Young people, low income, and middle income families are facing a massive housing crisis that requires a sustainable solutions. We need to create communities that make housing, food and energy affordable for all. "Many Western countries, Canada, the U.S. and Britain among them, are currently facing a housing crisis when it comes to middle- to low-income residents. A combination of soaring real estate values, high rents, stagnant wages and a premium on urban space have conspired in recent years to make it difficult for regular working people to acquire stable, affordable family housing." according to a recent Mcleans Magazine article. Healthy food, local jobs, and long term economic security require a new type of community.
Many factors need to be addressed in order to make housing, food, transportation and communities affordable. Four critical factors that Solar Village aims to address include size, cost to build, location, and on-going operating costs. Innovation will include re-using waste material, open sourcing the design/build process in order to rapidly optimize it particular to a wide variety of circumstances, and developing a research institute to further these aims.
Affordable housing and food in a world collapsing from climate change impacts also must be addressed. Young people are the ones that will be affected by these changes and they expect their housing and healthy food to address the critical factors causing climate change. These impacts include the need to address building materials, energy consumption during the build and on-going, water conservation, resource management, food production and integration with clean transportation options.
Critical to the vision of Solar Village is the need to address the social, cultural, political, organizational, health and psychological requirements of community members. In an increasingly complex world, with ever greater challenges to community, and human health, we must look deeply at the patterns of social dislocation and economic inequality that is the root cause of the challenge people in community face.
Image Source: Inhabitat
We are a group of innovators, solar enthusiasts, current solar home owners and prospective Solar Village home owners & community builders, young and old, permaculture fanatics, designers, artists and musicians.
We will show people just how easy it is to grow food using their own hands, build their own homes, generate their own energy and how to access all of these open source resources available to everyone to make it easy to do. People will come and trade their labor for crops as is common among some market farms where people will work for a day and take home a small box of food. During a Permaculture course, people will learn how to design and build their own home and farm, taking away the open source designs to build it themselves.
We are building a community center similar to EverGreen Brickworks where their are garden greenhouses. a restaurant/cafe, and a bed and breakfast type place.
Image Source: Everdale.org Photo Credit: Jeff Birrell
Similar to Everdale we will offer workshops and classes for people interested in all aspects of Solar Village.
Solar Village will allow people to come in and use shared facilities as their own, by having a community garden and kitchen, tool library and different work spaces.
It will be built using all the design principles of Permaculture, Solar Village, Biomimicry, plus take all these different concents we've been learning about like aquaponics, market gardening, and sustainable design concepts like the bio gas generators and regenerative waste management.
Two critical challenges face all of humanity as we come to grips with the Anthropocene. First, is the necessity to move to 100% renewable energy for all our needs. The second is a move to 100% renewable resource usage in a closed loop. Combined these create the need for a circular economy that is equitable.
Advances and rapidly dropping costs for computing technology, solar photovoltaic panels for capturing energy, 3D printing, robotics, wireless communication and artificial intelligence, when applied according to the principles of open source development makes rapid innovation and equitable access critical drivers for the development Solar Village.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” said Margaret Mead. Solar Village is dedicated to creating and supporting small groups of people and communities in their desire to design, develop and build their own homes and communities according to the principles of nature (DIY example).
We will rapidly design, prototype, build, iterate and share our ideas. As they develop and evolve we will deploy them always with feedback into the group.
On-going design processes will ensure that the building envelope, materials, assembly, heating, electrical and other elements of the buildings in the community are constantly improving on the design.
Prototype work and development planning will ensure a steady stream of projects to learn from and feed back into the open source systems. Development and design photo credit - National Institute of Building Sciences
Deployment and build projects will provide real world feedback with integrated monitoring and data collections systems, as well as builder/owner/commmunity feedback.
Image Source: Photo Credit: David Crouch, Department of Energy
Award-winning Wilson Natural home build completion. Home features straw bale walls, passive solar design, and green roof.
In 2002 we added 400 watts of solar and a 1 kW wind turbine. Since the day we had built the house we tried to show people how amazing our house with no furnace and no air conditioner was. Finally in 2003 the Toronto Star newspaper featured our home so we had 1800 visitors for the tour that year.
Visiting Freiburg Germany in 2005 was a pivotal moment as we discovered and documented how the "solar capital" of Europe came to be.
Refined focus on making sustainable housing affordable for young people.
chief youth advocate
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” - Gandhi