Sustainable Living and Co-Housing Alicante

Project of cooperative housing creation, combining the co-housing model with the principles of self-sustainability, energy efficiency and positive social impact. It is a community designed and created by its own residents, in which cooperation between them is encouraged, with an understanding of well-being.

Currently, the current community property system does not allow for cooperation between residents, especially if they have some kind of reduced mobility, which means that these people are very lonely. As we age, we become sedentary and lonely, causing depression, premature aging, and other illnesses caused by this cause.

In the 80’s a group of young people in Denmark get together to decide the community in which they want to live, from there co-housing is created, where a group of people plan their future from buying the land together, plotting it and creating basic and affordable housing, where they encourage co-living and solidarity.

Eco-housing Alicante is a housing cooperative project, combining the co-housing model with the principles of self-sustainability, energy efficiency and positive social impact.

It is a type of collaborative housing that tries to overcome the alignment produced by the compartmentalization of current housing, in which no one knows their neighbors and in which there is no sense of community.

Its values are aligned with those of Christian Felber’s well-known Economics of the Common Good, and these are a foundation of basic principles that represent human values: trust, honesty, responsibility, cooperation, solidarity, generosity and compassion, among others.

These are modular single-family houses, of the passive solar type, using resources of the bio-climatic architecture combined with a much higher energy efficiency than traditional construction. These houses have very low energy consumption and offer a comfortable atmosphere all year round without the use of conventional heating. They would be designed as smart-houses, taking advantage of digital technologies at the service of the above-mentioned values.

There would be a specific common area for waste management, composting and a workshop for the re-use/recycling of various equipment. There is also a common laundry area, social club or living area. Playground, accessible children’s playground and adapted sports area.

This project is designed to be carried out, between the sea and the mountains, somewhere in the so-called region of Alacantí (Busot, El Campello, Aigues, Alicante, Agost, Jijona, Mutxamel, San Juan de Alicante, San vicente or Torremanzanas), accessible and with all the public services needed, from the circular economy, self-sufficiency, and the least environmental impact and the lowest environmental impact.

All this is seen from a social perspective of intergenerational coexistence, mutual support, accessibility for people with disabilities and/or dependency and solidarity, respecting the private spaces of each unit of coexistence.

Sustainable develpment goals reached

Sustainable living in the Netherlands. What we need to know

From tiny houses to green roofs. These are the developments in the field of sustainable living in the Netherlands.

There is a lot of companies that works closely in the field of sustainable living. It is nice to see how this sector is growing and also making more sustainable. This is important, because in the field of climate protection, there is a lot to be gained in the housing and construction sector

Sustainable construction

Sustainable homes are better for the environment than traditional construction. It saves resources, the homes are more energy-efficient in use and often healthier for residents and users. But sustainable construction is more than energy saving. For example, it is also about creating a healthy indoor environment through good ventilation and insulation. Or about durable demolition in which the materials that are released can be reused, improving the circular economy. In any case, there is a rise in new building materials, such as the sustainable elephant grass used to make building blocks out of it. But sustainable living is not just about the inside and outside of your home. It’s also about your garden or balcony, did you know that you can also take environmentally friendly measures there that help to make society more sustainable? And don’t forget your roof either. With a green roof you save on your energy costs, improve air quality and contribute to the preservation of biodiversity.

The world population is growing and this is affecting the environment. To ensure there’s enough food, water and prosperity in 2050, we need to switch from a linear to a circular economy.

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Tiny House Movement

Tiny houses, micro apartments, off-grid homes: There are a lot of terms for the houses that are characterized by their small surface area, degree of efficiency and often CO2 neutral production method. The Tiny House Movement has come over from America and has become extremely popular in the Netherlands. The number of providers has therefore grown steadily in recent years: Sustainer Homes, MHome, Finch Buildings and Tiny Tim all offer a sustainable, smaller home. Fortunately, the number of places in the Netherlands where tiny houses can be placed is also increasing. A nice phenomenon is that small innovators often (finally) inspire the large companies. For example, the construction company Heijmans was probably inspired by the tiny house movement for their Heijmans One – a moveable house for single-person households.

Aarchitect Macy Miller traded her 2,500-square-foot residence for a 196-square-foot home. Image by businessinsider

Generational living and Cohousing

Together with your family on a farm yard! The cohabitation of several generations has been around for centuries, but in recent years we have seen more and more people living together: Generation living is a form of living that is very popular in Scandinavia and has also come to Netherlands. It means that several generations live together in the same house or on the same yard, yet separately. Each generation has its own home, but things are also picked up together. As a result, older people can often live independently until old age. This form of experimentation is also used in the Netherlands. For example, in a residential care centre in Arnhem where students are allowed to live for 75 euros per month if, in exchange, they help out 30 hours a month with activities for the elderly.

Earthsong Econeighbourhood, Auckland, New Zealand – Bill Algie

Eco-Villages

In our country, sustainable housing forms are being used hard, and eco-villages are such a new form. There are about 12 eco-driving initiatives in the Netherlands, three of which are grounded and therefore a real eco-driving village. The idea of eco-villages is a community that provides sustainable living conditions. Creating a sustainable future in which everyone consciously deals with nature, each other and themselves. Famous eco villages in the Netherlands are Ecodorp Boekel and ReGen Villages.

A room with a view and also energy-neutral. Source: roomed.nl

Energy-saving measures for your home

Sustainable living is not just about building or other types of housing. There are also plenty of steps to make an existing house more sustainable! Solar panels are the best known application. But did you know that there is already such a thing as a sunroof pan, in which the solar cells are integrated? The Dutch company ZEP already produces them. To save energy and make your home more sustainable, you can also look at insulation, hr+++ glass or a heat pump. For all kinds of energy-saving measures for your home you can take a look at Slimwoner.

Green architecture as sustainable living is no longer a novelty, in fact is the only future for construction that makes sense.

Looking Ahead to the Future of Green Architecture

Technological advances have made it so there’s practically no excuse not to integrate green architecture principles into new construction. While standards like those for LEED certification are a terrific starting point, it’s important that cities and communities answer basic questions about why they should build responsibly and the best ways to go about it.

green building architecture

Green architecture can be put into practice countless ways, including roofs that are home to vegetation.

The activity of construction, coupled with building operation and maintenance, accounts for significant greenhouse gas emissions. But architects have far more tools today for designing structures that minimize environmental impact, or even generate their own sustaining power resources.

Smart, efficient buildings are nothing new, of course. Many of the most lauded buildings worldwide have been ones that respected their immediate surroundings and how they fit into them. With technologies like LEED tiles, green roofs, and photovoltaic (PV) cells, green architecture is more attainable than ever. Here are some materials and technologies that will power the green architecture revolution.

Green architecture is no longer a novelty and in fact is the only future for construction that makes sense.

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Geothermal Technology and Green Architecture

Different types of geothermal energy wells are found beneath the crust of the earth. Some connect to steam sources that can be used to power geothermal heat pumps, for example. Despite large variations in temperature on the earth’s surface, underneath the crust, the temperature is typically hot and stable. Geothermal technology uses these heat sources to generate electricity and heating for structures built on the surface.

Harnessing the possibilities of geothermal wells requires drilling into the earth, and installing well rings in the drill holes for structural soundness. Some wells can be connected to geothermal power plants, where heated water powers turbines, and others transfer heat to other materials that can be used in power generation. Geothermal wells that connect with structures’ integrated heating and cooling systems circulate water through a building’s structure, warming it in the winter and pulling heat out of it in the summer. Using closed-loop geothermal wells means that these power sources are indefinitely sustainable.

Biomorphic Designs

Biomorphic designs are structures that are built in harmony with their surroundings. One famous example would be American architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater home, built in 1935. Biomorphic designs don’t have to be as completely enmeshed in the environment as Fallingwater, but they are generally made so that both the exterior and interior elements of the structure have a harmonious, “organic” look and feel.

sustainable architecture

Biomorphic designs are nothing new, but today they can be made sturdier and more environmentally friendly than ever.

Fluid, organic architectural forms continue to be popular, and by nature they lend themselves to green architecture, taking advantage of environmental features that can form a mutual symbiosis with structures. With advances in computer-aided design and construction, biomorphic forms that look like everything from nests to waves can be created, and they can be powered by green technologies like solar photovoltaic (PV) panels or geothermal wells so that structures not only look organic, but also adhere to green architecture principles.

Photovoltaic and Other Alternative Power Types

Geothermal wells represent just one type of alternative to the use of fossil fuels to power buildings. Renewable energy systems are rapidly becoming more efficient and cheaper. In some cases, multiple types of power generation are tapped, improving energy performance compared to using a single power source. For example, a hydropower plant and a photovoltaic (PV, or solar) plant may work together to power structures, sometimes working in parallel, sometimes relying on one or the other depending on conditions.

The control system of the hybrid power structure manages the use of component plants and ensures efficient power is always available. For example, a hybrid PV/hydropower system typically includes reservoirs that store water and power in batteries. Different operational strategies put different demands on the reservoirs, ensuring the “greenest” power production at all times.

Green architecture is no longer a novelty and in fact is the only future for construction that makes sense. Whether it’s the incorporation of solar panels, tapping into geothermal wells, or designing structures so they harmonize with their environment, green architecture is about both form and function.