Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Really Green Building

From the Discovery Channel via argotnaut, evidence that you don't have to cut down trees to build with them:
Growing a home from living trees instead of building a home from felled timber is the goal of an architect from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mitchell Joachim, part of the MIT Media Lab's Smart Cities Group, along with ecological engineer Lara Greden and architect Javier Arbona, propose a home that is actually an ecosystem.

The Fab Tree Hab goes beyond sustainable housing and so-called green design — building with materials that have a low impact on the environment and human health.

"Not only does it do zero damage, but it will hopefully clean the air," said Joachim.
Based on the ancient gardening technique of "pleaching," the proposed house relies on nature for water, heat and human waste disposal. Very cool, but it looks like a long "building" process:
In Joachim's vision, the exterior of the living house is shaped over the course of several decades into a protective crisscross of vines, interspersed with soil pockets and growing plants.
Can't get much greener, certainly... I guess I could get started on a home for retirement. I wonder if you have to start planning from the point of actually planting trees...?

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