Self-sufficient homes

From ArticleWorld


A self-sufficient home is a take on autonomous buildings. A self-sufficient home is just that – its reliance on government or community infrastructure including electric power, heating, sewage, and transportation systems is minimal, often non-existent. Self-sufficient homes nearly always have a very low environmental impact. In addition, people choose to build and live in such homes in order to feel more responsible and connected to the land and seasons, or safer in times of a natural disasters, war or civil disorder.

A self-sufficient home is usually highly energy efficient, since it is built of materials that are efficient insulators and uses passive solar heating, In addition, a self-sufficient home might have a small power generation plant of its own based on solar cells, hydropower, wind energy, or biogas. Since they are usually away from public roads and infrastructure, self-sufficient homes have their own waste-disposal and sewage management system, usually built with an eye to not polluting their water source, for they are off civic water lines too. Water is carefully managed, both through rainwater harvesting and recycling of grey water from kitchen, washing, and bath use. Unlike in an autonomous building, which could house thousands of people in homes and offices, a self-sufficient home needs to manage all these issues on a very small scale, generally for a nuclear family.

The move to self-sufficient homes arises for some people when they believe that they are not secure, living within the matrix of civic infrastructure, because of mismanagement of already stretched natural and other resources, or because they feel that distribution is inequitable and prefer to drop out rather than propagate the accepted mode of living in 'society' or 'community'. Other people believe that human beings are meant to be in close proximity to the land, living off it, and stewarding its resources. Building movements and types such as the Earthship are examples of self-sufficient homes.