A book I purchased a few months ago since Chapters didn’t have the book in stock I wanted at the time, it is called Earthbag Building: The Tools, Tricks And Techniques. Instead I opted for “Off On our Own” – By Ted Carns.. and I was pretty impressed nonetheless.. the book goes into how they achieved their own way to get out of the system and live off the grid. They have a zero waste system and grey water treatment detailed in the book, among a plethora of other cool and eco savvy tricks and tips. Anyone looking for a “get off the grid” information book would appreciate reading this one, that I can say!
It may have been approximately 2-3 years ago that I took an interest in Permaculture. What drew me into the subject was pretty much affordable housing that you could construct on your own with the help of friend. This could be done on some land that you own or are renting in an effort to avoid the pains that go along with having a mortgage debt overhead, and or if you simply just want to reduce your ecological footprint and live in harmony with the Earth.
There are many cool Permaculture niches in terms of home building design, EarthBag building technique is one of the many varieties. Earth bag building is a form of building with woven polypropylene bags with a rough mixture of 30-40% clay 60-70% sand mixture. Its pretty neat as they also utilize barbed wire on each layer to create whats called, “tensile strength” for the house.
Another form of Eco Housing is the Earth Ship building method which utilizes recycled tires and rammed earth to build the foundation/retaining walls of the house structure as well. Recycled glass bottles are commonly used to mimic stained glass windows, a very neat touch adds a feeling of modernity to the structure. I believe this method termed Earthship Biotecture was founded by Michael Reynolds.
I will give a brief mention about Nader Khalili. He was an Iranian-American Architect who founded the super-adobe construction system as well as Geltaftan Earth-and-Fire system known as Ceramic Houses. He is a man that I believe worked purely from the heart and with love as, he has achieved greatness. Indeed it is sad that he has passed away in 2008. The Cal Earth Institute carries forward his principles and ideas.
The other and more popular and common home design with regards to reducing your ecological footprint at least in the western world seems to be the niche of micro homes.
There are two approaches to Micro homes, the Do-it-yourselfers and prefabricated for instance, Nomad Micro Homes I recently read an article over at VanCityBuzz and this is how I just recently found out about Nomad Micro Homes. I will admit I do like their design and the way they are going with it. $30,000 is much more affordable than the laughable mortgages most people sign themselves up for, I have yet to do so, 😉 I don’t want to follow the pack. I am much more interested building my own home with my hands to my specifications and needs.
I had this idea to solve the housing crisis in the world and it starts with Earth Bag building. Say if I was to round up 4-6 motivated people to help me build my EarthBag home so that all I had to foot was the building materials and food for my friends doing the labour? (in return for helping me I help them with their homes)
That to me would be much more cost effective so I could live free unstrapped of a mortgage and also in harmony with the environment. In return I would help them build their homes so they could live mortgage free as well and in harmony with the environment also. Anyone that helped them build there’s would have their home built also etc..
The core idea is helping people help people, you help me with labour on my home. In return I promise to help you back with building your home and then your friends. Since I will not have a mortgage to pay and probably no job, I would make it my job and lifelong mission to change the housing situation in the world. I will at least help those people that helped me prop up my house. If we could perpetuate that, or do that for the homeless and poverty stricken countries, what a drastic change in the world we would have!!!
And why you may ask, well my personal beliefs are that, I believe everyone on this planet is entitled to a home without a mortgage, food and clean drinking water, this is the the spark behind this blog post 🙂
I hope you all enjoyed, please comment if you have experience or anything to add, or even constructive criticism on my idea, I take everything with a grain of salt so don’t worry