Buz Weas is part of a group that is building water kiosks, dwellings and even entire villages that are affordable and sustainable. This group produces The Habihut, a comfortable, expandable, durable building that can house a family, a water system, or even toilet unit. They are at the forefront of providing innovative housing solutions in Kenya, and recently in Haiti following the earthquake disaster.
We learned of The Habihut from an article in the Missoulian, and noticed that a baby boomer was one of the founders. We caught up with Buz Weas to learn more about how The Habihut is “doing good while doing well,” and to hear the story of his own reinvention.
Previously, Buz’s corporate career was in large software and hardware companies. In the late 90s, he took the entrepreneurial leap and joined a couple of engineers to start Mountain Systems, which produced a software product the likes of Procter and Gamble and Kimberly Clark used to improve plant efficiencies. In 2003, GE bought Mountain Systems, and Buz had his first, “what should I do with the rest of my life” moment.
He and his wife have always been enamored with Big Sky country and traveled to Montana annually to ski. A move to the area seemed the logical next step. With trepidation at leaving their comfortable life in Green Bay, Wisconsin, but with full family support for living the dream, the Weas family settled outside of Bozeman.
Not one to sit still and smell the roses, Buz built spec homes for the ultra-swank Yellowstone Club and was doing so when the real estate woes hit. Buz recognized another reinvention was due and met the father-son team, Eldon and Bruce Leep, who had hatched The Habihut concept. Buz says he, “has been tracking renewable energies with interest,” and has “followed the shoe donation programs of Tom Shoe with great admiration.” He was sure that his next endeavor should have a “social responsibly aspect as well as a renewable one,“ which is representative of the boomer generation who were out to change the world in the 60s, and are now looking for ways to improve it.
Buz is obviously impassioned about taking this company to the next level, which is likely to be assisted by this recent New York Times article. He foresees a very inexpensive solar-desalination product that fits well with the water kiosk, and addresses the myriad of brackish aquifers in the undeveloped world. It seems Buz has always moved in the direction of his priorities. He reports that he intends to “enjoy life and family by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.” We are thankful for busy boomers like Buz who is one of the “give-back revolutionaries” we mentioned in our blog on “A Few Famous Boomers.” He joins many boomers in believing that, “at this point, the key to staying interesting and vital over the next 40 years is to remain engaged and busy.”
See our review of Habihut under Boomers – Meaningful Employment