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10

An Igloo is an efficient shelter made of snow/ice blocks. At first thought, the snow is cold so how could it keep one warm. The true value is in the insulation. The design creates a small insulating shelter. The cold weather stays out, the body heat stays in. This is part of the reason they are built small, like tents. The small volume is easier to heat by ...


9

Concrete is made from sand, grit and (portland) cement; portland cement is made primarily of clinker. Almost all concrete at the time of writing is unsustainable. The extractive industries that provide the aggregates are very destructive, and the clinker manufacturing process releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide: about half a tonne just from the chemical ...


8

I think you're right that building your own is likely to be necessary (we're in the same position). What I've discovered in Australia is broadly applicable in the global north, so: An earthship can't be sustainable, and is not designed to be sustainable - they are about being self-contained within a very narrow definition of the term. They rely on free ...


7

I suggest that you question some of your assumptions. Difficulties of off-grid. Off-grid is HARD, and generally isn't worth it unless you are a long ways from the power lines. If you are looking at one acre, you probably aren't that far away. Let's look at what goes into off grid: Electricity Grid connected solar means you size your PV to provide about ...


7

In Belgium and the Netherlands there are still quite a few houses with thatched roofs. They are usually houses with higher segments. Making such a roof is quite time consuming (hence the high installation costs, due to labor costs.) The climate is quite similar, if not identical, to the British Islands. Over here the roofs are made out of common reed (...


7

I understand that this isn't a link to a complete reference, but it is a general list that might get you or others started. The primary sustainable roofing systems I am aware of are: Metal - These can be used to collect rainwater and many are coated in such a way that they do not contaminate your water. The roof can last 50 years, and even then, the metal ...


5

You may like to consider having a roof that reflects as much sunlight as possible back into space, thus increasing the earth's albedo. This probably means having a white roof, but I do remember hearing about special roof paints that are coloured but are designed to reflect as much infrared (heat) radiation as possible, which would be a partial (but likely ...


5

A fire is a very inefficient way to get warm and keep warm. However, if your fuel is renewable, and your usage rate is lower than the replenishment rate, there is no sustainability issue. To make a fire more efficient, use a stove rather than an open fire: Use a good design, to ensure as little heat goes up the flue/chimney, and as much stays in the room, ...


5

Since you don't indicate in which country you're thinking of implementing this plan, I'm going to write from my perspective in the US, considering chain hotels (Marriot, Holiday Inn, Hilton,, etc) that make up the majority of hotels here. I can think of several ways in which a building constructed as a hotel would have greater environmental costs than a ...


3

No. The letter rankings cannot be compared between nations in the EU, as each nation has a different number of grades (or no grades at all). From "A comparative analysis of the energy performance certificates schemes within the European Union: Implementing options and policy recommendations": This is because each nation has its own method (within EU ...


2

I suspect a white roof made (at least partially) of recycled materials--and 100% recyclable or compostable materials--is your most sustainable option. It will greatly reduce the amount of heat your house absorbs in the summer, which will reduce the amount of energy you need to cool your home. During the useful life of a modern roof, the energy cost of heat ...


1

There is something to be said for both tiny houses and RVs. This Treehugger blog lists a number of pros for both. In short tiny houses: ... look like a house. Tiny homes are more weatherproofed. One can choose the materials and finishes that one wants in a custom-made tiny house. Customization. Tiny homes come in all shapes, sizes, builds ...


1

Your system fails immediately when prices rise. Since prices rising is inevitable, your system will inevitably fail. Even if it did work for a year, you hit diminishing returns right-away, and there goes the motivation for further/continuing effort. This is a problem that cannot be solved by playing with numbers on a spreadsheet. Group rewards don't ...


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