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Natural building is the type of eco-building that is often overlooked. It is an under-appreciated aspect of permaculture and important type of home design that becomes apparent when you see what is happening in the world. One way to look at the survival of people in the world is to think about the three most important things, and that includes food, water and shelter. With the worlds population rapidly urbanizing, more than 50 percent of the world's population now live in cities. And in the next 20 years, there will be another two billion people that are expected to move to cities. That means there will be a lot of construction required in order to make home designs for all these additional people.
To build these home designs, there will most likely be building materials to include concrete, aluminum, and steel, which are directly responsible for the large quantities of CO2 emissions in the world. The reason for this is because of the high content of embodied energy in the production of these building materials, which will be responsible for a lot of additional carbon emissions being released into the environment. And if this wasn't worrying enough, construction activities already consume about half of all the natural resources that are extracted from nature. With everything from logging to the mining of natural resources, which accounts for about one-sixth of global freshwater consumption, one-quarter of the wood consumption, and one-quarter of all the global waste. Everything about the processes of building in the world is broken, from the way that people build their home designs, the building materials that are used, to the systems that demand the constant consumption. The worst part is that people already know how to build without doing all this damage to the environment and this knowledge has been around for millennia.
So what's needed is for people to start talking about solutions. When paired with the permaculture design principles, natural building has the potential to help save you more money and reduce your waste much more than growing your own food and building the soil on a small scale. This comes back to a principle that it is often more effective to reduce your waste and destruction than to mask all of it with a few small positive acts. The good news is that natural and regenerative building isn't just for people who are building a tiny house design or wood cabin from scratch in the woods. Though there are several examples of rustic small cottage homes built with mud and sticks, the same building materials can be used to build beautiful mansions, modern home design or even just to renovate an existing industrial structure. As important as it is to design for food production, soil building, and water harvesting, you'll never reach a regenerative lifestyle if your home designs are toxic, wasteful and consumptive. Buildings are the most essential, and often overlooked part of a truly regenerative type of living system.
No matter what sort of home design you are considering building, whether it be a wood cabin or modern home design, you will want to consider natural building and eco-building techniques. These natural building techniques will help you create a home design that will feel better to live in, and will have the least impact on the environment and the building site that it sits on. Keeping natural building and regenerative design in mind when building your home design is a good way to help restore, renew or revitalize your sources of energy and building materials, therefore creating sustainable systems that integrate both the needs of society with the integrity of nature. **
When it comes to natural building, there are several things to consider when building a home. For starters, some good questions to ask are how the building will make best use of all of the natural resources and features of the building site. Ask how the building site will deal with waste and how the home design will incorporate systems that will make it easier to make positive building choices rather than destructive one. You'll want to consider how the home design will facilitate the functions of the inhabitants to include passions, hobbies, and relationships. Ask how the home design will allow for the growth and expansion of the lives of the people who live there physically and emotionally to include additions to the family, personal growth and aging. And how does the home design contribute to the surrounding ecology and community? When building a home design you want to include details that will accommodate the people who live there with details such as the ideal temperature range, air quality, humidity, views, personal space and community space. A home should also have the extras that the family needs to include proper storage, appliances, big windows, comfy furniture, creative spaces, and more. What's important to know about this list of wants is that the list is meant to be a concise and easy to follow guide to help make responsible and insightful choices. By changing the way that people think when it comes to the building process of homes, less damage and wiser building decisions can be made to help the environment.
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