So I recently read a comment written by one of our readers, Jason, he made an interesting point when he said (paraphrasing) at what point can we take a house and stop it from consuming, to producing. This is a very interest notion, traditionally houses and their systems require resources to operate, to maintain, to use etc. Now being a producer could mean the house itself produces, a system within the house, the person who lives in the house; how can we turn this negative into a positive?
So it left me wondering how could I have a house that doesn’t consume, but produces; while this might actually be impossible if you start looking at the laws of physics it might be a more accurate statement that a house that can offset the inputs with it’s outputs. But is this even possible?
The average American home creates 4 tons of waste in just its construction, the average house produces almost 90,000 pounds of carbon emissions. Now a Tiny House will drastically reduces the amount you have to offset, but it will still be a good bit. Here are some ideas that could help us get closer to making our house a producer, not a consumer.
First and foremost I would urge you to first reduce what you consume, being conscious of what you consume, if you have to purchase something, think about how you can extend the life of it or if you can use something that you have to preform the function. Finally if you have to use something, recycle or up-cycle it.
Grow your home
How about instead of building a home, you grow one! Here are two idea, the first is a real example that is being used already, the other is a concept that is grown from protein structures.
Not only does the roof process CO2, but it can grow food and drastically reduce cooling and heating costs. This isn’t a new concept but still an attractive concept.
Now obviously it take energy and resources to produce solar panels, geo-thermal taps, and wind turbines, so you have to take into account how much you have to produce to just offset the production, but I would suspect you could make up the difference and then some over the lifetime of the products.