Sustainable. Healthy. Integrated. Feasible. Transformative.

Extraordinary Guidance for Sustainability Projects

Avalon SHIFT ™ certification has proprietary guidance processes and systems for client partnership projects, with full service central management, interdisciplinary professional trades and ethical supply chain.  We assess, design and implement corporate enterprise improvements, sustainable developments, and community or district level projects (private sector client, public initiative or P3 public-private partnership).  We have many categories of development or revitalization processes, integrating innovative systems at different levels of scale, which is unprecedented in the sustainability field.  Please see featured below, Avalon’s 12 SHIFT Model Applications,  which can be utilized in Canada or internationally.  

Avalon SHIFT differs from post-construction green certification entities like LEED® or Passive House Institute® because we are involved from start to finish and even beyond.  So while other certifications focus on verifying performance standard outcomes, Avalon SHIFT is the integrated pathway to get there, while achieving much more in the process.  Avalon SHIFT is a very comprehensive “soft brand” and our certification processes generally combine the following phased actions and benefits:

  • feasibility assessment and efficient project management
  • site environmental and contextual opportunities analysis
  • leading edge green/ wellness design-build systems
  • comprehensive development or revitalization
  • master planning and project approvals
  • sector-specific business enterprise and market expertise
  • pre-qualification and guild training for professional trades procurement
  • ethical market supply chain for sub products and services
  • educational programming support and discovery site for visitors
  • technology transfer of our core innovative systems and green solutions
  • cross-certifications and other industry affiliations if desired
  • post-construction operational and marketing support

In today’s complicated green regulatory environment, there is a growing need for our “how to” process to achieve credibility and success, especially among landowner and institutional partners and small-medium size companies with high aspirations.   When projects finish our certification process, they will have achieved very high standards in the industry.  If desired, projects can also cross-certify through 3rd party confirmation of built systems performance.  In other words, a project can achieve Avalon certification, and then add more performance verification by a post-construction certification body.

A number of the SHIFT model applications featured below already have private client or P3 partnership projects underway or pending funding.  Some model applications may not be available to start immediately (depending on location, climate, available workforce, etc), but we are now accepting inquiries for all 12 project categories, from anywhere in the world. 

"All creation is One. What we do to the One, we do to the entire web of life... We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."

- Chief Seattle, First Nations Leader

The SHIFT Process

We have created streamlined, phase-by-phase processes for project management, green design-build, tech transfer, training and certification in a wide variety of sustainable community development and ethical business sectors.

Avalon SHIFT stands for:

Sustainable development enterprises and best practices that achieve corporate and community aspirations, within a framework of social justice and environmental stewardship for current and future generations.

Healthy approaches to living and building that incorporate nature and beauty, support development of the whole human potential, reduce socio-economic disparities, and celebrate arts and culture.

Integrated ecological and community regeneration, fostering creative innovation and effectiveness through interdisciplinary collaboration and wide participation.

Feasible “win-win” solutions that meet market demand and financial cost and time-efficiencies while being aligned with ethical principles.

Transformative education and leadership to empower people, inspire kindness, and guide organizations to make the world a better place.

Avalon SHIFT phases may vary depending on the application – project development phases are different than our training program modules or full service solution steps.  But we are always comprehensive, systematic and leading edge in all that we do for our client partners. Within the guiding principles of Avalon’s own sustainability framework, this process is collaborative and adaptive to the unique vision, regional context and needs of our partners, as we seek to create an empowering and transformative experience for everyone involved.

For example, shown below are Generalized Phases of a SHIFT Comprehensive Development Project.

Avalon SHIFT - First Phase of our World of Avalon
Interactive Platform Development

The Avalon SHIFT model applications featured below will soon have interactive digital support to make them even more effective!

The World of Avalon platform will take our SHIFT environmental context assessment, project guidance and certification, training and analytic tools,  business feasibility and licensed technology transfer systems to the next level.  This represents a truly ecological revolution beyond today’s “internet of things” trend.  

This multi-tenant platform architecture will complement our hands-on professional management, green trades and faculty support, and community stakeholder engagement. SHIFT educational tools will be dynamic and applicable to all sectors of society and economy.  Our interactive platform initiative will also be customized to different geographical regions and cultures for international projects and service solutions.

Avalon's 12 SHIFT Model Applications

Green Home Habitats

Avalon is advancing new green building solutions for the residential sector that are not only ultra energy-efficient but also healthy, beautiful, and integrated with eco-infrastructure and landscaping. We have three main design-build themes:

Northern Synergy Series: Best suited for northern climate projects in a regulated urban-regional context.  Our SHIFT process enables the highest environmental and energy performance standards, and cross-certification can be obtained if desired through LEED, Living Building Challenge, Passive House Standard, etc. The use of indoor assembly facilities for certain building module components reduces impacts and achieves quality control and year-round trades productivity.

SDG Habitat Series: This theme responds to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for global poverty eradication, social justice and environmental restoration.  We combine affordable, safe, socially appropriate housing with eco-tech solutions. For example, sewage water reclamation systems can be incorporated into living areas with poor sanitation.

World Heritage Series: Most applicable to urban revitalization districts and indigenous communities, as well as rural towns and villages that have distinctive character, culture and sense of place. Traditional architectural styles and natural building materials can be integrated with energy-efficient building envelopes and off-grid or micro-grid tie-in solutions. 

Workplace Transitions

Avalon core and advanced training programs: We offer business, industry, government agencies and other organizations exciting, whole-systems approaches to:

  • improve overall productivity of the enterprise
  • enhance employee creativity, well-being and sense of purpose
  • achieve high environmental and social responsibility standards

Our comprehensive program with 13 exciting modules doesn’t rely on the old mindset of relentless cost-cutting and regulatory control. We empower from within using inspirational teamwork and wellness strategies, co-creating extraordinary outcomes with our clients.

Sustainable building renovation: We offer a workplace environmental assessment, upgrade cost-benefit analysis, detailed planning and design work, recycling of demolition waste and retrofit construction service. 

By committing to our certification process, your facilities will:

  • be quicker to secure tenants with less turnover
  • command higher rents
  • cost less to operate and maintain
  • attract grants and subsidies for facility greening
  • increase productivity for tenant businesses
  • improve the health and well-being of tenant employees

Gardens of Paradise

Like the paradise gardens of Indo-Persian and European origins, as well as the sacred gardens of the Far East, Avalon SHIFT aims to transform outdoor spaces into extraordinary sensory landscapes that uplift the human spirit.  At the same time, we can maintain multiple ecological and agroforestry functions and achieve water use efficiencies.  

Our integrated landscape design and construction is a full-service certification for: 

  • larger residential properties
  • commercial-industrial spaces
  • educational institutions
  • hospitals
  • assisted living complexes
  • cemeteries
  • municipal park and recreation areas
  • places of worship
  • resorts and retreat centres
  • mixed-use developments and revitalization projects

Avalon can incorporate edible plants and tree fruits, artistic works, delightful patios and pathways, vitalized water features, and critical habitat for wildlife and pollinators. We have many specialty garden themes and custom features like greenhouses, and utilize feng shui techniques to enhance flow.  We will utilize only organic soil enhancement products like Avalon Bio-Minerals and compost.

Organic Kinship Farms

Avalon has specialized expertise and a systematic process to help farms, ecovillages and other agri-enterprises transition to best land management practices, protection of biodiversity and organic products certification. There are custom options like permaculture and biodynamic approaches, with software programs to help financial management and farm operations. 

We promote the use of: 

  • natural compost and soil restoration supplements like Avalon Bio-Minerals
  • hedgerow pollinator habitats and other stewardship solutions
  • no-till farming methods or minimal conservation tillage
  • Non-GMO climate-adapted seeds and heritage varieties 
  • water/ power saving irrigation systems and other operating equipment
  • renewable energy retrofits and green renovation for farm buildings 
  • biodomes and greenhouses for year-round vegetables, tree nurseries and solar aquatics

We assist farms with planning and design approvals for feasible agri-tourism uses, farm wellness retreats and young agrarian cooperatives.  We also help facilitate market expansion into farmers markets, community-supported agriculture (CSAs), organic delivery, farm-to-table restaurants and value-added enterprises. Agri-tourism ventures can also incorporate an Avalon educational discovery centre.

Avalon Organic Kinship Farms must follow not only organic standards but also compassionate animal husbandry practices. By kinship we mean that these farms demonstrate a sense of caring and affinity with animals, plants and the land generally.  Some Avalon-certified farms, ranches, wineries and orchards may also choose to become vegan sanctuaries where animals are just enjoyed for their loving companionship, therapeutic healing and valuable contributions to weed grazing, pest reduction and soil enhancement.

Ecovillage Communities

Avalon specializes in comprehensive ecovillage development as a sustainable alternative to conventional suburbia and rural depopulation. These projects can be adapted to rural-urban fringe landscapes without destroying regional character, liveability, critical ecosystems and agricultural productivity.  We proactively determine potential hazards, wildlife corridors, energy-generating zones, socially significant areas and many other functions to protect and enhance special features of the site. All projects utilize our innovative design-build and eco-infrastructure systems to create an energy generating, healthy living environment. 

Moreover, we always include feasibility strategies to help the project proceed through regulatory approvals and financing, and become economically self-reliant with ethical enterprises.

Our mixed land use projects can include: 

  • green residential clusters and village marketplace hub
  • intergenerational, inclusive and mixed income community
  • many exciting options for shared amenities (strata or cooperative)
  • habitat conservation areas for pollinators, birds and other wildlife
  • year-round organic food production (field, garden, greenhouse)
  • educational discovery or wellness facilities with visitor accommodations
  • imaginative children’s adventure play and spaces for social activities
  • recreational trails and green transport links to city centre stations
  • destination resort with ecovillage community (hybrid model)

Landowner partners would retain our Avalon SHIFT team to manage, design and guide the ecovillage development or neighbourhood revitalization projects. Local trades and suppliers can apply to our Workforce Registry. We also have a co-housing option where prospective residents can engage us to assist with land purchase and develop strata titled or cooperatively owned communities. 

Revitalized Towns and Business Districts

Many small towns and city business districts are experiencing a population resurgence with significant greening and revitalization opportunities.  Avalon SHIFT can provide: 

  • comprehensive planning and coordination for public-private partnerships (P3)
  • natural and cultural heritage restoration and tourism marketing strategy
  • creative street front design with input from businesses and the community
  • engagement of muralists and artisans in public space improvements
  • green renovation and ecological landscaping support
  • improvement of residential quality of life in mixed use zones

Businesses in the revitalization zone will be offered opportunities to participate in green retrofit incentives, our workplace training program and other forms of support. Avalon will work closely with business owners to improve available financial resources and management of their enterprises. In Canada, an immigrant investment partnership option is available, for which Avalon has developed a special program.

Old industrial facilities and waterways can be restored to become recreational attractions. Farmers markets, slow food restaurants and other culinary tourism enterprises can help sustain local agriculture and tourism.

Sustainable Impact Resorts

We believe the tourism industry can be a powerful force for positive change in a region. Avalon SHIFT Sustainable Impact Resorts ensure new developments or renovation projects fit in and enhance the surrounding environment and culture.  We demonstrate social and environmental responsibility not only in facility design and operations, but also initiate improvements in the surrounding region, such as: 

  • fair trade with suppliers, meaningful job creation and training programs
  • natural and cultural heritage protection (possibly assist UNESCO designation)
  • environmental stewardship such as reforestation and ocean cleanup activities
  • regional farm to table and agri-tourism enhancements 
  • community outreach and giving to local causes

All Avalon-certified resorts are designed with eco-education attractions, low-impact recreational activities, holistic healing facilities and/or wellness programs that make them a hub of learning, rejuvenation and discovery. 

Whatever the vision, the Avalon SHIFT process provides streamlined project planning, development management, business operational and marketing support to ensure our project partnerships prosper and achieve their sustainable impact goals.

Healthy Marketplace Hubs

Avalon SHIFT creates exciting marketplace hubs as stand-alone renovation projects or as part of a new comprehensive development initiative.  We have developed green facility standards and ethical product criteria for marketplace vendors, retailers, restaurants, offices and other tenants.

Our workplace training program is available for ethical marketplace members, and affiliated businesses will be promoted and showcased on Avalon’s online site, providing them with additional exposure and third-party credibility.

Some possible marketplace features could include:

  • eco-infrastructure and growing systems integrated into buildings
  • green roofs for stormwater management, thermal benefits, food security and social amenities
  • conference centre for green expo, fair trade and wellness events
  • combined retail & civic hub with specialty shops, ethnic food fair vendors, live music, theatre and seasonal events
  • glass-covered atrium hub & indoor streets with all-season comfort, sensory enhancements, rest/play areas and gardens
  • indoor/ outdoor night market to restore downtown liveliness and safety – could be part of existing outdoor cafe plazas and squares
  • community farmers market as best of the region’s fresh produce and handicrafts under one roof, with tours to local farms, wineries and natural attractions
  •  traditional ethnic markets and bazaars, enhancing tourism, sense of place and sustainable livelihoods for small farmers, artisans and musicians

Sustainable Transportation Corridors

Historically there has been many important trading corridors like the overland Silk Road between Asian and Europe, maritime spice route and Indigenous trail and waterway networks in the Americas.  These corridors were essential for merchants and nomadic cultures moving their goods and animals between regions, as well as for the sharing of knowledge and cultural advancements between peoples.  Today the planet is covered with highways, railway tracks, shipping routes and power lines.

How do we make modern transportation corridors more energy efficient and less polluting, and also accommodate other forms of mobility?  Moreover, migrating animals, birds, marine life and pollinator species all need sufficient habitat and space to move through regions safely.  In just one country, Brazil, an estimated 1.3 million animals die every day after being struck by cars and trucks.

Avalon SHIFT is designing extraordinary land and water transportation corridors with: 

  • multi-modal green rail, transit, roads and bike lanes
  • charging stations for electric vehicles and other innovative transport 
  • berms and buffer zones for mitigating noise, EMF and air pollution
  • linked community open spaces, nature trails and parkland
  • chemical-free pathways and habitat zones for birds and pollinators
  • designated wildlife corridors with highway overpasses/ underpasses
  • sustainable tourism along historical, indigenous and pilgrimage routes
  • sustainable ports, solar-wind powered ships and other innovations 

Avalon’s focus on public-private partnerships (P3) to implement projects can promote connectivity and cooperation between regions.  Our efforts will also foster world heritage protection, fair trade opportunities, environmental restoration and sustainable development projects along these new or enhanced routes. 

Eco-Infrastructure Districts

Avalon SHIFT Ecodistricts empower communities to wean off conventional nuclear, fossil fuel and mega dam energy sources through integrated community energy solutions and self-reliant  infrastructure.  More specifically, our Ecodistricts will: 

  • decentralize energy generation and distribute their own renewable energy through off-grid, island micro-grid or main grid tie-in systems
  • emphasize energy-efficient design and passive climate-adaptive solutions
  • incorporate breakthrough energy technologies to accelerate the transition to clean energy  
  • design for zero-emission electric vehicles and multimodal transportation like transit, light rail, bike lanes and community trails
  • utilize our neighbourhood-scale ELUS system to reclaim water and nutrients from sewage, capture storm water on-site, recycle and compost wastes, grow organic food year-round, mitigate EMF radiation, among other innovative functions 

Some neighbourhood districts in parts of Europe, Asia and other regions already have solar homes, heat recovery buildings and renewable energy installations generating more power into the grid than what they consume (“energy plus” communities).  Good city and regional planning is also key to reducing energy use through compact mixed-use design, sustainable agriculture, green value-added industries, conscious consumer culture and other strategic measures.

Garden City Bioregions

The Garden City was defined more than a century ago by British visionary Ebenezer Howard. This planned system of city central connected by rail and road to satellite towns and villages, separated by productive agricultural belts and surrounded by watershed forests, was meant to be the perfect harmony of urban living and peaceful countryside. This vision was later expanded on by American Bioregionalism, emphasizing watershed defined identity, and the unique sense of place created by local social, cultural and natural features.

In 2005, as an outcome of climate change concerns and a federal gas tax agreement, some Canadian Regional Districts, Municipalities and First Nations began utilizing an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) framework. This was a step in the right direction, as Official Community Plans (OCPs) have not been able to effectively address the complex growth issues, technological shifts, and socio-cultural transformation required for real sustainability.  

Avalon SHIFT offers city regions a broader scope of strategic planning that is action-oriented and focused on collaborative thinking and community private-public partnerships (P3). While we may not achieve Ebenezer Howard’s utopia, there are many creative solutions for making cities more liveable, revitalizing satellite towns, decentralizing energy production, transitioning to sustainable agriculture, designing multimodal corridors and protecting community watersheds.  Many cities in Asia, like Singapore and Chengdu China, are leading the way.

Global Outreach Projects

Avalon responds with compassion to a world in crisis by extending SHIFT projects, community health solutions and regenerative eco-technologies to areas of greatest need – especially those recovering from war, social upheaval, conditions of poverty and climate change disasters.  Avalon Outreach can also help restore specific environments degraded by deforestation, pollution and other impacts.

As populations in cities grow at unprecedented rates, they create hubs of national production and consumption but contribute to disease, pollution, crime and poverty, especially in the urban-rural fringe.  Avalon’s response is two-fold:  reverse the trend of migration from outlying areas by improving the sustainability of existing farms and rural communities, and then establish safe passage corridors and humanitarian settlement nodes for refugees, war orphans and landless families who would otherwise end up stranded in urban slums.  

Avalon Outreach projects will develop or reconstruct culturally appropriate ecovillage communities with comfortable housing, renewable energy and eco-infrastructure technologies, healthy food production, sustainable livelihoods and educational training programs.  

 To provide humanitarian relief and undertake large-scale restoration efforts, Avalon Outreach will require both professional engagement and global membership volunteers, relying on contributions from ethical corporate revenues tithing (eg. Avalon Ethical Market program), project crowdfunding, private sector sponsors, as well as funding partnerships with international agencies, state governments and NGO charities.

Exciting Avalon SHIFT certification projects are already in progress and more will be underway soon! Do you have a private development, workplace, environmental or community application that could benefit from SHIFT whole system approaches?

Green Development Guild

The Avalon Alliance creates opportunities for individual guild members to work and teach together in advancing the cause of sustainable development locally and internationally.  The Green Development Guild will consist of building and landscape architects, urban and regional planners,  community facilitators, municipal professionals, organic farmers, global outreach practitioners, academic experts, autocad designers, real estate agents, professional project managers, skilled builders and tradespeople.