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Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

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in sustainability, appropriate technology and poverty reduction.

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Windmillprint-crop.jpg As part of a 3-D printing class, graduate students will be designing printable open-source appropriate technology for sustainable development. If you want a technology designed to be 3-D printed, post your ideas here. Chosen designs will be made and open-sourced for the global community. Deadline Nov. 13, 2014


Monolithic dome office
Monolithic domes are constructed following a method that requires a tough, inflatable Airform, steel-reinforced concrete and a polyurethane foam insulation. Each of these ingredients is used in a technologically specific way. This technology was developed by the Monolithic Dome Institute (MDI). The domes can be designed to fit any architectural need: homes, cabins, churches, schools, gymnasiums, arenas and stadiums, bulk storages, landlord dwellings and various other privately or publicly owned facilities. The dome, when finished, is earthquake, tornado and hurricane resistant (FEMA rates them as "near-absolute protection" from F5 tornadoes and Category 5 Hurricanes).

MDI has also developed the technology to build so-called "EcoShells". These are simple structures to provide for the basic needs of a family. They are designed specifically to answer the needs of shelterless people worldwide. They are strong structures that can withstand natural disasters, fire, termites and rot. In underdeveloped areas with hot climates, EcoShells make affordable, low maintenance, sturdy housing. In industrialized nations, EcoShells make superior workshops, garages, storage sheds, etc.

Kiva's straw bale greenhouse

Year round veggies in a homemade, just under the permitting limit, strawbale greenhouse.

Bill Mollison talking about the future.
You don't have a snail problem, you have a duck deficiency.

Bill MollisonW
Aleiha's parabolic solar cooker
In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems. Since work is defined as a force acting through a distance (a length of space), energy is always equivalent to the ability to exert pulls or pushes against the basic forces of nature, along a path of a certain length.

Sustainable energy is the provision of energy that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable energy sources are most often regarded as including all renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectricity, solar energy and power, wind power, wave power, geothermal energy and power, biomass fuel and energy, and tidal power. It usually also includes technologies that improve energy efficiency.

While many renewable energy projects are large-scale, renewable technologies are also suited to rural and remote areas, where energy is often crucial in human development. As of 2011, small solar photovoltaic (PV) systems provide electricity to a few million households, and micro-hydro configured into mini-grids serves many more. Over 44 million households use biogas made in household-scale digesters for lighting and/or cooking, and more than 166 million households rely on a new generation of more-efficient biomass cookstoves.

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HSU Chiapas Program 2010: Humboldt State University's 2010 summer immersion in Appropriate Technology and Spanish Language & Culture took place in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. In 2010, we worked with Otros Mundos and various community members in San Cristobal de las Casas and near Acteal to collaboratively build three improved cookstoves, three rainwater catchment systems, windbelt prototypes, microhydro power feasibility studies, and a biogas digestor.

Practivistas Chiapas 2010 Projects
HSU Chiapas improved cookstoves
Improved cookstoves at Otros Mundos and in a rural community
(en español)  
HSU Chiapas micro hydro feasibility study
Microhydro feasibility study in a few rural communities
(en español)  
HSU Chiapas Windbelt ASE
Windbelts at Otros Mundos
(en español)  
HSU Chiapas biodigester
Biodigester at a demo house in San Cristobal  
HSU Chiapas rainwater catchment
Rainwater catchment systems at a demo house and in a rural community
(en español)  

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