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Bastian Brandt

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Construction Manual for a Life-sustaining House & Financing Plan

Imagine we would have made contact with a higher species, which is way more advanced in technology than our own and they would give us a construction manual for a life-sustaining house that we could build anywhere in the world for a minimal cost and minimal effort.

Unfortunately we haven’t got such a manual in our hands yet. This construction manual of a life-sustaining house & financing plan is the attempt of students, to research our most advanced technologies and to bring them together in a construction manual to build a life-sustaining house that is affordable and which can be reproduced anywhere in the world.

What would be required of such a life-sustaining house?

It should endlessly produce more green energy than it consumes, have an automated heating system, it should generate its own water and food supply, it should recycle its own waste in the cradle to cradle way and it should be able to be financed.

Building something partly from taxes, that reduces taxes in the future for it is a lasting solution.

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    Jan 26 2012: Nice idea. Suppose some plans already exist. Main problem i think is not in creating such a house, but in the way that communities are functioning today. Some global change would be necessary, since corporations are ruling today world and to them such course of action would not bring any benefits, since there is no extra profit in the house that sustained itself. There are many ways for green & renewable energy, but all new findings quickly disappear, together with their inventors. Unfortunately we do have great minds, with fresh & good for mankind ideas, but most of the time all newest technology is being miss-used for benefits of few instead of many and most of the time on very wrong, even opposite way, from original inventors intention..
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      Jan 26 2012: One man's meat is another man's poison. Where energy companies would lose in projects like these the construction sector could benefit from selling autonomous buildings. I'm sure there would be a lot of demand for this. Also, maintenance costs of a building that has way more complicated features than an average house has now would be way higher.
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        Jan 26 2012: 'Also, maintenance costs of a building that has way more complicated features than an average house has now would be way higher.'

        I don't know how much you are interested in this topic personally, I think it is very interesting and that point you mentioned with the maintenance coast was also mentioned in this video future proofing our cities: http://vimeo.com/9120443 one of them is a designer for the green city Masdar. Their idea concerning the maintenance coast are to use nature and ingenious simplistic techniques to keep these coast low.

        ' the construction sector could benefit from selling autonomous buildings. and the demand would be high.'

        The great thing I see in such a building is its future aspect, that we would create a real value for future generations.
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          Jan 26 2012: These projects are really good initiatives and I am interested in them, I will look at your video later, but the problem with these things is that they build full cities. It wouldn't be applicable to the current society as it would entail rebuilding every existing city.
          That's why I found your idea superior to ideas like these cities: An autonomous building, instead of city, would be a possibility in new buildings in existing cities. The question is if this is possible in terms of space requirements and other implications.
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        Jan 27 2012: 'An autonomous building, instead of a city, would be a possibility in new buildings in existing cities'

        Yes, that would be a cool construction manual to have in once hands. It would need include these things like what do build in what spaces, with what materials available depending on the area. But to have or create such construction manual for an autonomous-building which needs low maintenance would be so nice, because we could give it to anyone anywhere and they would create with the construction manual something, that is future proof and that supports life now and tomorrow.

        thx for you feedback btw!
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          Jan 27 2012: If you're planning to make this keep in mind that people want to create a home, not a product. That means you should give them the opportunity to customize things like colour, size and rooms. It might not sound like a priority but if you want it to be implemented broadly you need to keep in mind want the public wants and not just the group that is willing to have an unpersonalised house because they see "the greater good".
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      Jan 26 2012: @Biljana Ruvidic

      There are many ways for green & renewable energy, but all new findings quickly disappear, together with their inventors'

      i wish that would be different. I guess the main revolution comes from making great ideas profitable for some, while they are supporting the many.
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    Jan 25 2012: Definitely a worthwhile idea, but I think plans like this already exist:
    http://www.cropthornehouse.co.uk/design/
    http://hexayurt.com/
    http://www.self-sufficiency-guide.com/

    (Please note that I haven't read into these sources too much and I don't know whether they're feasible, they're just to point you in a direction where you can get inspiration)
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      Jan 25 2012: Very nice inspirations, they will be influential, in order to make it a working solution, something one wants to invest in, the house needs to be able to provide for more people, so collecting all these ideas, bringing them together and creating that construction manual for a life-sustaining house for around 50 people.
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        Jan 27 2012: Hey guys,

        It's good to see so many (Dutch) folks who are interested in this topic. I know a lot of people who are working on sort like projects. To be honest, I've been dreaming of such a house for some years now.

        This is my personal favorite eco-house building construction:
        http://calearth.org/building-designs/eco-dome.html

        It's not that difficult to create your own energy. Storing electricity can be hard enough though, since batteries are not that 'green' and the (in my humble opinion) best solution isn't really there yet on a great enough scale for you and me, hydrogen. Luckily there are better alternatives for most other energy resources (water, wamth, light, etc.).

        I also believe in going back to smaller scale solutions and thereby reversing 'globalization'. Check out permaculture and what this could do for you.

        The solutions are mostly here, we just need to be able to combine and utilize them in a way so that they can be financed, and will be sustainable for the long term at the same time.

        Another thing is the ground you will need for this project. How many square meters will you need, or will you be building higher up?
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          Feb 3 2012: Thank you very much for your feedback, the eco-dome looks great, but it also requires a lot of space, I was thinking about a construction manual, that implies tricks and ideas, which can be applied also in very dense populated cities.