PDC – Post #2: Green Buildings

Most people argue that going green only works if you are willing to spend more money that conventional products and/or are willing to lower your standards. This argument is used most often in building design and construction. One of hte best parts of going to Rainbow Valley Farm for the PDC was seeing working beautiful examples of green buildings.

Chook houses and worm bins made out of reclaimed materials:

The willow circle is an outside classroom and fire circle. The walls are made of willow which can be coppiced for animal feed, firewood, or mulch:

It takes 6-20 liters of water to flush a toilet. Each flush means combining good drinking water with good fertilizer to make a waste product that we spend millions cleaning and sending out to sea. Composting Toilets make much more sense:
During the course we got the chance to take a one day earth building course with Graeme North, a leading earth builder. His house is another great example of green design:
Here we are mixing mud, straw, and gravel to make earth bricks and morter:
Graeme talks about creating indoor/outdoor flow. His house is a series of rooms all under a giant greenhouse roof. The top floor is a year-round garden:He also has garden beds inside his living room that continue outside:
The walls and cielings are made of a mix of natural and recycled materials:

We also got a chance to visit Otomatea eco village and saw Wolfgang and Sabine’s house. Yes, this is an eco house. Among other things, they use a cool cupboard system that uses the thermal mass of their house and air currents to keep their food cool and don’t need a fridge.
Along the way we got to stop at our friend Billy’s house. They are using straw bale construction that will eventually be sealed with eath and plaster:
Nelson and Bo were exhausted from all the learning:

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