Energy-efficient, better still, lasting lifetimes, materials for housing generation after generation freely& sustainably. Rebuild with salvage in mind.
|Tiny Texas Houses33 min ago|
When it comes to the idea of targeting minimal energy consumption from beginning to end, it is critical that the resources used to build the houses be of foremost importance. With that in mind, I contend that Salvage Mining and Salvage Building are the best paths to take toward the future of an energy-conscious evolution for housing in America in particular. If you do not have to recreate the materials to build houses with then you save before you move in, not just after as seems to be the normal way of looking at the energy cost of housing. Short analysis for your consideration and sharing follows with a million words in picture form.
Fuel to create bricks, glass, hardware, transport across oceans, or to put through a typical marketing and distribution network that requires air conditioning and advertising, giant profits for executives, and retirement benefits for all who bring it to your store for you to buy and pay taxes on for the privilege. Imagine why those many industries frown on the salvage industry that negates nearly all of those mundane costs to give you the best materials for little more than human energy required to clean the nails, doors, windows, and more to use them for another generation of housing, or two.
Foremost, there is the simple consideration of transforming the way we live in this country to bring us back in line with the rest of the world when it comes to the amount of space we use for housing. The most sobering of facts is that 50,000,000 people are reaching retirement age and a very rude awakening from an economic reality that is facing them as they realize that they will no longer be able to afford, nor desire to afford, to live in large energy-hungry houses. This Baby Boomer generation is realizing that having “things” is no longer as important as they once were. Downsizing is becoming the new mantra as they face the next few decades of their life and what it will cost to survive.
Tiny Texas Houses are based on the idea that we can build energy-efficient houses from the best of materials ever produced in this country over the last couple of centuries when quality resources were readily tapped and manpower was cheap. The 500-year-old trees that were once abundant became houses and buildings across the country and after one use is being thrown into landfills that are now 51% building materials. Why waste all of that energy and those irreplaceable resources when they can be reused in their present form as lumber, windows, doors, flooring, siding, and trim for the next generation of housing?
Likewise, the best of all cast iron, brass, and bronze hardware for doors and windows is still good after a hundred years of use and will continue to work well for the next century while also being repairable instead of disposable. This means a gigantic savings in energy from the standpoint of mining, manufacturing, and the shear longevity of something already made versus hardware with built in obsolescence as a marketing strategy.
With modern insulation like Icynene, it is possible to move away from fractured logic technologies like double-paned glass that fogs up after 12 years, which is the time it takes for the payback on the more expensive product. Using old glass also means that we do not crank up furnaces to create new glass every 12 years, fuel to carry it out to the houses and replace the glass, and the oil-based vinyl used to hold the glass in place until it fails again 12 years later. Storm windows for colder climates and window films to block harmful sunlight allow people in Tiny Houses to have utility bills in the summer of less than $50 per month with the AC blaring in the South, thus dramatically reducing the need for disposable windows.
Furthermore, going back to designs where natural ventilation of the heat out of the house, natural cooling through airflow, and placement of the houses to minimize heat gain all come together to reduce the energy needs of each person over their remaining life. This makes it viable for people to be able to afford to stay in their tiny house until the end of their lives because they can pay the utilities, taxes, maintenance, and share a smaller footprint on the ground thus freeing up land to grow their garden on. The concept of Tiny Texas Villages means people can live in groups with other like-minded people on land that would normally be consumed by a single larger Mac Mansion.
Tiny Texas Villages allow for 10-15 Tiny Houses of up to 300 square feet on an acre of land with 10,000 square feet of gardens for food, green space for trees and decorative plants, a common house in the middle for a meeting, sharing a larger kitchen and meals, and entertainment. Wind generators and solar panels could power the whole village, which would have a minimal power consumption footprint because of good uses of shade, insulation, and planning. Water consumption could be minimized through gray water separation and filtration for reuse in greenery as well as operating toilets, and non-potable functions. Shared talents in each village would provide opportunities for aging people or young people to grow food, do upkeep and maintenance, drive to the stores in groups to shop, cook together to minimize food waste, and to enjoy companionship with a like mind group that shares the village grounds.
Tiny Texas houses are built from the best materials and designed to last for centuries rather than decades as has become the norm. They use quality wood unlike most new housing built from trees grown in 19 years that are mostly soft cellulose and destined to decay quickly or be great candy for termites and bugs to eat. Using salvaged wood that has already been cured and paints that do not outgas means providing a toxic-free environment without plasticizers, VOC’s, sheetrock, or glues that outgas to add to the toxin load that the Baby Boomer generation has already absorbed and can interfere with good health and our immune systems. For young families, it means a clean environment for children to grow up in and stay healthy.
By utilizing LED lighting, low energy consuming appliances like induction cooktops, and minimizing the size of the houses, it will be possible for people to live longer healthier lives. Lowering stress levels by reducing the financial burdens that come with maintaining more house than they need and having a community to share the challenges of aging together with will also be healthier and delay or eliminate the need for moving into assisted care or worse, old folks homes.
These are the principles that are going to be important to the Baby Boomers and the planet as a whole if we are to preserve the future for the next generation. If we lead by example, then perhaps the younger generations will also see the logic and likewise choose to live in tinier houses, targeting a 0 carbon footprint instead of demanding giant houses that exemplify the excesses Americans have mastered more than any other nation in the world.
This is not a figment of the imagination because the proof that it can be done is before anyone who chooses to look and see we can build this way. Proof of concept has been completed and the BnB business plan allows for investing and growing small communities using salvage as a foundation. It creates work that is profitable and productive, with jobs for anyone who wants to participate in the Salvage mining, building, or hunting down and logistics involved in the Pure Salvage Living Renaissance… an industry that makes life better for all who participate. Better still, it helps keep the new housing sustainable and our compatibility with nature at its best.
For proof of the popularity and demand check out the internet for tiny houses but limit it to organic healthy sustainable and out of Salvage. You will only find www.tinytexashouses.com or on Youtube or Facebook. There are enough Salvageable Building materials sitting on the ground in this country right now to build the next generation of housing without ever needing to cut down another tree to build a house with, mine new ore for making hardware for doors and windows, glass, or mining copper for more wiring. Still few have taken this course to get tinier houses and cottage growing as an industry until the demand for intentional communities is there, the trick will be where to put them.
All it will take is human energy, which given the high unemployment rates we are experiencing, means that jobs can be created at all levels, from Salvage Mining to Salvage Building, that cannot be exported but rather used to teach skills to our youth and provide a future for the masses.
This Pure Salvage Living solution unleashes a trillion dollars, possibly much more once the true value is recognized. It is a treasure trove of invisible wealth in the form of a commodity viewed as trash. This vast reserve of sequestered carbon is preformed, cut, baked, smelted, mined, and transported to the local area already. These troves of building materials can be tapped to create work and housing without using carbon or energy that is being wasted for construction now. We can make the new technologies blend with the best materials and products we ever created during the industrial revolution in the last century when we were known for making great products and re-task, reutilizing, and revitalizing our country at the same time. Best of all, we can build healthy houses for our families without imports that send the future they should have abroad. Individual choices change what happens every day.
If it works as I expect, we can reignite pride in craftsmanship, simplicity, conservation, ingenuity, and preservation that once made us a country that was proud of what it created. I am afraid of what will happen if we waste what is left when there is nothing left to replace it and don’t pass on the knowledge or the tools to the generation that will inherit what we are leaving behind.
I hope this inspires people to think about the possibilities of changing their worlds in a new way they had not thought of before. Please ask questions, get involved, and stop the waste before it is too late. Let us start building our future out of it now, while we are still able, individually, physically, and joining together.
Better still, in the growth of this new paradigm, we may enable people to survive on the little savings that most Americans now have to live out the rest of their lives with as they face retirement. Bartering, local shared resources programs, education about life skills, and incentivized opportunities are natural means of maximizing productivity and yield at any Salvage Mining site. I believe this has the potential to provide hope for the younger generation that will have to pay for the excess and taxes from wars and bail outs that have brought this country to its knees economically.
This is not just about saving electricity or fuels. it is about saving resources, tapping and maximizing the potential of human energy and imagination, and reigniting an American pride that is going to be lost if we do not pass along the knowledge of the baby boomers to the young as to how to build with our hands, create housing that will last for our grandchildren, and save what we have before it is all gone to rot in the landfills, never to be seen again. This was the house in the double rainbow picture for the book by one of my heroes, Lloyd Kahn.
My vision includes the bonuses of not just American, as in giant American companies, it means on a local level across the country where all the resources lay in open sight available for all to use. It is the treasure trove of resources our ancestors left to their children, not to be squandered, but saved and used to house the generations that would follow.
Pure Salvage Living is a natural non-violent way of revolutionizing the way we live in America that promotes the individual choice as a solution, a local community knit together by passing along and saving not only the houses, barns, and trees, but the knowledge from the elders who built lived in and loved the many houses and buildings we are taking apart to reuse. We are promoting the simplest of solutions at the most local level. Tiny Houses like the rest of the world needs right now, are designed to last and to be energy efficient by using the best of the past and present to create a life that everyone can enjoy.
It means saving more energy and resources than most people presently imagine exist. When we wake up and see what we can do to teach the young kids how to build this sort of solution out of the strong bones of the industrial age of abundance. They have a future of Salvage Mining and stashing it away in community warehouses, Salvage Outposts I call them, to open the pipeline and meeting place with Salvage Builders, Salvage Hunters, and Salvage Miners.
It is hard to believe that it could take so little carbon and money from the world to make it all happen. Working together to share knowledge, tools, trucks, trailers, and all the resources sitting around underused, going to waste when they could be facilitating the transformation of our country. How many giants empty abandoned global corporate buildings lie vacant that could be used for storing the treasure left to salvage and save for the next three generations to build? Taking what is wasted and using it rather than tearing it down unnecessarily or wasting what we could retrieve is nearly sinful at a time when so many can use the wood, the windows, and doors to create housing. Salvage the past to create a future worth living instead of those who wish they were dead rather than face freezing in the rain and snow with starving children. Do not wait until it is too late. Act now!
This manifestation of a solution that benefits so many will need donors and mentors who are not doing it for the 501c3 tax deduction but because they want to help make change happen, not just talk about it. Passing along the assets and knowledge it will take to the new generation that needs them is wonderful. But with the incredible hand tools and possibilities we give, more essential is the knowledge of how to use them. This is part of what the mentors will do in the big picture. They, with the donors, will help us pass along to the next generation the tools and knowledge, as well as the materials it will take to rebuild this country from the bottom up.
We have so much to pass on to the next generation before it is lost, especially about how to farm the land organically again, living together to use that on a local level and share when in abundance. Our generation has seen the old homesteads deteriorate into obsolescence. Please don’t let them be wasted when they meant so much to so many for so long. They made this country possible by housing our forefathers from the weather so they could settle here.
We have the same forests around us now, except they are already cut up and ready to use. Bricks are formed, beams, windows, doors, and so much more, passed to us with the best of dreams and hopes that we would use them and appreciate the hard work and human energy it took to make them, not to mention the fossil fuels needed to bake brick. Hardware from copper, iron, brass that is seldom found of that quality today, before electricity and with 12-year-olds doing the hard work of bringing coal out of tiny mineshaft to make glass and other things for houses in 1875.
Nearly everything is here. Please join me in trying to save as much of it as possible and transform it into one of the many solutions needed by the people on the planet, the people of this country, those immediately around us locally. It is something we can act on in the morning and start changing it in a positive way rather than dread the worst and not take action. Awake to the world of Pure Salvage Living my friends and fellow Earthlings. There is an incredible future at your front door.
Brad Kittel wrote this in 2010
Revised with intro by Darby Lettick, Artist, curator, steward
Ghostwriter and SpaceMagic Designer at Salvage, Tx.
Tiny Texas Houses 8/21/10 12:25 AM