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Re: GBlist: Rant: Strawbale
>> From: White Crow / RSDC <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> From: email@example.com (Edward J Hartnett)
>> I don't get it. All this discussion about strawbale seems to me to fall
>> into the category of *penny wise/pound foolish*. The pattern of
>> development that supports strawbale is at best suburban sprawl and at
>>worst exurban creep.
>> How do we make the megurban areas of NY, Paris, Tokyo sustainable, much
>> less Cairo, Calcutta, and New Haven or Bridgeport? How are we going to
>> deal with all these people?
>I don't understand why you think strawbale and earthships can't work in
>cities. The only obsticle I see is building code approival!
Density. How do you get a 10 story apartment building?
>> The strawbale/earthship model reminds of the various back-to-the-land
>> utopian efforts throughout American history which seem more about turning
>> away from technological trauma than about solving problems. Someone here
>> mentioned Thoreau living in the forest; he lived in a glade of trees
>> minutes away from his cohoorts.
>The strawbale/earthship model is about finding a way to have a house with
>less impact. The fact that they are mostly built outside the cities says
>more about the personalities of the early users of this technology than
>about the technology itself.
>> My suggestion is to use part of this forum as a charette for pulling
>> together the various modalities and direct efforts to megurban problems
>>and solutions. It is not an issue of asking for *free* design services.
>> matter of having a framework onto which to connect up expertise and
>> A couple of problems:
>> -*- At the beginning of the list, I floated out the problem of a small
>> darkroom. No takers. The problem has, in a very manageable scale,
>>issues of air quality, water quality, chemical disposal, electrical
>>and tempering, and even the appropriateness of the endeavor. I offer it
>>again as a problem area to discuss.
>I don't know what the hell you're talking about here I'm afriad. What's the
>problem with a darkroom? I don't know much about photography but I didn't
>think that humidity, electricity, etc., needed to be controlled.
Air quality: the off-gassing of chemicals into the air. These of course
can be vented to the outside, but I was hoping that someone like Hal could
indicate system(s) on a sustainable scale.
Water quality: how to manage the chemicals within the water stream.
Chemical disposal: how to manage the used chemicals.
Electrical sheilding: there has been mention of the side-affects of living
close to panels boards / high tension wires. There tends to be
concentrated electrical usage in a darkroom (a stretch, I know, but for
modeling purposes, I thought it might fit.
>> -*- We will be renting / buying a loft in NYC. What kind of systems can be
>> brought to bear within a very space-confined envirnoment? Grey water?
>> Lighting systems? Add-ons to the ubiquitous steam heat system? Air
>> cooling? Air conditioning? Waste management? Insulation? Window
>> systems? I would be happy to provide a floor plan of a small 700 sf loft
>> which we did *not* get.
>If you can make permanent changes, and if it's not illegal, which it
>probably is in NYC, you could convert it to compost toliet and greywater
This is a modeling exercise. How would you do these?
>Personally I think I would be more inclined to go an easier route of energy
>efficiency, good insulation, and low-flow water.
Is that it? Is that all to be done in a megurban environment?
My expertise is taking fanciful ideas and over-budget projects and getting
them in line. Cost is not an issue at this point. Getting some real ideas
in place is a necessary starting point. So much of the literature either
ignores cities or proposes a model of a city as if it could be built out of
How do we deal with real cities and move them toward sustainability?
I know it isn't easy, but I see it as essential for the survival of the
species and the biosphere -- on one hand, we are not going to be able to
make concentrated living environments in space if we can't make
concentrated living environments on earth work, and on the other hand, here
on earth we are spreading out across the countryside like a plague.
If an apartment or a small darkroom are inappropriate modeling
environments, then what is an appropriate scale?
>> Any takers?
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