Another build day, another day of lessons for all!
It has been an incredible experience already and we still haven’t really started on the walls or anything resembling a home yet.
I have an incredible respect for builders, designers, architects, people who build their own home and anyone in the whole industry. I love being out of my depth but this has really been a sink and slow swim. Building is not just the putting of wood together there are so many considerations, calculations and cautions that I would never had guessed. Luckily I’m not building and our building teachers have been so good in sharing their knowledge with all involved.
It is also a sector not without concerns. Because it is such an undertaking to build a house it is quite easy to cut corners and be unsustainable – even for a sustainable dwelling. However a sustainable house is not just a major way we can be more sustainable, I remember a year ago when I was sharing my idea with the knowledge and experience of Tim from SHAC – Sustainable HAbitat Challenge http://www.shac.org.nz/ he told me our energy consumption on the world usually happens in thirds – living (home), transport and stuff. The stuff side I am pretty clued in to and have been for a long time believing that consumerism is a significant cancer on society and environment. Through cycling I have also been pretty aware of transportation and good practices (although I fly around the world most years…). The new area I loving to learn about is living and the home.
There is a lot we can do beyond changing our lightbulbs and this is where the building component of Happy, simply really kicks-arse in sustainability, self-sufficiency and simplicity. It is starting to feature sound practices like reuse, recycle and refit as much as possible but it is really in the small space, renewable energy, water capture, compostable toilet and moving significantly away from the ‘normal’ way to the ‘simpler’ way, often more difficult because it is not the normal way!
Certainly I have learnt that building a simple small dwelling is definitely not simple but it is absolutely happy. The atmosphere amongst everyone getting involved is so healthy and I couldn’t imagine a better way to raise a house with a community.
I feel tomorrow is going to be a jump ahead in looks as we aim to put on its undies (floor and insulation) and start to build up!