ecohome

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Could you live in a greenhouse?
This Dutch family of four, plus their pets, is spending three years trialling life in an ambitious sustainability project.

The Scholten family of Rotterdam (mum, dad, two teenagers, a dog and a cat) jumped at the chance to participate in an ambitious sustainability project – living inside a greenhouse in the Netherlands for three years.

But this is no small greenhouse. It’s a huge, double-height volume that combines living quarters with gardens on both levels, and is equipped with solar water heating, shade sails and every vegetable you could possibly want.

The concept was initiated by Rotterdam University – the students who built the greenhouse have named it the CHIBB House, an acronym for Concept House Instituut van Bouw en Bedrijfskunde.

The research team is closely monitoring the living environment and ecology, energy use and resource consumption.

Helly Sholten, who is a botanical stylist and already had a natural affinity with plants, has been charting the family’s progress on Instagram, and so far – just a few months in – it all seems to be going just fine.

Looking at this site all morning ’That Roundhouse’. Ecohome of wood frame, cobwood and recycled window walls, straw-insulated turf roof; with solar power and wind turbine for electricity, compost toilet and reed beds for grey water. Turned down for planning permission several times. Plenty of pictures, history and updates.

New Post has been published on http://ecofriendlyretailer.com/eco-home/the-green-self-build-book-how-to-design-and-build-your-own-eco-home/

The Green Self-Build Book: How to Design and Build Your Own Eco-Home

Whether you want a turf roof, solar-powered hot water, or a superinsulated (and cost-efficient) house, you need to know the essential elements of the self-build process, and in The Green Self-Build Book, Jon Broome gives an overview of the different methods of sustainable and eco-friendly construction techniques. The book includes case studies of green building techniques such as earth and straw bale buildings and is intended for anyone who is planning a self-build project, housing professionals, students, and teachers. The Green Self-Build Book gives inspiration and information to guide you through the green self-build process.

meetyourroom.com
Eco Home Soleta ZeroEnergy by FITS (Justin Capra Foundation for Inventics and Sustainable Technologies) - MeetYouRoom
Eco Home Soleta ZeroEnergy One was designed by FITS (Justin Capra Foundation for Inventics and Sustainable Technologies) Locate : Bucharest, Romania. “Soleta zeroEnergy is a new concept of premium eco homes, developed by the Justin Capra Foundation for Inventics and Sustainable Technologies (FITS). The finalized functional prototype of this concept, Soleta zeroEnergy One, is in Bucharest, …
Down to Earth… Is the concept of Earthing a bit out there?
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This week the B man and I are visiting my parents who live under the guard of the beautiful Brokenback Mountain in the Hunter Valley. My parents are amazing artists (I’m not biased! They really are!) and escaped Sydney in the 70s for an idyllic life in the country painting and living the artist’s dream. 

Well 40 or so years later they are still living here and still working in their own art studio.

They decided to build a mud brick house from the soil here on the property and after 8 years of hard labour it was finally complete. Mud brick house? Yes just like the Moroccans. In fact, according to eartharchitecture.org, one half of the world’s population, approximately 3 billion people across 6 continents, live or work in buildings constructed of earth. I didn’t realise how amazing their house was when I was growing up because it was just ‘normal’ to me but the older I get the more I appreciate how functional, beautiful and incredible it is and also the enormity of project that my parents took on. But more about the house in a minute..

A few days ago I read an article about 'earthing’. Just hold on a second before you get out your tie dye and start smoking a doobie. It certainly does sound like something you’d learn about in a Woodstock documentary but after reading a bit about it I became curious. There is a lot of information out there about Earthing and the more I scratched, the more I dug up.

This is my beautifully articulate one liner… “Earthing” is de-free-radicalising yourself by connecting yourself to the earth and neutralising your positive charge.

Okay so that still does sound a bit peace love and mung beans.. Well how about this..

Earthinginstitute.net has it worded a bit better than me “The research indicates that Earthing transfers negatively charged free electrons into the body that are present in a virtually limitless and continuously renewed supply on the surface of the Earth.  The existence of this unseen electron “reservoir” has been established by science. Maintaining contact with the ground allows your body to naturally receive and become charged with these electrons. When thus “grounded,” any electron deficiencies and free radical excesses in the body are corrected.  A natural electrical state is restored." 

They go on.. ”Earthing, or grounding as it is often called, simply means connecting to the Earth’s natural, negative surface charge by being barefoot outside or in bare skin contact with conductive systems indoors while you sleep, relax, or work. A simple concept, yes.  But one with profound impact on the physiology. Connection with the Earth restores a lost electrical signal to the body that seems to stabilize the complicated circuitry of our essentially-electrical body. Our built-in self-regulating and self-healing mechanisms become more effective.  There are head-to-toe improvements.  Better blood flow.  Less pain and inflammation.  More energy.  Deeper sleep.  For many people the effect is dramatic, like charging a failing battery.  For others, the effect is gradual and subtle.“

But I can’t see it? Is it real? I don’t know.. I’m still skeptical but intrigued enough to try it as much as I can… 

We do live in a world full of wifi, 3G, 4G, radio, television, internet, satellite, telepathy, frequency after frequency. And we no longer roam the earth in our bare feet or sleep on rocky cave floors automatically balancing ourselves with the Earth’s energy. What do the studies say? Well here’s some I googled: check them out or many studies available: here.

Back to my parents house… Mum and dad pretty much live off the grid now on solar power, rain water and their home is the biggest masterpiece they have created. It’s a big beautiful house that dad designed himself. His goal was to build a home that was suitable for the Australian climate. The mud brick is bushfire resistant, it keeps the house cool inside during the summer and keeps the warmth of the big fireplace inside during the winter. All the details are recycled or home made. The front windows are from an old Manly ferry that was demolished, the floor is tiled with slate recycled from an old church roof, the stain glass windows were collected from various places over the years. The walls about 50cm thick of mud bricks complete with hand prints of everyone who helped build the house.. The walls are connected to the earth by a cement slab. When you are in the house you are well and truly 'grounded’ or 'earthed’! And I’ve never really thought about this before as I only read this article a few days ago but every time I’m here I have a really deep sleep. I’m sure that has a lot to do with my mum’s awesome cooking but maybe it might have to do with how earthed I am when I’m sleeping. Dad even jokes that when my sister and I come to visit all we do is put a load of washing on, plug in our phones and take a nap. So dad.. being equal parts artist, architect, skeptic, science enthusiast, father and engineer.. what’s your opinion on all this?

If you know my parents you know that I’m not exaggerating when I say you really couldn’t find two more down to earth people if you tried and it makes you wonder if their earthing lifestyle might have something to do with how healthy, relaxed and happy they are?

Well people, if you don’t have a mud brick house to sleep in tonight then there are other ways to get your earthing time. Apparently walking on the beach or swimming in the ocean is a great way to de-free-radicalise yourself… Ever had a great nights sleep after a day at the beach? Or by putting your feet in some soil, on rock, or cement for half an hour every day… Bare feet that is.. without the rubber soles.

So go lay on the beach, have a dip in the sea or take a walk in the park and let me know if it makes a difference to your life. Or if that’s a bit hard you could buy some fang dangled device called an Earthing mat. There are a lot of mixed reviews out there for such things but each to their own. I might stick to earthing myself at Bondi when I’m not visiting mum and dad.

References:

http://www.goearthing.com/category_s/53.htm

Wellness Mama has an interesting article about it: check it out

http://earthinginstitute.net/about-us/

http://www.earthing.com/category_s/1823.htm

http://www.groundology.com/au/scientific-research

http://www.eartharchitecture.org

Check out mum and dad: crowtrap studio




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