New book - 'Building a Better World in Your Backyard' - on Kickstarter (sponsored friend)

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Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

Appropedia is for collaborative solutions
in sustainability, appropriate technology, poverty reduction, and permaculture.

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Bwb-book-mockup-no-bg.png New book Building a Better World in Your Backyard Instead of Being Angry at Bad Guys Check currently being funded on Kickstarter. (sponsored friend).


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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.

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Sun Frost energy efficient shower

Conventional showers minimize thermal comfort, maximize energy use and water consumption, and exacerbating moisture problems... A solution?

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Community action news

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Apr 15 UK Climate news: Thousands block roads in Extinction Rebellion protests across London [1]

Apr 3 Climate news 2019: Parents around the world mobilise behind youth climate strikes [2]

Apr 2 City Of Sydney Announces 100% Renewable Energy Target [3]

Mar 29 Amsterdam: A Modest Proposal to Eliminate 11,000 Urban Parking Spots [4]

Mar 22 Community involvement USA: How the simple act of sharing a meal is creating community change [5]

Read More...


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We must not build housing, we must build communities.

Mike BurtonW
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Hot topics / In the news

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Blog

Kiva's straw bale greenhouse
An alternative or natural building involves a range of building systems and materials that place major emphasis on sustainability. Ways of achieving sustainability through natural building focus on durability and the use of minimally processed, plentiful or renewable resources, as well as those that, while recycled or salvaged, produce healthy living environments and maintain indoor air quality. Natural building tends to rely on human labor, more than technology. As Michael G. Smith observes, it depends on "local ecology, geology and climate; on the character of the particular building site, and on the needs and personalities of the builders and users."

The basis of natural building is the need to lessen the environmental impact of buildings and other supporting systems, without sacrificing comfort, health or aesthetics. To be more sustainable, natural building uses primarily abundantly available, renewable, reused or recycled materials. The use of rapidly renewable materials is increasingly a focus. In addition to relying on natural building materials, the emphasis on the architectural design is heightened. The orientation of a building, the utilization of local climate and site conditions, the emphasis on natural ventilation through design, fundamentally lessen operational costs and positively impact the environmental. Building compactly and minimizing the ecological footprint is common, as are on-site handling of energy acquisition, on-site water capture, alternate sewage treatment and water reuse.

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Engr305 Appropriate Technology Projects: Below are selected service learning projects from Engr305 Appropriate Technology, which is a course on appropriate technology at Humboldt State University taught by instructor Lonny Grafman.

Treadmill-a-volt treadmill powered charging

Treadmill power for the Humboldt Bay Center for Sustainable Living  
Troubleshooting the AEF photovoltaic system

Troubleshooting, repairing, testing and maintaining a preexisting off-grid photovoltaic system  
Tule Fog Farm Grassfed Shed

An indoor space for pigs and goats that also restores a previous brownfield while improving the overall natural landscape  
Umbrella solar cooker

A multi-use solar cooker  
Wild Chick Farm

A commercial pastured chicken operation in Arcata, California  
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Energy

Solar
Water
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