Living Systems’ mission is to further the sustainability of life by addressing the design, construction and life cycle of our built environment for you and for generations to come.

MICHAEL FRERKING, Architect & General Contractor

michael frerkingBorn and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, Michael was witness to that area’s uncontrolled growth. Choosing to direct his energies toward a more sustainable solution to our built environment, Michael obtained his architectural degree from Arizona State University in 1973. Unlike most architects of that time, however, Michael focused exclusively on sustainable practices; particularly on high mass earthen buildings that promoted passive solar heating and cooling.  One of his earliest designs – featured in Arizona Highways – was the Greib Home, the first passive solar home in Arizona.

Again, unlike most architects, Michael recognized early in his career that quality architecture – one designed to meet both a specified budget and high sustainable building standards — is only as good as one’s knowledge of sustainable construction. Michael, therefore, worked in the construction field for two years before opening his own architectural practice.

In 1976, Michael began Living Systems, an architectural practice dedicated to designing energy efficient, high mass, passive solar homes.  Focusing first on adobe and rammed earth as his main wall building materials, Michael knew that there had to be a better method for “pouring” an earth-friendly soil cement material that would reduce both time and labor thereby making high-mass homes less expensive to build.  By 1994, Michael had designed a mix that could do just that!

Michael has become well regarded, nationally and internationally, as one of the leading architects in the field of high mass, earthen design and construction.  Acting today as both architect and builder, Michael provides quality, creative architectural services that promise to meet the client’s budget and aesthetic desires.

In 2015, Michael, with the help of Mike Gray, developed an even more INNOVATIVE and AFFORDABLE process for the pouring of an earth-friendly soil cement material called Form Free which eliminates the use of heavy, labor-intensive and expensive forms.  Instead, this ground-breaking system makes use of internal “space frames” constructed of heavy wire mesh.


Living Systems is led by architect Michael Frerking who specializes in a revolutionary building technique called Form Free Poured Earth. We offer sustainable architecture services including Design/Build and consulting, and provide Poured Earth Training and Certification. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to learn more or start a conversation about your next project.

Free Download! New HomeBuilder's Guide

Did you know it's possible to build a SUSTAINABLE home that is AFFORDABLE and HIGH QUALITY? Join our mailing list to receive our free 6-page New HomeBuilder's Guide that will help you outline everything you need to know and all the important decisions along the way to building your dream home.

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