Greening the Cube – 100 Mile Housing

by Kent Griswold on March 18th, 2012. 18 Comments
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I recently had the opportunity to review a DVD called Greening the Cube – 100 Mile Housing and wanted to share my thoughts about this unique idea of building ones home from sources only available to you within 100 miles.

This is a feature length documentary film that covers the efforts of Canadian green-builders Pete Matheson and Sean Sands as they construct homes from sustainable products that are near by.

They look at taking natural resources that are near you and creating a home using those materials. They also take into consideration different approaches in combining food production, meeting energy needs, responsible management of the waste stream and other considerations that are pertinent to our homes and lifestyles.

I think that we as tiny house enthusiasts can learn a lot by looking at these alternatives. If  you would like to purchase it and learn more about you can go to greeningthecube.com or buy it on amazon.

18 Responses to “Greening the Cube – 100 Mile Housing”

  1. et says:

    FYI:
    from their website “Of course, this kind of self-sufficient construction – the way we humans sheltered ourselves for 99.9% of our history as a species – is now technically illegal.”

    I wish it were otherwise.

    • Charles says:

      Absolutely 100% right.
      We are not allowed to shelter ourselves unless it meets Government imposed standards designed to benefit the .01%.
      I tried to get an experimental permit to build a house for myself and my wife using non conventional build materials and methods.
      I even granted it would be non grid and I was willing to go one mile from the nearest access road. No way you follow the regulations.
      I own 500 acres of land in one block, have my own sawmill, have operated a sawmill for 40 years and made my living for several years build houses and other commercial building so what I build will be safe.
      So much for a free Canada.
      Keep up the struggle,
      Charles

      • Norm says:

        Absolutely right Charles.

        I am in the same pickle where I live. I’ve got 40 plus years of building experience and reams of environmental knowledge, but these so-called experts, provided with lifetime job security and fully paid health care, working in an air conditioned bubble, never having got their hands dirty, have the power to control your life and stifle the kind of innovation this planet needs if it is going to outlive these b——ds.

        • Margaret says:

          There are still plenty of counties here in West Virginia with no building code requirements. Although some of the houses are a little scary as a result But we appreciate the ability to try alternative methods

      • Build it on your 500 acres move in, if anyone ask its your hunting lodge. END OF STORY

        • Andreas Rydström says:

          That’s how you would go about it here in Sweden. Make a “summer cabin”, then move in and live there all year without notifying the authorities.

    • fluffybunnypuff says:

      thers way to many exsessive regs-purposely forceing people to be poor-not letting them build their own house-gov tyrants are appauling and need to get fired. repubs are a bit less restrictive than dems-tho both parties contain tryrants. vote rand paul(i dont agree w him 100% tho i agree w him 50-99%- he’s one of the best people in congress, he leans torward liberty and the consitution.
      let people endanger themself as long as it doesnt endanger other’s or surrounding building’s w/o their permission. self-ownership.
      let people freely use the land to live, this is our earth not govs.
      let people give/sell their prv man made property as long as the consumer is aware of the risks/benifits.
      gov fund teach people who cant afford it, how to make survival needs, shelter, heating and cooling, elecrical, plumbing, solar panels… and terminate gov funds to k-12, headstart, remedial classes, and any class that doesnt teach how to make survival products.

  2. laura says:

    I like this idea – but this would mean I would live in a sod house/shanty – with no whitewash. :(

  3. Tyler says:

    While the images selected for the trailer/clip and the stills used show homes utilizing exclusively natural materials (cordwood, cob, etc) the concept also envelopes the use and reuse of demolition, construction and waste material, too; as someone who works in landfills and solid waste, I can attest to how much useable building material gets landfilled! As a designated paint recycling depot, hundreds of gallons of usable paint comes through monthly, as do doors, windows, fixtures and the like. So the thrust of the film and 100-mile housing, while they do feature a fair bit of natural material, is to work with any usable material from within the bioregional area, including manufactured goods that have “ended up” there. So no need to leave out the whitewash if that’s what you’re keen on! :)

  4. Rob Rickey says:

    I love this, but what do we suggest for the 3.5 billion people living in cities?

    • Sherry says:

      Well…….. if they want to live like this they will have to move out of the city! But that would totally ruin it for those of us who have done it for generations. Just sayin……

      • fluffybunnypuff says:

        it wouldnt ruin it(actually it would do the oposite), there is enough natural resources for everyone to live this way w/o ruining it for anyone else and if everyone lived this way=less resources wasted and more space freed up. reportely 50%of usa(look at a google map) is farm land, if everyone stopped eating animal products, that 50%could be freed up in 4 years, besides that if people had their own homestead the farms would shrink and people would grow their own food, and thats a wonderful thing for everyone(exsept corrupt farmers), it means less resources wasted thru transportation costs, packageing, heathcare costs caused by pollution… and people become healthier because fresh food has more nutrients…

    • fluffybunnypuff says:

      cities are more dangerous, more dependent, and less self sustainable than rural living. cities have higher crime rates, more gov corruption,and often more pollution. if a disaster occurs, city folks will crowd trying to get out, traffic jams..haveing little or means to sustain themself thru clean water or land for growing food(some might have a roof top garden tho its usually not sufficent). many are forced to live in cities w/o being able to afford traveling to a rural location-or their trapped in gov funded apt in the city and dependent on their local support system.
      i prefer rural living where i at least have enough land to grow some food trees and a garden,(1 acre is enough) and at least a mile or closer to a hospital.

  5. Ruby Ann says:

    I love this~ it is AWESOME~ Wondering what you use to hold it together?

  6. Dave says:

    What about home that are built from straw bales seen that in Alberta

  7. carol bledsoe says:

    Just wondering how long they last and the upkeep? wood does rot over time and there are termites have they come up with solutions to these problems? I still think it is a great idea!

  8. fluffybunnypuff says:

    here’s my design:
    house interior 7x8wide, 7tall
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/99405731@N05/9371779389/sizes/l/in/photostream/

    sml house interior 6x8wide,3.5tall
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/99405731@N05/9374561476/sizes/l/in/photostream/

    house garden
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/99405731@N05/9374544392/sizes/l/in/photostream/

    optional: bathroom and kitchen slide over on top of the bed, to compact to 6foot wide, as a trailor for traveling, than unslide it and open it when its time to live in it.
    optional: design so that electric and plumbing could be put into it later
    to live w/o plumbing and electrical built in: sml solar panel, heating blankets, space heater, air conditioner, rain water collection, hand pump well, sml portable water purifier that purifys sewage haz waste and salt water. go the the bathroom outside in a compost/humanure heap or scattered around in large area not where it wont contaiminate water

    dont build below 40feet above sea level, flood zones, or high-risk weather hazard zones

    do you like my design? suggestions? would you consider building or living in my design? fluffybunnypuff@yahoo.com

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