United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)’s Sustainable Construction and Building Initiative (SBCI) release a report focuses on the building sector. The report states that “the right mix of appropriate government regulation, greater use of energy saving technologies and behavioural change can substantially reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the building sector which accounts for 30-40 % of global energy use.” Imagine, over two billion tonnes of C02 emission can be reduced if we set a more aggressive energy efficiency policy in the building sector world-wide, thats almost 3 times the amount of the Greenhouse gas to be reduced under the Kyoto Protocol. The full report can be downloaded from http://www.unep.org
Or maybe another solution we can consider is to “grow” our own home? Architect Mitchell Joachim‘s Fab Tree Hab is a living structure that “is designed to be nearly entirely edible so as to provide food to some organism at each stage of its life. While inhabited, the home’s gardens and exterior walls produce food for people and animals. The seasonal cycles help the tree structure provide for itself through composting of fallen leaves in autumn. The envisioned bioplastic windows, which would flex with the home as it grows, would also degrade and return to the earth upon life’s end, as would the walls.” This means we don’t even have to use the terms biodegradable to describe the home since none of the materials is processed.
According to a Popular Science interview with Joachim, “Despite its odd exterior, the house will look normal on the inside. The walls, packed with clay and plastered over, will keep out the rain, and modern technology will be welcome. Yet there are still a few practical kinks to work out. Joachim wonders, for example, how a planning board will react to a house that constantly expands. Each house will take at least five years to grow, depending on the climate, but Joachim envisions the structures being grown and tended to on a farm. Customers could pick a finished tree habitat and then have it transported to and replanted on a lot within 100 miles.“
Here’s a link of a video showing how the interior will look like.