View Full Version : Zero Energy Development
01-03-2007, 11:13 AM
Cornwall sustainable buliding trust recently help a competition to search for a "novel, sustainable, affordable solution" to cornwalls houseing crisis. here is the site of the winner of the competition. http://www.zedfacory.com
some might find it interesting.. i am wondering if there is anything of this sort happing in australia to encorage inovation, i look around and see some of the developments going up (maybe development is the wrong word) will they ever stop.
01-03-2007, 04:48 PM
G'day Parsley :)
Thanks for the great link, I've added it to my collection. BTW, I think the following will get you there sooner:
"Will they ever stop?"
Good question. I suggest that they/we/us - humanity, will only ever stop building eco-exploitative developments when we/us convince ouselves that there is a better way.
Seeking some inspiration in a world full of McMansions and gated communities? Check these out:
Dulaiwurrong Village (VIC)
Bega Eco-neighbourhood Developers Inc. (NSW)
Aldinga Arts Eco-village (SA)
Rosneath Farm (WA)
‘CommonWork’ Cohousing Community (NSW)
Scott A. Meister
01-03-2007, 11:18 PM
Wow, great set of links here, Thanks. Truly some inspirational design going on. I actually just saw a documentary that was broadcast here in Tokyo about the zedfactory architect. My one criticism...where's the food? Other than that...it looks cool, and seems to be well thought out in regard to electricity use...but they could use some help with garden planning and landscaping for sure.
There definitely needs to be some more support for this kind of project, and holding contests like this is a GREAT idea. I hope we can hear more about various projects like this around the world.
02-03-2007, 06:29 AM
firstly I admit i havent read all the links mark posted ........ to be honest I hav traled through many communities web asites trying to find a siutable one and have vecome jaded ...........
I have looked at Rosneath several times
all these so called eco communities fail to address a major source of ground air and water contamination - termite treatment - its nice to build houses of sustainable timber or straw bales but when they then use chemical termite treament they negate any environmentl benefits ! my opinion is it is less evironmental damage to build of indestuctable materials like steel and then not need to continually pollute with the downside of poisoning everyone for miles arround ........ and of course contaminate the groudwater permanently
yet I have never found a community that says chemical termite treatment is banned :cry:
and when they all insist on people living jammed up close to one another that makes the situation hopeless for us to consider participation ......... none address major environmentl concerns like toxic fumes from commerical poducts like scented washing powder or air freshners any paints and varnishes etc etc
these are all sources of envionmental damage that should be considered by everyone not just us "canaries" yet they are ignored :cry:
some of the most toxic scented people i have met claimed to be evironmentalists :evil:
02-03-2007, 09:08 AM
Hello Everyone :)
Yes, the questions of food production and pollution are two very important questions indeed. The links to the IC's (intentional communities) I provided are just a mere snapshot of what is out there today! I provided them not because they all offer a magic bullet as far as totally-sustainable living is concerned, but because they do offer hope in a world gone mad with bricks, mortar, astro-turf and five-car garages.
It's true that some of these projects have not yet fully considered the overall effects of using certain (harmful) substances in their construction, and it's also true that some of them are not yet thinking about where their food comes from. But in defence of these visionaries I would like to suggest that they are at least on the right track - if only somewhere near the beginning. In my opinion these people deserve our encouragement and full support. By all means let us analyse their work, but let us also offer solution-based critique in response.
Perhaps you could make your feelings known, frosty, when you are visiting any future IC's about how it is that you have come to your present physical state of health. I'm sure you have plenty of knowledge about pesticide-free termite treatments, etc. Maybe you could share this information with the people that are building the communities you visit.
Same with you, Scott. Next time you get the opportunity to visit one of these exciting new projects ask the PR people where the vege garden is, and if the say they don't have one ask them why and offer to provide them with a link to some information about how they can go about making one.
Solution-focused feedback is what's required. Positive reinforcement. Nobody likes to be told that they have only partly understood the principles of sustainable living (read: permaculture). Sometimes we have to chip away at the edges, but little-by-little we will get the full message to the people. We just don't want to risk alienating them for being critical and then not offering a solution-focused alternative. Sometimes it just pays to use the 'softly-softly' approach, especially with people who are already on the path to practicing full permaculture-principled living.
Peace to us all, and keep up the great work.
02-03-2007, 10:31 AM
How do you cut and paste quotes in posts?
POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT AND FEEDBACK
Yep the capitals are intentional.....shout it from the rooftops. I get discouraged about the lack of response to my attempts over the last 2 yrs to get like minded people to join us on our property but I know the places that have suceeded have taken yearsof work and dedication by a few people.
My decision at present is to sell and perhaps join an established community in few years...maybe
Frosty with your severe problems have you thought about or had any interest from people with similar problems joining you at your place.I did read about a cpl families few years ago who went to Kangaroo Is for the same reasons
02-03-2007, 11:22 AM
Eco villages are great No problems Id live in One tommorow....BUT.....
For every person whose interested,they all have their priorities on what they want asnd dont want.In my opinion i think most ecos have enough probs getting like minded people, with just the one concept joint housing..
Too many people want ,other ideas involved eg no chemicals,No roads, no fences, no dogs, no cats no etc etc etc etc...AND thats before the price to get it started...I strongly beleive ,weve got it wrong
(1) We have the infrastructure in Suburbia now to be "eco" Fill your front gardens with fruit tres and vegies, Create your own Ecotown or ecosuburb,If people cant get along in the main living areas eg Suburbs what chance have we got?
(2) In normal eco village start ups EVERone wants their Imput to be heard
actually its only human to want your ideas heard and Implemented as well
This dont,cant usually happen due to constaints put out by the originators,
Democracy rules if your out voted tuff titties as they say........
All the rules strata title etc are designed by Capatilistic minded people,
We need to have, make , or organise our own rules laws that help everyone,healthy,wealthy or wise,Ive heard bad news about roseneath,
apperently caused by too many inputs by too many people ( icould be wrong)..
It has to be kept simple or as Len says
Kiss "Keep It Simple Stupid..
If someone owned the land out ight life would be much simpler but no most want to buy the land then get people in to save them going down the gurgler...not a god way to go...
Also ....Beleive it or not at your Peril ....Not everyone out there has hundreds of thousands of dollors just waiting to spend on a eco village
Anyone got any clear ideas on an Eco village worth while?
Ecos for Ever if affordable!!
02-03-2007, 12:08 PM
G'day All :)
Cathy: Highlight the material in the post in which you wish to quote from and then click on the "quote" icon in the top/right corner, then add you own material and submit it. Good luck with your future endeavours. I trust that it will all work out in the end for you.
Tezza: You just have to keep looking, mate. There are people out there who are willing to share their surplus wealth, the trick is to find them! All I can suggest is that you keep looking. Of course once you find likely candidates, you then have to 'sell' your attributes to them. Barter with them. Trade your knowledge, skills and wisdom, and in return you should be able to find someone willing to offer their land or even their money! There are IC projects happening right now where the plans include housing options for not just low, but no-income people. As much as the mass-media would like to have us all believe, not everyone is obsessed with materialistic wealth, or the creation of it! The IC that I'm involved in will have a broad range of housing options, suitable for a broad range of people; from people with very little capital and very little income, to people who are quite affluent and are prepared through their own investment to subsidise the former. Once again, the trick is to find the right people and then to be able effectively 'sell' the benefits of varied socio-economic and cummunal living to them. There out there, I've 'hooked' a few. Keep trying, mate!
Scott A. Meister
02-03-2007, 01:37 PM
ecodharmamark (and all),
Point taken. I agree with you about constructive criticism. Well, said. As for my ability to do so face to face with anybody...I'm unfortunately very limited, because I live in Japan, where nobody has considered doing this yet (at least to my knowledge). There are ZERO chances for me to visit these places...and I am forced to simply watch it on television. and make my comments on boards like this.
As Bill Mollison said (as per Geoff) in class. "If you're not happy with the situation around you, somebody has got to get off their a** and do something, and it's probably you."
Words that I would take to heart, and I would LOVE to build Japan's first eco-village, but alas, I am trying to get out of this country and into New Zealand, where land is a little more available and affordable, and it might be easier to find like-minded people (if I can just get a job and a visa "nudge-nudge, wink-wink :wink:).
Having said that...I personally think it might be better if we didn't live in condo-style eco-villages at all...(living on top of each other) and instead, worked together to create a situation where we have the emotional, physical and financial security to build our own abodes near like-minded neighbors, or gather the skills necessary to create like-minded neighbors (admittedly very difficult, but not impossible...just see what's happening with Joe and Trish at Rainbow Valley Farms in Matakana and his neighbors).
I think the feeling to create such condo-style eco-villages comes from a sense of insecurity that has been created because this kind of lifestyle is so different from the consumerist norm, that it attracts criticism (and sometimes ostracism) from neighbors who don't understand it. That, and the psychological stubborness that won't allow us to let go of the false sense of security and convenience that the unsustainable urban environment offers. This causes a lot of people to try to create communes of like-minded people...instead of creating genuine communities towns, or neighborhoods with like-minded neighbors. Of course their are lots of other good reasons for creating eco-villages, but this is a part of it.
We should not have to suffer these insecurites. We should simply be strong enough to do what is necessary, and help/cooperate with other fellow permaculturists to get them on their feet...building their own sustainable abodes wherever they wish to live. We shouldn't have to fear living a sustainable lifestyle, and we shouldn't have to struggle either (financially etc.)
Don't get me wrong, I don't think that eco-villages are bad at all. The Eco-villages above do offer a good example...or a step in the right direction near places that are highly unsustainable at the moment. Or, over-crowded. We need them. They foster a sense of cooperation, and lead by example. They get on television, get press, are posted on sites like this, foster healthy debate and conversations like this. I even got some great ideas from them. And for that I cheer them on.
They possibly help people to get on their feet, and perhaps even save money so they can make the transition toward getting their own place (even though, from what I saw in the documentary about the winner posted above, the owners were mostly upper-middle class). At the same time, I just hope that people don't all feel like eco-condo's are "the answer," and "the" way of creating sustainable settlements.
I hope that we can create a sense of cooperation and sharing like this among ourselves here. Does anyone have a little extra land or piece of their land, that they would mind selling (or better yet, giving :D ) to a fellow permaculturist at a reasonably cheap price (or free), so that I can be your permaculture-neighbor and team-mate toward building a better community and a genuinely sustainable world? :lol:
Any permaculturists in NZ want to get together and pool our resources and talents to develop a rural/coastal permaculture neighborhood? If so, please send me a message here...I'm all ears! If there happens to be any such contest listed above in NZ...let me know...I'm up for the challenge!
02-03-2007, 01:40 PM
Cheers for the links Mark and the overall discussion I though i might leave with something from Deepak Chopra that i recently read.
Biologists tell us that in the tissue of a caterpillar there are embedded cells they call imaginal cells. They resonate at a differnt frequency. They are so unlike the other caterpillar cells, that the worms immune system thinks they are enemies and tries to destroy them. But the new imaginal cells continue to appear, more and more of them. Eventually thecaterpillar's imune system cannot destroy them fast enough, and they become stronger, they connect and connect, until they form a critical mass that realises their mission to bring about the amazing birth of a butterfly.
In 1969 Margaret Mead said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."... Uruguayan poet Mario beneditti worte: "what would happen if one day when we wake up, we wealise that we are the majority." I say that the imaginal cells would rule and would make a butterfly out of a caterpillar world."
02-03-2007, 04:34 PM
I suppose my post did sound a bit judgemental and I appologise if I offended anyone.
Cetainly I do agree the existing IC are certainly on the right track and trying very hard to do the right thing.
I like the idea of living somewhere where I don’t have to fear the neighbours poisoning me and where we can meet people who care about the planet and sustainability.
Mark I really am unable to actually visit any communities there are not many in WA, none that sound suitable and organising travel is nearly impossible when you milk goats everyday :lol: :lol:
I do subscribe to a newsletter of Summerville and through that have completed some questionaires related to new villages being established in the ES . So I have made my thoughts known even if no one showed much interest. I have been going to contribute to your topic but somehow havent got around to it. I would be interested to know more about what you have in mind. We may eventually consider a move interstate but it would take a long time to organise ( years ! )
Cathy I think your idea of people sharing you property sounds excellent ! I even looked up where Canowindra was but there is just too much farming ( and hence spraying )in the area. :cry:
I have sounded out other chemically sensitive people over a number of years but most prefer to stay in a city and say having land is too much work. None that I know seem to have much interest in sustainability or trying to be self sufficient.
Tezza I agree there do seem to be lots of arguments - like everything it is people that stuff a good idea :lol: :lol:
I don’t know the solution but it make me very wary especially when many of the iC I have investigated seem to be oganised by and built for city capitalist minded people. To me there is too much emphasis on making money and as you say a lot of silly rules which ignore the bigger isues I mentioned in my first post. eg fom inquiries I have made it seems out steel famed house built of lal termite resistant non toxic would not be acceptable yet some of the homes at IC I have seen in photos seem enormous ( unsustainable ? ) and full of toxic materials.
03-03-2007, 08:00 PM
G'day frosty :)
Sorry, I misread your earlier post. I thought you said that you had actually travelled to many different IC's, and no, you certainly didn't offend me - I'm unoffendable :lol:. Please allow me to say that I have read everything you have posted since I joined the forum, and I'm truly sorry that you have received such a rough deal in life with the chemically-induced illness' that you live with. The goats must bring you much comfort and joy each day? I think they are beauitful beings.
Concerning the IC that I'm involved in: We are still in the very early stages of pre-planning. I say 'early', but it is actually a process that has never been far from my mind for over 7-years now :). Building strong, egalitarian, and consensus-driven community takes time, lots of time. And of course a community is only a reflection of the people that live within it. So in order to find the above community traits, one must first band together with a group of people who personally exhibit those very same traits. Slowly we are coming together, from all walks of life, from all socio-economic backgrounds. The actual community that I hope to one day live in may never see the light of day while I'm alive, but I do know that all the hard work of the members thus far means that one day our community will bear fruit of the most wonderous kind. And of course in the meantime I'm helping others find their dream community:
Page 78; paragraph 'Future Developments' in:
http://www.bcvic.org.au/pdf/profile_and ... in_vic.pdf (http://www.bcvic.org.au/pdf/profile_and_contribution_0f_buddhists_in_vic.pdf)
Item 4.8 in:
http://www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/Files/021 ... EETING.pdf (http://www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/Files/021105_ORDINARYMEETING.pdf)
I'm back at uni now, and my time has become so squeezed, so I must sign off for the day. I truly hope that you are able to find a suitable compromise in your desire to find an eco-village given your present circumstances, frosty.
Thank you for telling the world your story, and may all that follow in our footsteps live long enough to see the end of chemical pollution in our beautiful universe.
May peace, love, joy and hapiness burst forth into the lives of all sentient beings.
04-03-2007, 03:56 AM
dunno to me most of these "sustainable" quoted type things are little more than the inefficient macmansions designs that we already have they design to fit into the indoctrinated well within the square and comfort zone of peoiple minds.
if we are going to even look like getting a design that is truely capable of keeping you as warm as! and as cool as! then we need to look outside the design pattern, and just using different and way out cladding ie.,. straw bale, compacted earth is not the answer.
i see on those links cottage ramantic feeling and looking places with little mention of land aspect and orientation of the home on that land and layout.
i don't see the use of timber, straw bales compacted earth as sustainable, straw bales comes from inefficient agriculture that destroyed habitat to be there and is very attractive to a lot of termites in the wild, and again if everyone used staw where will it all eventually come from more habitat destruction to create straw. using earht requier that the material has to be generated from somewhere again the soil is habitat or where once trees stood and you end up with a hole in the ground imagine if every one went that way??
we built an eco' home that works the basic design should be adaptable to all our climes but like any home claiming these feature it must be built on the correct aspect or near to and the orientation must be right. the cladding can be any materila that suits the climatic zone ie.,. in the tropics light material basically except for the western end, in the very muggy hot tropics more of a rake on the roof, in the cooler to cold climes block walls.
this home needed no termite barriers, there are almost no materials in it attractive to any termite breeds (apart form a little dressing timber around windows and doors, but the design draws little attention as do any others who have similar design because it is outside the square and comfort zone of the romantic indoctrinated ideas. and at the very least also was fire rsistant.
our home needed one light to illuminate sufficiently the whole interior except on full moon periods it needed none.
too much yuppie influence from what i have seen on the whole, and use of the term "sustainability" as a fell good measure.
nothing in this life is perfect and we all want to live in homes so we need our mathematically minded to do the math on what is the lowets impact keeping in mind there aren't enough caves around for all of us to live in.
we now live in one of those inefficient macmansions, and in my life i guess i'll never get to live in real comfort again, there are some things we can do to this place to make it a little more comfy, but i now understand the need for lots of support band aide inustries to sell people after market expensive advantages that should be part of design.
plantation timber grows where once habitat grew.
04-03-2007, 08:19 AM
G'day Mark and hanks for your reply
G'day frosty :)
Please allow me to say that I have read everything you have posted since I joined the forum, and I'm truly sorry that you have received such a rough deal in life with the chemically-induced illness' that you live with. The goats must bring you much comfort and joy each day? I think they are beauitful beings.
firstly I reallly appeciate you taking the time to say this - thank you
and yes goats are wonderful and beautiful beings :D 8) .... a lady I have met online through having goats wrote a book about goats called "if only we could listen" and that is so true .........
Concerning the IC that I'm involved in: We are still in the very early stages of pre-planning. I say 'early', but it is actually a process that has never been far from my mind for over 7-years now :). Building strong, egalitarian, and consensus-driven community takes time, lots of time. And of course a community is only a reflection of the people that live within it. So in order to find the above community traits, one must first band together with a group of people who personally exhibit those very same traits.
this statement makes absolute sense and maybe is here we are going wrong ........ we keep "looking" ( online ) at existing communities trying to find one that suits our ideals .........I guess what we need to do is get involved from the grassroots and find the people first
as I said above we have tried to find other chemically sensitive people without success and decided the only general group we could fit in with is pemaculture/ green people.
Unfortunately we are very cynical and suspicious of people's motives :lol: being a disabled chemically ill anti military campaigner, environmental activist does tend to bring out the worst in the average materialistic aussie :lol: :lol: because everything we represent and work for threatens their "way of life " Locally we are the only Greens party members within 100km and in a predominately very right wing area :evil: we are always looking for somewhere better and safer but so far without success .........
anyway I better stop waffling
we would like to eventually join a community of like minded people bringing with us the beginnings of a herd of dairy goats plus hubby has lots of useful skills ! another consideration with our goats is that they consider us part of their herd and as such they always "camp" where they can observe our comings and goings and know that even when we are inside we are close ........ they call to us whenever we come outside and at times when things go wrong - like when a doe got caught up in the string holding up a branch tied on the gate for browsing - they all called until hubby got up in the middle of the night and released her 8) it is very special being an honoury goat :D :D
they would hate to have us live somewhere away from them and in fact this social need of goats is one of the main reasons why they dont do well in commercial factory farm type situations
unfortunarly I cant open those links on a very slow dialup connection but will keep trying as some days it is a bit better
thanks again for your reply
Powered by vBulletin™ Version 4.1.1 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.