Friday, October 21, 2005


Explore new concepts for sustainable living environments of the future.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Yucca Valley, CA Senior Center.
Chad Mayes, Mayor Yucca Valley
Lee Pearl, Hi-Desert Water Awareness
Jim Melton, Your Future is Now
Gage Davis, Architect, Design Insights
Douglas Patterson, Architect, Dharma Living System
Chuck Hodges, Living with the Earth
Tommie Wright, Earth Architecture in Action

The above event was held on 10/25/05. Attendance was approximately 120 people. The lecture, consisting of seven speakers, went from 6:35pm to 8:20pm with questions from the audience until 8:40pm. A recap of the evening appeared in the Yucca Valley Hi-Desert Star newspaper on Wednesday, November 2, 2005.
Former article from the Hi-Desert Star on the web at:

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Mission Statement

To design elegant living environments that can be built to the highest of resource conservation and land-ethic standards using cutting-edge, architectural and eco-engineering design in sustainable green building systems.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Jim, Dana, Gayle, and Chuck Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 11, 2005

Joshua Tree Valley Posted by Hello

Living Sanctuary

LIVING ENVIRONMENTS OF THE FUTURE. An Energy-Efficient, Water-Conserving Approach to Living With Nature.
The Living Sanctuary is unique among high-desert mountain properties providing spectacular views, and easy access within thirty-five minutes to the restaurants, theatres, museums, and galleries of the world-renowned resort capital of Palm Springs, California. The Living Sanctuary is a natural and restful haven of valleys, boulder gardens, desert vegetation, and solar gardens including majestic yucca and Joshua tree meadows.

Joshua Tree open range Posted by Hello

North boulder garden Posted by Hello


As the morning sun brushes the landscape with its gentle, warm rays, the home site views rest on the surreal painted mountains near Joshua Tree National Park. Cradled in a cup of mountains in the cooler high desert, the Living Sanctuary stands out as one of the finest expressions of affordable, earth-friendly, eco-environments that exist in today’s world.

The solitude of the Living Sanctuary’s more than 300 acre residential habitat is surrounded by the beauty of gigantic, natural, and majestic boulder gardens providing solitude and privacy in an environment of unparalleled serenity and security.

A hiker's paradise Posted by Hello

Boulder foliage Posted by Hello

Architectural Design

Through a new and innovative design process called "Invisible Architecture," the Living Sanctuary will contain respectfully few refined and elegant homes architecturally designed to fully blend into nature’s landscape. Homesites are identified to optimize views, privacy, solar orientation, and the unique elements of the terrain. Diverse architectural designs will complement the land and blend into the surrounding Earthscapes.

The master plan protects the integrity of this natural and elegant slice of nature. This sensitive habitat, combined with innovative design guidelines will ensure a secure investment and a tranquil long-term lifestyle for Living Sanctuary residents.

For more information on becoming involved in the Living Sanctuary's lifestyle as a resident owner, please email us at the email address below.

Boulder tree sculpture Posted by Hello

Shimmering Silver Cholla Posted by Hello

Rim Rock formation Posted by Hello

Project Status

Design and plan in progress for home sites, roads, and solar garden.
Border and aerial surveys for identification of home sites complete.
Architectural design proposals under consideration.
The moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. Whatever you can do, or dream you can — begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Living Sanctuary, LLC
James Melton
P.O. Box 340
Yucca Valley, CA 92286
"In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy."
-John C. Sawhill (1936-2000), president,
The Nature Conservancy, 1990-2000

Article by James Melton
The home market is booming. Today’s economy affords us a new opportunity to reevaluate our living environments. In our desert, homes are being built almost faster than we can count—but basically they are all the same. I will certainly acknowledge that any shift from the norm can be difficult—even if it elevates and enhances one’s lifestyle, but why is change so difficult? To quote John Naisbitt, author of Global Paradox and Megatrends:

“Shifting your thinking from old to new is perhaps the biggest challenge of the new era. When most people hear about a new technology, they ask, ‘What can this technology do?’ They tend to think of it in one-dimensional terms, like the fixed, single-purpose machines of yesterday. Yet the new technologies are flexible; programmable tools that require us to be creative and proactive. Increasingly, the right questions to ask are, ‘What do I want this technology to do?’ or ’What do I need it to do?’ ”

In exploring options for building our new home I was reminded of the years I spent as a news reporter for Dodge Reports, a subsidiary of McGraw Hill Publications. I attended many bid openings for general contractors and sub-contractors. My job as a reporter was to connect with architects, contractors and owners to gain current information on building projects, both planned and under construction and follow them to completion. The bid opening process was always interesting and sometimes highly dramatic—filled with enough action material for a feature film by Universal Studios, Warner Bros., or MGM.

In most cases, the lowest bidder got the job. Done, over, finished. In other cases, just getting enough contractors to bid was a challenge. This intrigued me, and as I soon discovered, it was often the innovative design that caused many contractors to refuse to bid on a project. Why? Simply because the elements involved were not standard. If they did bid, the price would be inflated to reflect the unknowns—and understandably so.

In a world which needs innovation and creativity—in a world where we challenge our youth to think critically, innovation, creativity and critical thinking are more often than not, discouraged. Innovation and earth-friendly or smart construction is suppressed in almost every aspect of today’s building process from escalated bidding costs to lower appraisal values, and we know that lenders for construction loans depend heavily on the appraised value. Many building methods and materials purport to be the wave of the future, but in reality only provide a poorly-made bandage to the environmental wound that is deepening all too rapidly. Albeit intentions may be good, the results often fall far short of a non-intrusive, “green” resolution.

Innovative eco-architecture remains immersed in the rhetoric of idealism. Even relatively prosperous people who desire creative design alternatives to the norm of slab and stick construction will yield unless the home-builder mentality—all of it focused on the lowest common denominator of design—can be educated to accommodate something more efficient, earth-friendly, and yes—interesting. Modular housing might be one answer. Another would be the publication of plans that are actually inviting to contractors and that specify standard materials to blend with the equation of eco-design, quality, quantity and cost. The premise being that the more innovative, eco-architectural buildings there are, the easier they will be to bid, build, buy, sell, and resell.

Technology will continue to forge ahead with novel ideas, but I would like to think that perhaps, instead of buying into the normalcy of today’s lack of daring design and medieval construction methods, we might be offered a more intelligent option. One that would be not only compatible with affordability and lifestyle, but one that would distinguish itself as a reliable alternative and a smart choice for the future of our population and our planet.

After all, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all avail ourselves with an inspired design by Frank Gehry, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gage Davis, or Kendrick Bangs Kellogg?

Friday, January 21, 2005

"First Light" future home site. Posted by Hello

Partial view of the Living Sanctuary Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Boulder with Jim Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Related Links

The following are related links to sites involved in the betterment of humanity, enhancing living environments, and helping our world become a better place to live: