When we think about our homes and how central they are to our very existence (our lives literally revolve around them), you would think that we would place the ABSOLUTE utmost importance and sacredness on both the land and the buildings
Yet we continue to develop new structures that we don’t necessarily need, without consideration of the natural landscape and conditions, using mass produced materials from all over the world, that are making sick. Then any issues that arose in these home we just band-aid with technology like air conditioning, lighting, fencing, etc.
Here in Australia we are in the middle of a housing crisis where less and less people are able to find (even rent let alone actually own) a home, yet we have the biggest homes in the world with more space than we could ever need
The combination of cheap loans (which means people are maximising their mortgages just because they can and so are buying to a budget rather than buying to a need) and cheap homes (made from destructive materials with a lot of dead space), leads to these massive social & health issues and enormous environmental destruction
The building and housing industry is such a prime example of how out off-track big business is taking us. It’s making people want more than they need, and then through industrialisation, commoditisation, & standardisation, the big global businesses control all of the supply chain, have massive marketing budgets, and a stranglehold on the industry such that alternative, local, and sustainable methods of building are SO hard to come by that most of us don’t even bother to go and find out because it’s just too hard and we don't know where to start!
I could go on! This rant could seriously go on for much longer but I’m going to introduce you to just one person who is turning this tide…
Michael Leung is an architect and Co-Founder of Balanced Earth, a building company that is completely changing the way we look at shelter both through natural and appropriate design as well as the use of local and natural materials, particularly Hempcrete
Hempcrete, that is concrete made from hemp, has such unbelievable benefits for both human health & environment that when you learn about it you'll wonder why we don’t use it everywhere
This is about more than just building a house.
This is a conversation about questioning the status quo. It’s a conversation about educating ourselves and each other about alternative ways of living outside of the norm, and so much more