Posts Tagged Sustainable

Next Generation Home

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.

Reduce your usage right off the bat

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.

Green Roofs

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.

Green Power

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.

What other ideas could make your home a producer, not a consumer?

ECObitat Prefab Modular System

Here is a neat prototype is kinda neat and has recently won a few awards for design.  From the designer:

The ECObitat start from a modular system of 2.44 m x 3,10 m x 12.20 m, scaled from the standard OSB  plate (oriented strand board) of 1.22 m x 2.44 m, defining areas of flexible multipurpose that can be progressively coupled and adequate for transport. Legs telescope from the base ensuring a good adaptability to different types of topographies. The responsible use of recyclable and industrial materials results in a speedy and prompt delivery of manufacturing space modules.
The main materials of the system are:
– Structure in “steel framing”
– Vertical walls and floor in OSB with thermo-acoustic insulation;
– Coverage in metal type sandwich tiles;
– Window in tempered glass;
– Green roof and walls;
– System of reuse of water;
– Use of solar panels for water heating;
– Use of wind power to generate electricity.

Via

Luxe Hara Villa

The Luxe Hara Villa  was designed by Pinakin Patel, a designer who first got his start creating picture frames in Mumbai, has released a new prefab luxury villa for India.  Designed to be low impact, this prefab can be erected in a short time, but still have a very sense of class.   Designed to limit the use of water and electricity, this house still has all the comforts of a modern house.  A single bedroom, well apointed bathroom, AC, internet, energy saving lights the whole house comes in at $64,000 US Dollars, not half bad.

This house is pretty compact, with only 325 square feet inside and another 325 square feet of patio under a pergola, it certainly is a Tiny House.

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Baby Chicks

So about 2 years ago I started a long term goal of mine: to gradually grow most of my food on my own.  Today I am taking a huge step, I am adding animals!  I just picked up 6 Rhode Island Reds baby chicks!  I have built a coop for them when they get a bit older, but for now here is a quick video in their new home.

I choose this breed of chickens because they are known for laying large eggs frequently, which is what I primarily want them for.  They don’t get broody, generally quieter, aren’t too jumpy.  The other upside is that they do pretty well as a meat chicken in the event that I have to do so.  This is kinda a big step in the process that I am working on and I hope I am doing it right!  Anyway, there is more to come on the chicks in the coming weeks.