David Bainbridge


I grew up in the West in a small town working in the family toy factory and enjoying
the rivers, mountains and sage covered hills. After earning my BA in Earth Sciences at UC
San Diego in 1970, I headed to UC Davis to complete an MS in Ecology in the
multidisciplinary Eco-Grad Program. I started a company doing environmental impact
analysis, then transitioned to a solar research and design firm, Living Systems, where I
worked on community design, passive solar heating and cooling, building codes and solar
rights. My research on passive solar heating and cooling led me to the California Energy
Commission as a solar specialist, where I earned a commendation for my work on the
passive section of the state Solar Tax Credit program. I then established the Passive
Solar Institute to continue research, education, and consulting on solar design and
energy conservation. I started work on straw bale building systems in 1985 with a
consulting project for a farmer, an interest that eventually led to the completion of The
Straw Bale House in 1994. After the collapse in energy prices dampened interest in solar
energy in the early 1980s I returned to academia and worked on desert restoration at UC
Riverside and San Diego State University from 1986-2001. In 1995 I started teaching at
Alliant International University, where I retired as Associate Professor of Sustainable
Management in the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management. My current research involves
micro-irrigation, cool pool design, and true cost accounting.