2021.09.03 2022.05.11 2022.05.11 article Amenoumamenoum.org Building sustainable houses. biology life, house, optimization https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5425435 /authors/Amenoum.html#credits Sustainable houses
Building living structures
Abstract Houses of human population are, in general, large scale quanta of bottled environmental catastrophe. Here, an alternative is proposed. Intro Houses in cancerous society are generally too wasteful and built on anthropocentric principles, replacing wildlife and healthy environments with artificial, domesticated life and sterile environments. While isolation from wildlife is not bad per se, it is unsustainable when it is not balanced. In short, isolation should include in situ production of resources if resources taken from wildlife are not balanced with resources given back, or shared, to ensure its survival. The isolated system should be a self-regulated eco-system on its own - a closed (self-sustainable) system with its own atmosphere and [re]cycling of energy, a system that does not grow uncontrollably (have an infinite growth policy). Absolute isolation is, however, impossible (but, as stated, also unnecessary with symmetric energy exchange), but modern habitats, especially those in cities, are far from being even remotely self-sustainable. Yet, the habitats and their consumption of remote resources are still growing. This is one proposal of the alternative. A living house, precursor Even while I was expressing polarized behaviour I always liked wooden houses. I thought concrete houses are ugly, screaming with artificial crafting, colours, carefully guarded but wasted and dead spaces in between calm natural greenery. Now that I am conscious of my nature, I know why I felt that way. Houses built out of wood, soil and natural rock are generally non-cancerous (environmentally friendly) and can be truly sustainable and non-expensive, compared to expensive and sustainable or green houses made out of artificial materials. Of course, depending on desires, a wooden house can be more expensive than a concrete one, but that is generally due to greed and inverted values in society - sure, it is cheaper to buy an industrial tomato than a home-grown one, but is it better and is it really cheaper in the long term? To eat subsidized chemically treated taste-lacking substance grown as mono-culture on killed wildlife? That's not cheaper, that's suicidal (it is only virtually cheaper, because it is subsidized). The same goes for housing. In any case, if one is interested in sustainable living, one is interested in symbiosis with environment and as much local production and waste consumption as possible. Construction It would be good not to think of a house as a construction that has a single purpose - to serve humans (modern constructions are generally contraptions, a master of a house is also its slave), at any cost to the environment. An ideal house would be something that grows and adapts to one as much as one grows and adapts to it. A house that breathes and regulates its internal atmosphere. Such are organic houses. While a truly living house might still be in the future, organic precursors can be built already. A house of wood If one is going to make a house of wood, it would be good to make it out of older trees. Old trees radiate more CO2 than they absorb, so by cutting them down, even though one is killing them, one is not necessarily doing damage to the ecosystem (this is why wild-fires in thick old forests are good - they enable new young and CO2 absorbing trees to grow). Of course, sometimes this might require planting some trees also, in order to keep the system in balance (or restore balance, as often is the case in current climate). If one does not like killing trees, even old ones, one can try finding dead and wounded ones, these should be easier to take, however, trees are strongly introverted organisms and it is highly unlikely they feel physical deformation as strong pain (they are likely a precursor to a hair-like organism). Even so, one might opt out to collect already dead trees, but then one will probably want to mix these with something else (soil) to build a house. It is good to search for dead trees after a storm, as there will usually be good wood lying around. Alternative materials No need to use wood to build a sustainable house, ie. healthy and beautiful houses can also be built using cob, adobe, rammed earth or straw bale. And if such house is more expensive to construct than one out of concrete or anything similar, one is being cheated. Location I find the best location for a sustainable house on a hill, or a mountain. It is more windy, which is healthy for the environment and it enables one to keep the air in the house fresh, with no need for constant opening of doors and windows. Wooden walls also help here, keeping indoor air at good quality. But this location is good for other reasons too - wastewater disposal is one of them. Ideally, a water source should also be nearby. Wastewater disposal Suppose the house is on a hill, up north. If the forest is just south of the house (if not, one should plan to grow a small forest south or south-west, south-east of the house), it would be good for waste disposal channels to lead to this patch of land - this is where faeces, urine and other waste water should go (anything not rich in chemicals that badly affect wild-life). In order to prevent piling up of waste, the leading channel should be split into multiple smaller channels leading to different parts of the land (1 channel per inhabitant should be enough, at least in case of healthy inhabitants). The channels may start underground from the house, but the waste should exit on land surface.
It generally takes 1 (one!) day for faeces to be absorbed by the soil on a healthy forest floor.
Of course, there's no need to use indoor facilities - it might just be an unnecessary complication. Garbage If one lives sustainably, there will be no long-term garbage in waste. Everything should be bio-degradable within a reasonable time-frame. Unless one already has some, plastic should not be used, it will never be recycled in significant quantity by humans. It is not excluded that nature will, with accelerated evolution, select and spread microbes that can efficiently degrade it, however, those who live sustainably are not gamblers enough to count on that. Energy Anything that has a big impact on environment should not be an option. A working wind turbine is affecting birds, insects and [important!] wind circulation patterns. Anything affecting birds and insects is further affecting those who depend on them and due to universal entanglement of life, this can have far-reaching consequences. Generally, the larger wind turbine is the more cost-effective it is, but again, the cost here is cost in absolute money, not long-term [or any] cost of impact on environment (life). If one wants a wind turbine, it would be good to make sure it is cost-effective not cost-effective. Similar can be applied to solar panels - they might not have large impact on larger wildlife, but they replace wildlife and also impact the climate.
Solar panels on a roof might not cover a large area just like a car might not use a lot of fuel, but things add up on global scale and, with everything taken into account, can end up being unsustainable. However, like stated earlier, if the impact is small (one or a couple of panels per person) and it is balanced, it should not be a problem.
The key is to be conscious of the magnitude of impact and is it cost-effective (sustainable in the long-term). Solar panels as part of roof structure might sound good, but solar panels are also expensive and inefficient - it is better to cover the roof with soil and let plants grow there, providing one with cheap but good [regulated] isolation in return (one can put some panels but it would not be good to cover the whole roof with them, especially if there are no plants below them). Consider Fig. \fig1.
Energy consumption in EU households
Fig. \fig1: Energy consumption in EU households In a typical EU household, 64% of energy is used for heating air and 14% for heating water - that's almost 80% of energy used for heating. Interestingly, human body also converts 80% of consumed energy into heat - so most our houses are as inefficient as we are. However, energy efficiency is not a requirement for sustainability. Nature often wastes energy somewhere only for that energy to be used somewhere else.
Bear, for example, won't normally eat the whole salmon, but someone else will finish the remains.
And that is the key to sustainability - recycling and sharing energy, not energy efficiency. In fact, energy efficiency can be linked to loss of diversity - if our bodies would be more energy efficient, who would heat [and thus sustain] the ecosystems living in and on us (that we cannot live without)?
Bear, for example, will eat the whole salmon when there's not much salmon. That's less food for others, decreasing diversity. But why is there less salmon, if not due to loss of diversity in the first place?
Waste is thus not a problem, it's a necessity, but it has to be recycled - not trashed on piles. The problem with modern houses is not that they are inefficient, the problem is - they're selfish. They are not designed to share energy with the ecosystem they're part of. First, a lot of material (energy) is taken from the environment for the construction of the house and then energy is continuously being taken from the environment to sustain people inside that house. The main output of such house that goes to environment are greenhouse gases and plastic, often harming the environment. And the thing that would be beneficial to environment (human excreta) is collected on piles, unsuitable for use by nature and often out of reach for nature (in polarized people, it may also often contain diseases, antibiotics and other shit).
If one is not prepared to give much, one should not take much.
To be sustainable, negative impact on the environment should be matched by positive impact. In example, if one outputs excess CO2 to environment, one should fertilize the land and let enough plants grow to soak it all up (be a part of Earth's self-regulating mechanism).
Commonly, a lot of energy is spent to fight nature, keep households isolated and sterile, and to safeguard resources (energy) taken from nature. This makes one weak, unhealthy for itself and for the environment, requiring even more energy to stay alive. As such, one is not part of Earth's self-regulating mechanism, it is a disruptor of normal function - a disease.
However, the bigger the impact the harder it becomes to keep the ecosystem in balance. To ensure long-term sustainability, the best practice would then be to reduce the impact. One should not haul materials from one part of the country to the other in order to build a house and one shouldn't use synthetic isolation that traps energy, rather natural isolation that regulates temperature. If one has ever lived in [one mouth] caves one would have noticed that temperature there is roughly constant throughout the year and roughly equal to yearly average temperature on the surface.
The global average surface temperature is currently around 15° C, and rising.
Thus, optimal solution is a house that's underground (or at least partly) with a top covered with soil and plants. In such house one can survive a whole year without heating, but if one does heat it one won't need much energy to achieve optimal temperature. However, if that energy cannot be extracted sustainably, it would be better to wear a jacket. Heating energy source Locally available energy source should be used for heating. That can be wood, but it should be harvested properly. Sustainable harvesting includes thinning of dense stands and removal of poorer quality trees, while leaving seed trees of all presents species and ages, and some standing dead trees to provide wildlife habitat. Healthy forest can give 4.5 m3 of wood per hectare (10000 m2) per year, forever. Some claim it can give 10 m3 per hectare per year but the same ones often use a lot of wood for heating.
The number should depend on the forest, but, in any case, one should not aim to use more than 5 m3 of wood per year per person. Land on Earth used by people should not be more than 1.5 hectares per person (for a population of 7.7 * 109) and at least 1 hectare of that should be forest with wild animals.
Electricity Sometimes, there are better alternatives than using electricity to get energy or work done. One should not be afraid to use body parts to do some occasional work if one does not want to loose them completely. Large and noisy machines affect diversity of life and should not be used - if one is in a hurry, making jobs out of work, one is likely cancerous. One should not have to work a lot, one should do satisfying work, not have, or strive to have a lot of space and material possessions for which one does not have time to care for. If one is not cancerous, electricity demands will generally be low and could probably be satisfied with one small-scale low-impact electricity source or a combination of such sources. To me, an ideal electricity source would be a small wooden turbine on spring water, with no forced accumulation of water. While, a fusion reactor might be the ideal source of electricity, for now, too much brute force is still required to get something usable. While I am sure that applying complete relativity to fusion reactor designs can improve the yield, I am not sure any more if that energy source can be cost-effective for us or our scale of life. Sustainable energy source should not require so much brute force - if it does, then it certainly was not meant for us, but for larger scale life-forms, such as the Sun. Sustainable energy sources are generally provided by the god organism (Earth, in our case). However, it cannot be ruled out that a way to create and sustain fusion reactions more easily won't be found. I am still doing experiments with low-energy reactions. In any case, high energy, thermonuclear fusion reactions are not meant for us and it is highly unlikely these will ever be cost-effective for humans. Chapter Food revised. Food In extremely cancerous society nothing is produced in situ. Everything is separated into specialized departments and there is no holistic approach to problem solving. However, without such approach problems are rarely solved, more commonly, new problems are introduced - they are just not labelled as problems, rather as new jobs. In such society no one is concerned about food when building a house. The values are so inverted that people care least for things they need the most. If one does not want to be cancerous one will have to think a lot about food - how is it produced and where it comes from. One will want its food to be produced as close to the house as possible. The industry has taught us that it is hard to produce food. And that is true - as long as one keeps destroying diversity and producing food primarily for profit. But there are much easier, better and cheaper ways to produce food and one should not be afraid to try them.
If one is still not convinced that all current green production and care about the climate and the planet are not fake, one just needs to take a look at how long we are aware of problems and how we are still [not] solving them. In 1975., almost 50 (!) years ago, M. Fukuoka, after decades of practice and experiments, has found a way to produce natural (quality) food in simple, cheap and sustainable green way that can satisfy the needs of all humanity for food. He was ignored 50 years ago and likes of him are still ignored today - why? Because cancerous industry does not need a solution, the policy of unlimited economic growth requires creation of new problems and new jobs. When one reads a book written 50 years ago and it feels like it was written tomorrow, then what is that progress everyone talks about? Once a solution that works is found, anything beyond is not progress, one can call it modern and new, but calling it progress is a delusion. Sometimes, to progress, is to realize that further progression is futile.
I am aware that most of us are already used not to do diverse work and most of us know least about food production. But that doesn't have to be a problem - it is not inherently bad to specialize and not to worry about food production, but one should care about its sustainability. Thus, not even industry has to be bad. As long as it doesn't care about profits and unlimited growth it can be sustainable. In any case, even if one doesn't think food production is something one could do, it would be good to try it - one might find it actually does make one happy. In fact, one might find that working 10 times more so one can afford the thing that looks perfect but has no taste (or has too much taste but low useful energy so it creates addiction rather than satisfaction) does not make a lot of sense any more. Like a genuinely green and healthy house, genuinely green and healthy food is cheap to produce. If it is not cheap - one is being cheated. Perhaps not directly by the seller, but by one's self - because one has allowed the industry, government and banks to make one a fool. Cleaning One really should not be obsessed with cleaning, anything - it is simply unhealthy. If one doesn't use artificial chemicals anywhere, most if not all of cleaning can be done using plain water and natural materials.
I drink my water from the same glass for at least a month, although I do keep the glass with water in a cold place. I generally eat soup daily, but the pot and the spoon I use for it are washed every 7 days or so - I simply cover the pot so flies don't get in there, but I see no reason for these to be washed every day. It all depends on the type of food, but there is generally no need to constantly wash the dishes and do so thoroughly, it is generally better (cost-effective) not to do any cleaning thoroughly. I have never been sick due to these habits and it is highly unlikely this ever had a bad effect on my health, more likely, it helps to keep me healthy. Apart from the yearly flu, I am, generally, hardly ever sick. The biggest problem I had with my body was skin allergy, which I have successfully solved once I have renounced polarized cancerous behaviour. Cancerous individuals are diseases and attract diseases, perhaps that is why they can be obsessed with cleaning, but if one doesn't want to be cancerous, one will have to stop behaving like it is eventually. And it is better to stop sooner than later, because it only gets harder.
Added chapter House animals. House animals Fear of wild animals is somehow embedded into consciousness of many polarized people. That fear is generally irrational, in most cases presence of wild animals is not a threat (in most cases it is beneficial) to people and may be dangerous for the wild animal rather than to a domesticated man. Sources of that fear can be various - it may be instinct inherited with inter-species soul oscillation (ie. territoriality of domestic canine species), it may be induced by industry, selfishness, etc. In neutral people, however, this fear should not be present and such people will be more open to sharing habitats with wild animals, rather with enslaved (domesticated) ones. Some wild animals, such as shrews, lizards and spiders should be welcome guests in a sustainable house. These will not bother one and will hardly be noticed during daily activity, yet, they will keep the house free from insects that can bother people (ie. ants and flies).
Spiders generally weave webs in rarely accessed places, such as room corners. Shrews move along wall edges and prefer darkness. Lizards generally hide from people (at least until they learn one is not a threat). I love these animals, in fact, they seem to behave like me - I love visiting places rarely accessed by other people, I don't flow within the mainstream and I often avoid people, especially polarized ones. Pets of polarized people, on the other hand, I often see as pests, they're generally intrusive, abusive, needy and territorial - not unlike their owners, in a lot of cases.
Materials Wood, rock and clay may not be the best materials for some constructions. But one should not be deceived with 100% recyclable materials. Aluminium is, for example, almost 100% recyclable, but mining and extracting aluminium from ore is generally very environmentally expensive. Extraction of bits of material from tons of ore as part of an industrial process cannot ever be environmentally friendly. Therefore, if one believes a different material is needed, it is not good to dig deep in search of it. Digging deep holes into tissue, muscle and bone is something cancer does. Make it simple - materials (minerals, rocks) and fluids deep down surely do have some purpose but it is highly unlikely they are there waiting for those above the surface. If one really need them, they will appear on surface eventually, either from below or in form of meteorites. That is, unless one is cancerous. Added chapter Model. Model
Sustainable house
Fig. \fig2: Sustainable house One model of a sustainable house is shown on Fig \fig2. Here, existing concrete walls planned to form a basement of a future modern house have been used to build a smaller, better house.
Production of concrete is not environmentally friendly, it doesn't have the healthy qualities of natural materials and it certainly does nothing good for wildlife so it should not be considered when building sustainable houses. However, if concrete structure already exists, usually, it will be better to reuse/repurpose that structure than to build a new house from start. If the structure has a hole in the roof (ie. space left for a staircase) one might opt not to seal that hole absolutely and let some moisture inside the house. This would be very convenient for the cultivation of mushrooms (ie. on a tree log wedged between the floor and the ceiling). That might mean some moss will form in the house - but what's wrong with moss? It's very usable and I find it much better looking than concrete. In fact, it would be good to have moss on the floor too forming a living carpet, it's much better than a synthetic one - no need for vacuuming, and if one spills water on it - even better. This carpet absorbs water and small organic waste.
Except from the front, the house is almost completely below ground. Tree logs, branches and other organic material form Hügelkultur like mounds around the house enabling sustainable cultivation of vegetables. The roof is also covered with soil and succulents that regulate temperature below. In this example, some space has been left on roof edges to enable access to vegetables and possible installation of solar panels.
Note how the rain in this structure drains from the roof (or solar panels) directly to water vegetables, while the slope ensures proper drainage. Of course, the soil with vegetables should be mulched.
The front wall has been covered with Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) logs, providing additional isolation.
Black locust wood is strong, extremely resistant and durable (it practically does not rot, it has antifungal properties). Chemically-treated lumber lasts only a fraction of the lifetime compared to Black locust.
The logs can be processed and stacked on top of each other just like in ordinary log cabins, however, this is not the best solution when stacking logs next to an existing wall. If there is some air left between the wall and the logs, the logs might absorb energy from the wind and sun radiation, but with no conductive layer in between, such isolation would be weak. It would thus be good to intentionally leave some space between the logs and the wall and fill that space with sealing material - such as compact mixture of soil and hay (and perhaps some seeds). Plants (ie. moss) will eventually grow from that soil making the isolation even better.
Note that, in that case, there's no need to take off the bark and process the logs. Of course, it might be necessary to take steps to prevent initial erosion of the soil by rainwater. It might be possible to avoid this by allowing some erosion of the soil on the roof. If the soil on the roof is bounded with planks, there will be some space between the planks and the roof floor. Rainwater will carry micro-particles of soil (and nutrients) through that space to the edge of the roof and replenish the soil between the logs and the wall. This should not be a problem for the soil on the roof, the erosion would be small and that soil is replenished with waste (decomposed organic matter) and dust carried by wind/rain. Note that this also benefits the vegetables planted around the house. It would thus be good to throw organic materials (such as those for compost) on the roof soil and make it rich in nutrients which the rainwater will carry to the vegetables. The roof soil would then also be a good place to urinate.
If there's moss nearby, one can fill the space between the logs with moss itself. Moss is an excellent sealing material.
Construction detail
Fig. \fig3: Construction detail One such solution is shown in Fig. \fig3. Added chapters Materials and A living house. A living house No matter what kind of house one lives in, if one lives in symbiosis with the environment and its god [on whose surface one lives], one's house will only be a precursor to a living organic house which will be, eventually, provided naturally. This should certainly occur once one evolves into real homo.sapiens, however, it is possible that such houses (or precursors of these houses) will be provided to some even before.
There is no better, sustainable and renewable house than a living house.
If one is Earth's precursor neuron protein, this house might have a pyramidal shape and it will likely be larger than one's previous dead houses. It will be connected by veins to root systems in the ground through which one will be provided cold and hot water. The house will also have a separate energy source and will eventually grow electrically conductive veins to connect with other houses. In any case, this will be a relatively closed ecosystem where all your needs for food, water and sharing of information will be satisfied. Obviously, such houses most likely evolve from fusion of plant species. If these houses do appear on the surface of god in limited number, most likely, polarized homo.beta will try to imitate the design, as it will be an optimal solution given the environmental conditions. Conclusion The key to sustainable living is proper appreciation of space and time. One should not abuse either, otherwise one will be accumulating stress and one will, not only have diseases, but become a disease itself. Space and time are generally entangled - if one doesn't have a lot of space one doesn't need a lot of time to care for it and one shouldn't feel the need for big and expensive machines to care for it and to care for (when ones does things in a hurry - ones does not care for things, one does maintenance and pretend to care, even when one convinces its self it is not so).
No house is small. If one finds a house too small - it just means one spends too much time inside it, or has swollen eyes, infected with capitalism. It is vital to spend time in nature outside. I recommend doing it now and often, while the air is still breathable.
It is easy to live in a sustainable way, but it requires a redefinition of success and a desire for a healthy life, lacking constant abuse of space and time. Article updated. Article revised. Article revised. Added chapter Construction. Chapter Energy updated.