As we enter the new year, questions and ambitions can be thrown to the future. A topic that concerns all of us is the way in which we live together. It’s quite clear that aspects of our modern day society are unsustainable in the long run. Thus, the way that we interact with each other and our environment has come under question.
Recent projects have set sail on the search for sustainable alternatives. These projects give us a fascinating glimpse into the neighborhoods of the future.
Regen Village is one such project. It shows us how, by providing our own resources, we can become totally self-sustaining. The community is set to open this year and is located on the outskirts of Amsterdam. The community consists of 200 homes housing 600 residents. Whilst it is currently aiming at luxury buyers, the team eventually hope to spread the self-sustaining model to developing parts of the world.
So how do they provide for themselves? The homes are powered by photo-voltaic solar panels and use passive cooling and heating systems. Food is provided by high-yield organic growing methods, including aeroponics, aquaponics, and food forests. Interconnected greenhouses will be shared and looked after by the families of the community. Animal waste is converted into electricity through a biomass generator, whilst rainwater is also collected and processed. The creator believes that all of this will actually provide excess resources, meaning not only that the community itself will thrive, but it will also offer value to the surrounding towns and villages.
Another flash into the future shows us ultra-accessible housing. A number of projects have presented fresh concepts for housing that can be constructed by the buyers themselves. Much like a product from IKEA, designers show houses that can be flat-packed, transported and put up anywhere. Design firm Leckie Studio wanted to make a house that a group of people could assemble by themselves. The prospect of building your own home is usually an exciting but daunting one.
The Flat-Pack Cabin comes in a neat envelope and can be configured in a number of ways (with relative ease!). Leckie Studio target this towards the nature-lovers that dream of living in the wilderness. It can be erected in wild areas, inaccessible by road. However, similar projects also exist that target social, as well as emergency housing.
Last year sustainable housing firms Design of Architectural Territories Pangea (DAT Pangea) and Quatorze built prototypes of In My Backyard. It’s a tiny-home concept that provides refugees with stable, energy efficient homes. Volunteers agree to share their land, which is then used to house refugees. However, the concept is more than just a housing project.
The CEO of DAT Pangea is developing partnerships with universities that will transform the building process into a training programme. Participants will cooperate with In My Backyard to construct their own homes, in the process learning skills that could help them with future jobs in their adopted cities. When the training is completed, they’ll receive a diploma.
Some of the biggest worries that we cast to the future are approached through these fascinating projects. We look forward to seeing more progressions in the world of alternative architecture.
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