The New York Times estimates a total of two billion worldwide are living without mains power, water or phone. The implication is that this tragedy needs to be dealt with. But many of those people are happy as they are. And they could have access to power and water without it being brought to their doors by big-budget make-work schemes. (more…)
This year’s Mail on Sunday British Homes Awards are showcasing the Home For The Future. More than 30 architects submitted projects, with 9 of the best listed below and the winner due to be announced on May 31st at a gala dinner at the London Marriott. The winning entry will be “rolled out across the UK” and become the protoype for thousands of eco-homes.
Off-Grid can reveal that the winner is the recycled block-builtGreen House, designed by Ganyt Francis Architects.
Anna Scothern, co-organizer of the competition and Director of the National Centre for Excellence in Housing (based at the Building Research Establishment), would not confirm the identity of the winner but said that “a major housebuilder is planning to roll out thousands across Britain”. The housebuilder’s identity will also be announced on the 31st. “It’s one of the top five volume housebuilders” said Scothern.
The first prototype of the cheap, quickly-erected houses will be assembled at the Building Research Establishment in Garston, Hertfordshire, then replicated in hundreds, perhaps thousands, to produce housing in the Thames Gateway and the Olympics regeneration of East London. (more…)
Associated Press just released a major feature about off-grid living in America, published in the LA Times, Newsday, Chicago Trib, and all over the net, but what do we care? We’re too busy dancing to the new Beastie Boys tune, “Off the Grid.”
It’s from an instrumental album, and the two vids they’ve put out on You Tube (this one and “Rat Cage”) appear to be part of a larger narrative that will be developed in subsequent releases. According to Mike D, the album (“The Mix-Up” dropping June 26) will be followed by another version that will “mix-up” these instrumentals with different collaborators. M.I.A., Snoop Dogg and Mark Ronson are all mentioned.
Our Guru service answers your questions about renewable energy, rainwater harvesting, downshifting, and living free in the boonies. Whether it’s solar panels, wind turbines, micro-hydro or bio-diesel generators, we have the answers. And if we don’t know then we know people who do know.
Environmentalists see India as potentially a huge contributor to carbon dioxide emissions as it strives to industrialize. But optimists say India has huge untapped solar energy thanks to its location, just waiting to be exploited.
India receives solar energy equivalent to nearly 5,000 trillion kWh/year, which is far more than the total energy consumption of the country today. By contrast, it produces a negligible amount of solar energy for use – a mere 0.2% of total energy resources.
However, dreams of a solar future for India may be premature. (more…)
The mysterious Jirka Rysavy, boss of the publicly held Gaiam company, has come up trumps for off-gridders everywhere with the Off-Grid Living section. From books to renewable energy sources, it is a great collection. Take the Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook , for example – a guide to products ranging from simple energy-saving devices like compact fluorescent lights to home-scale energy-harvesting systems that use the sun. Its an essential reference manual from one of the leading industry names. And the best of these products are available here at off-grid.net in our online shop. The goods are high quality but pricey, and (more…)
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