Most of the energy used in a Swedish home is for heating: 50% heating the house and 25% for warm water. Electricity need not be generated for this task.
Maybe if we start from the idea of the green, circular, sustainable home we can create a new vision for the future?
I hope the diagram stimulates your thoughts! If you’d like the Swedish version it’s here.
Here are the main elements of a circular house:
- Insulation: Keeps house cool in summer and warm in winter reducing heating costs, which are 50% (Sweden) of total energy use.
- Energy capture: the circular house collects energy from the sun, wind, earth to make it resilient to power outages and part of a smart national grid.
- Kitchen garden: The loop food>humanure(toilet waste)>compost> kitchen garden>food reduces the burden on municipal waste services, reduces the overshoot on planetary boundary phosphorus and nitrogen and provides resilience against food shortages. It also has better carbon capture than a lawn. Any kitchen garden is better than none, so get started today!
- Compost: see (3) Kitchen Garden. Composting recycles bio-nutrients on the spot.
- Grey water: Capturing grey water and recycling it through the garden helps ensure the essential nutrient cycles of P and N do not go into overshoot.
- Nutrient capture: The toilet is the place to collect phosphorous and nitrogen. There are various systems that will recycle these nutrients back into the garden, or even to local farmers.
- Root cellar: a place to store food that requires no energy at all. Resilient if there is an energy shortage. And you’ll need a place to put all that food you grow in the kitchen garden!
- Greenhouse: good to have to prolong the seasons, and grow food not possible otherwise in the climate.
- Rainwater capture: rainwater needs no cleaning to be used for watering the garden, washing clothes, showering etc. Recycle water directly!
- Long-life products: The longer an object lives, the less material burden on the earth. Repairing and upgrading is a great way to ensure once material is extracted, it stays useful as long as possible.
- Neighbours. No circular house is complete without being in a circular neighbourhood. Sharing instead of buying is a great way to reduce material in use.