Economics. Design implementation usually costs money. 

Permaculture designs achieve their goals while staying within the 

means of the client. Almost everyone needs a certain amount of 

income. Our designs develop income when needed and provide 

ways to pay for the design implementation when needed. Often a 

special interest or skill of the client can earn money utilizing the site's 


        Staging.  Permaculture designs specify the sequence in which 

to implement the design recommendations and, where relevant, how 

long each step should take. This enables us to use one aspect of the 

design to prepare the way for the next, permits generating resources 

to implement the design as we go along, and avoids the confusion 

and overload of trying to implement the entire design at once. Also, 

we believe that lifestyle changes are best undertaken in manageable 

steps so that the skills and behaviors required are comfortably 

mastered before the next step is undertaken.

What Skills and Training are Needed to Develop a Permaculture 

Design for My Home?       

No new skills or training is needed to implement any properly 

prepared permaculture design, except those which you have 

indicated an interest or willingness to develop during the interview or 

in the survey. The design is intended to work with the client as s/he 

is and the site as it is with no forced changes on either part. 

Techniques, management strategies, products and resources which 

may not be readily available are all detailed in an extensive set of 

appendices to the design, including a bibliography for reading on 

specific topics, a list of people and organizations who can provide 

skills, information or other resources you will need, a list of suppliers 

of plants and products not commonly available and so forth. 

Our goal is to recommend practical measures which the client can 

actually perform in a reasonable time. Appendices also furnish 

background information relevant to specific design recommendations 

where this is the most practical way to provide it, species lists, and 

generic "standard designs" for problems which are common enough 

so that it is more useful to develop a general design solution rather 

than treat it in the highly customized design report.

What Living Situations Call for a Permaculture Design?

       Our design experience includes urban, suburban and rural 

situations, large properties and small, and even rented properties. 

We have design experience specific to our region, our cool 

temperate climate is a wonderful place to live and is well suited to 

permculture. The main requirement for a permaculture design is to 

want one--to intend a lifestyle that grows increasingly self-reliant 

while increasingly benefiting the Earth.

Then Do You Think Everyone Should Commission a Permaculture 


       No! Whenever possible we recommend that the person(s) who 

want(s) a permaculture design learn to produce their own design. 

We offer classes beginning from the basics  up to helping you in 

developing your own design, the basic introduction for people who 

wish to work in the permaculture movement, and workshops, 

expressly for people to acquire skills to use permaculture in their own 

lives. Either is suitable training. Often someone who wants a design 

will host a course or workshop on their site and get not only input 

from the instructor but also from the students who undertake a 

design for the site as the major activity of the program. 

Only when attending or hosting a workshop or course is impractical 

do we recommend our professional design services. Financially, it is 

much cheaper to host a course, even if it loses a bit of money (and it 

could earn money), than to contract for a design. Sometimes a 

person who received introductory design training will engage us on a 

consultant basis to help with one component of the design where 

experience is critical. They then incorporate our advice into their 


What Kind of Consulting Work Do You Do?

       We can consult on any of the areas commonly treated in the 

design. (See above.) Besides siting a house on the property, we 

think the most useful consulting work we do is to help people evaluate 

real estate to buy. By obtaining and completing the Permaculture 

Design Client Survey, many design problems "solve themselves" as 

the correct course of action becomes self-evident when the survey 

questions are answered. Growing Freedom Permaculture is also 

available to do specialized design work and research for other 

permaculture designers.

How are Your Fees Based?

       All design work by Growing Freedom Permaculture begins when 

the client completes the Permaculture Design Client Survey. If the 

design job is very simple, we can quote a design fee on the insights 

provided by the Survey responses. Otherwise, we defer our 

quotation until after the client interview and site visit. These are 

charged at consulting rates, which can be deducted from the full 

design fee if the client decides to proceed with a full permaculture 

design. Large and complex designs can be done in stages whereby 

an overall design is prepared in broad detail and very specific design 

recommendations are prepared as needed prior to implementation of 

that portion of the design. If we do not think that we can save you 

money through our design services over a reasonable time, we will 

recommend another approach.

Who Does  Permaculture Design Work?

TJ Warner, founder of Growing Freedom Permaculture, and current 

students participate in Growing Freedom Permaculture Designs. TJ, 

who does much of the design work over sees the entire process.

This general outline has been modeled after other successful and 

qualified  permaculture designers and modified by us to best give you 

best quality faq on our design process.

 Our Consultation fees are based on your location and duration of the 

consultation. We generally charge $50/hr for an initial on-site 

consultation plus travel costs at $1/mile round trip. Follow-up on-site 

consultations are billed at $40/hr plus travel costs. One hour is the 

minimum charge for all consultations. Longer travel maybe be set as 

a flat rate for savings.

After our initial on-site consultation with you, we will provide you with  

an estimated hourly amount that we would spend working on your 

Permaculture Design. Upon completion of the design plans can 

begin for implementation. We have various options and can help 

facilitate via workshops, permablitz, onsite class instruction and local 


There are a few factors that determine how many hours we will 

spend on the design;

The size of the property

Amount of information to be mapped on the property and other 

relevant data sources

Level of detailed information requested for the design

Designs can be via:

Sketch Design

Basic Design

In-Depth Design

Permaculture Design Rates

Our Permaculture Design services are billed at $50/hr. There is a 

sliding scale based on your economic situation, please email us for 

more information.

A Basic Design for a residential property under 1 acre will average 

$500 – $1,250 depending on complexity (10- 25 hours)

A Basic Design for a residential property under 5 acres will average 

$1,250 – $2,500 depending on complexity (25 – 50 hours)

A Basic Design for Residential or Commercial properties over 5 

acres will require multiple-hour consultations and site-visits. An 

estimate will be prepared after the initial consultation and before the 

design process begins.

Classes and workshops:

All classes are run at only a $5 charge per class and are run twice a 

week to accommodate work schedules etc. If you miss the first one 

you can still keep pace by the later week class.

Workshops are done on a case by case basis.

Email: growingpermaculture@gmail.com for more information

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