Peace Resource Center of San Diego
San Diego Friends Meeting (Quakers)
San Diego First Church of the Brethren
American Friends Service Committee


About Us

The Friends Center brings together innovative work for peace, social justice, spiritual growth and the environment in a variety of ways:

Housed in an energy-efficient straw bale building—the first in central city San Diego—the Friends Center will feature innovative, durable and proven straw bale construction, as well as solar power, water recycling and other environmentally sustainable materials, systems and techniques. Straw, for example, is a waste product that is usually burned, which is bad for the atmosphere. By using straw bale as a building material, the Friends Center will demonstrate how waste materials can be used in keeping with the right use of the earth’s resources. The grounds of the Friends Center will also demonstrate environmental sustainability through the use of permaculture—the planting of food-bearing trees and bushes.

As part of the building’s mission of promoting “green” construction, regular open houses will give individuals and professional builders the opportunity to learn about new earth-friendly systems and techniques.

As a cooperative project among four partners, the building demonstrates how peace and social justice advocates can collaborate and pool their resources to build and share space.

The Friends Center will provide office and meeting space for the four partners, and it will benefit other community organizations by providing space for meetings, workshops and programs.

The two historic peace churches provide an opportunity for community members seeking spiritual growth to connect with others of like mind.

The two peace and justice organizations involved are important voices in the community speaking out against war and injustice and for nonviolent social change, while providing opportunities for meaningful involvement.

Architects for the building are the San Diego firm of Hubbell and Hubbell,, well known for their green building projects, which are both environmentally-friendly and artistically inspiring.

Friends Center: Design and Materials
Juergen Zierler, Project Architect

This online video was first offered as a presentation by Juergen Zierler, project architect, at a May 2007 fundraising and informational dinner for the Friends Center building project. His talk and slide show laid out the various aspects of the Friends Center and how they manifest sustainable building philosophy and technique.

Click here to watch video


Building Steering Committee

  • Ken Aeschbacher
  • David Barrows
  • Sara Haldeman-Scarr
  • Gordon Jacobsen
  • Carol Jahnkow
  • Chuck Orr
  • Alvin Stern
  • American Friends Service
    Committee Staff
  • Special thanks to former members, Hal Brody, Roberto Martinez, David Neptune, Anne Penery, John Penery and Rae Stern

To see a list of the values used in choosing our building materials, click here