Case StudIES: Mixing Old & New Technologies for More Fire Resistant Buildings & Lifestyle
Now is the Time to Protect You & Your Family's Future. Learn & Practice Regenerative Architecture, Biodiversity, Resilience...
Stop Fire & Other Disasters
Stop FIRE - Make Everything GREENER & More BIODIVERSE
To test housing combustibility, engineers and researchers designed and built a full-size 30-foot by 20-foot building with each side of structure treated with different building materials. One side was deemed at high risk for fire and built with cedar-shingle siding, vinyl gutters, single-pane windows, and bark mulch around the foundation. The other side was designed to be fire-resistant and built with fiber-cement siding, metal roof, structure and gutters, multi-pane windows & and gravel around the foundation with minimal bushes near the building.
Within five minutes of embers impacting the demo home, the bark mulch on the non-fire-resistant side ignited. The flame then spread to the siding and up the exterior wall to the eave area. Firefighters were on scene to suppress the fire once it got to the roof, in order to repeat the experiment multiple times. They found wood mulch is very combustible. It has lots of little crevices for those fire embers to land in, sit there, and smolder.
Where instead, gravel mulch on the other side, along with its other fire-resistant features, prevented the embers from igniting a flame during the test time, even with the non-fire-resistant side ablaze. Steps can indeed be taken to protect yourself from fires. When planning to build new project, contact this Design + Material Specification + Construction Consulting for better "Fire Stop Regenerative Design Solutions”.
Like Apple's latest iPhone and Samsung latest galaxy phone people like to rush out and buy on the trends. So, why is it not the same when building your new home? Your family's and business's safety should be a priority and using more fire resistant and regenerative materials will protect you more. Plus, these materials last longer, making your buildings able to last for generations. These materials used include:
cement & block
stone & gravel
clay, mud, adobe, brick, rammed earth
hempcrete & hempboard
wood with fiberglass, steel, stone & concrete barriers
Yes, also, Hemp. In US, Canada, EU, since 2018 the Farm Bill has legalized the use of hemp in construction allowing more fire retardant materials such as Hempcrete and Hempboard. This is good news. Hemp has fire preventative and insulation properties and prevents mold and other toxic conditions. Many fire resistant materials are integrated into your customized buildings by the Fire Stop Homestead Design Team. They also specialize in project cost efficiency.
Fire and Climate Change Solutions
Principles of Regenerative Development
There are key interlinked principles that structure regenerative development. The most important are outlined below.
The whole world is now the only relevant unit of problem solving
Globalization has, whether we like it or not, made us all one. We have always been voyaging on one ship, the SS Earth, but globalization has transformed this philosophy into an economic, technological, political, and ecological reality that is unavoidable, no matter how high the walls on our gated community or how far removed from the centers of civilization we choose or are forced to live.
Long term is the framework in which we must operate
A short temporal focus is both ineffectual, costly, counter-productive, and more than likely destructive to the wellbeing of the whole system. The short term is often at odds with the wellbeing of the whole over the long term. Investments in renewable energy, affordable health care, and universal education are positive examples of how a view to the long term can help out in the short term. The larger the temporal frame of reference, the more possibilities there are and the deeper is our understanding of the past and its implications for the future. In addition, looking at the world through the long-term lens makes prevention, rather than treatment or cure, the logical and most economical option.
Everyone is needed
The old way dictated that to build a bridge you needed an engineer. Building a bridge today, we need the engineer but also the people who are going to use that bridge; those who are going to build it, manufacture the parts, and obtain the raw materials; the ecologists who will tell us where it can be placed so that it does the least damage to the environment; and most important, the citizens who will decide if they want the bridge in the first place and who will pay for it, in one way or another. This is a pragmatic, cost-effective essentials for regenerative development. The day of the technological expert riding roughshod over culture, ecology, and values is over. Everyone is an expert on what they want and know.
Global corporations, cities, nations, NGOs, and private citizens all need to work together on getting what the world wants.
If the ‘problem’ being addressed is to be solved (and stay solved), decision making at the local level and input from all sectors of local society are needed. This provides learning and growth opportunities for the larger system of which the problem is a part. Every development strategy is an opportunity to increase the knowledge and capacity of the society in which development is occurring.
Regenerative development is not a win/lose economic strategy. Neither is it what is called a win/win strategy. This implies a two-party dynamic and there are always more than two players or stakeholders in any problem of global scale. Getting what the world wants is a win/win/win solution. Or more accurately, it is a winning solution. A successful strategy will have at least national, local, corporate, environmental, economic, and global winners. A successful strategy will ripple through many systems, helping resolve other problems or eliminating the causes of them.Like adequate nutrition eliminates health care problems caused by lack of food and renewable and clean supplies of energy lessen the global buildup of carbon in the atmosphere and global warming. If social indicators of wealth go up but there are pockets of poverty where these trends do not hold, we are all impoverished—just as your heart, brain, and nervous system might be in great shape but if there is a cancerous growth in your lungs, you are not healthy at all.
Transparency is key
All government processes, decisions, and actions, as well as business practices, industrial processes, environmental impacts, and accounting of ingredients, waste, and costs must be subject to open disclosure and public access. Transparency in decision-making will go further toward getting what the world wants faster. When everyone knows the budget numbers it’s hard to hide corruption.
Capacity, not problems, must be our focus
We must transform the art and science of problem solving into building capacity. We need to see ‘problems’ not as something that needs to be ‘solved,’ but as a symptom of something larger— the need to enlarge the capacity of a system. Another way of looking at this is to say that we need to focus on creating wealth, not just reducing poverty. When we focus on building capacity, it becomes apparent that wealth is in the whole, not the parts.
The world’s needs are actually potential markets
In the capacity-building principle, what we see as ‘problems’ are markets awaiting the enterprising entrepreneur who can figure out how to meet those needs. Problems are unmet needs that can often be met through creative products. Meeting the basic human needs of people in emerging markets requires that the product and its marketing and financing be creative and well-thought-out. In a world where the world’s needs and problems are perceived as markets, the market economy becomes a tool for regenerative solutions. In this context, poverty is a mandate for entrepreneurial innovation and creativity, not just government intervention
The need to make a profit forces solutions to be products and services that are valued by customers and which customers will pay for and, not incidentally, puts the customer in charge, rather than a government bureaucracy. Becoming informed, active, and involved consumers—and voting with their currency, local communities invest their valuable resources in projects that benefit their families and in which they have a stake in making sure they stay viable. The poor are transformed from victims into consumers—and when informed consumers are in charge, a market place is one of the better tools for ensuring power and control is in the hands of the community.
Design replaces politics
If politics is the art of the possible, design is the art of making the impossible real. That is, design sees what is needed, not what is just expedient or politically easy and figures out how to make it happen. It starts with a vision of what is needed, not what is popular. ‘Design science,’ as Buckminster Fuller called it, would seek to find or design an artifact that solved a problem or built the capacity of a system in such a way that the source of the problem was eliminated. Fuller’s unique contribution was in seeing design as a way around the power structure. Instead of fighting it in a bloody revolution to more ‘fairly’ redistribute the world’s wealth, he pointed out the radical concept that the designer needed to consider all of humanity as the client, not just the person with the most economic wherewithal.
More with less must be the design ethic
Getting ever-higher performance out of every gram of material and erg of energy invested in every function performed by our human-made life-support is critical to making the world’s limited resources meet the needs of our growing population and to reducing our impact on our environment. Fuller pointed out that the sum total of the world’s technology was operating at around 4% efficiency. More up-to-date analysis has put the efficiency of the US economy at around 6%. By raising the efficiency of how we manufacture, use, and dispose of our products, we could raise the overall efficiency of our technological life support systems four-fold. Many products can be made five, ten, even one hundred times more efficient in their use of materials and energy.
Biology replaces mechanics
The models we use shape the way we see the world and our reality. Using mechanistic models for problems has led the world to mechanistic solutions—solutions that fail when one of the cogs in the machine fails, that are seen as ‘independent’ of their environment, and that regularly create as many new problems as old ones they solve. Viewing the world as a living system fosters a respect for a problem’s complexity, an awareness of the context or environment in which it is embedded, and the possible solutions that can result in strengthening the health of the system and the elimination of the problem.
Development, not growth is our goal
We need to transform society, not just enlarge it. As Russell Ackoff succinctly put it, “Growth is an increase in size or number. Development is an increase in competence, the ability to satisfy one’s needs and desires and those of others. Growth is a matter of earning; development is a matter of learning. Development is not a matter of how much one has but how much one can do with whatever one has.” The implications of this are profound, not the least of which is that if development is a matter of learning, then one cannot do it for another.
Scalability is essential
If a solution to a problem or a product or service for a market cannot be scaled up from the prototype stage to wide-spread adoption and use, it is stillborn. A brilliant local solution that doesn’t scale up is only half complete. The job of regenerative development is to move good solutions from local prototype or proof of concept to full-scale global implementation. Scalability works both ways: the discipline of looking to scale enriches the prototype by making it more universal, robust, and adaptable.
Vision drives action. Money follows vision
The ideal—what we want—trumps what politicians think is practicable, expedient, or currently affordable. Society’s goals (the ‘preferred state’) are determined by what we want, not what we are afraid of; this is a statement of values and a definition of health. Regenerative development’s long-term and global perspectives focus on building capacity as a way of realizing our dreams, rather than solving problems as a way of avoiding our nightmares.
Creating an ideal future is a powerful tool for integrating multiple stakeholders into a cooperative team working together on making real what they want. It allows people to let go of tightly held positions and valued turf as the vision of the greater win replaces the meager holdings of the problem-laden, present-day situation. Brought together, their joint capacities enlarged, the participants—even the more cynical or pessimistic—can see within reach an ideal that once seemed far-fetched.
Regenerative development uses an ideal vision of the future to organize the resources needed to achieve it. The vision needs to be grounded in present-day technological feasibility—no “we’ll get our energy from fusion” or “we’ll dispose of our pollution on the moon” fantasies. The regenerative development approach is grounded in real world capabilities and informed by a pragmatic vision of what is desired.
The principles of regenerative development construct a frame of reference for looking at the world—at our problems, resources, and options—in a way that can lead to a future of ecosystem health, economic wealth, and human prosperity. It is a ‘big picture’ framework for design, planning, and action that will solve our global problems in ways that not only respect the Earth and its life-support systems, but that enhance them, ensuring that the next generation’s world is richer in every way than ours.
Regenerative development is characterized by a global and longterm perspective and approach that builds our capacity for qualitative growth. It values and needs input from all stakeholders; is transparent so that everyone can see how they win and what they might need to give up to gain a greater good; sees problems and needs as markets for social and economic entrepreneurs; and utilizes design that relies on doing more with less to accomplish its ends. It is focused on the vision of what is desired, not what is expedient. Driven by that vision of the ideal, rather than reacting to what is thought possible given current limitations, regenerative development is in tune with nature, with what the world wants, and with the resources and technology that can take us there.
Note: This article is reprinted from a paper by Medard Gabel ©2005 with edits.
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DEFINITIONS: Regenerative, Biomimetic, Sustainable, Permaculture, ETC. Design:
Biomimetic (sometimes called Biomimicry); an emerging design discipline that looks to Nature for sustainable design Solutions. Cradle-to cradle: framework fo designing manufacturing process "powered by renewable energy, in which flow in safe, regenerative, closed loopcycles", an which "identifies three key design principles in the intelligence of natural systems, which can inform human design: Waste equals Food: Use CurrentSolar income; Celebrate Diversity.
Ecoliteracy: the ability to understand the natural systems that make life on earth possible, including understanding the principles of organization of ecological communities (i.e. ecosystems) and using those principles for creating sustainable human communities
Ecological sustainability: a biocentric school of sustainability thinking that, based on ecology and living systems principles, focuses on the capacity of ecosystems to maintain their essential functions and processes, and retain their biodiversity in full measure over the long-term " ; contrasts with technological sustainability based on technical and engineering approaches to sustainability.
Ecology: the interdisciplinary scientific study of the living conditions of organisms in interaction with each other and with the surroundings, organic as well as inorganic.
Ecosystem concept “a coherent framework for redesigning our landscapes, buildings, cities, and systems of energy, water, food, manufacturing and waste” through “the effective adaptation to and integration with nature’s processes.” It has been used more to shape an approach than as a scientific theory. a.Living systems thinking: a thinking technology, using systemic frameworks and developmental processes, for consciously improving the capacity to apply systems thinking to the evolution of human or social living systems.
Permaculture: a contraction of permanent agriculture or permanent culture, permaculture was developed as a system for designing ecological human habitats and food production systems based on the relationships and processes found in natural ecological communities, and the relationships and adaptations of indigenous peoples to their ecosystems.
Regenerative Design: a system of technologies and strategies, based on an understanding of the inner working of ecosystems that generates designs to regenerate rather than deplete underlying life support systems and resources within socio-ecological wholes.
Regenerative Development: a system of technologies and strategies for generating the patterned whole system understanding of a place, and developing the strategic systemic thinking capacities, and the stakeholder engagement/commitment required to ensure regenerative design processes to achieve maximum systemic leverage and support, that is self-organizing and self- evolving.
Restorative Design: sometimes called restorative environmental design; a design system that combines returning “polluted, degraded or damaged sites back to a state of acceptable health through human intervention”  with biophiliac designs that reconnect people to nature.
Locational Patterns: The patterns that depict the distinctive character and potential of a place and provide a dynamic mapping for designing human structures and systems that align with the living systems of a place.
Place: the unique, multi-layered network of ecosystems within a geographic region that results from the complex interactions through time of the natural ecology (climate, mineral and other deposits, soil, vegetation, water and wildlife, etc.) and culture (distinctive customs, expressions of values, economic activities, forms of association, ideas for education, traditions, etc.).
Pattern literacy: being able to read, understand and generate (“write”) appropriate patterns.
Regenerate: (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language) a.To give new life or energy to; revitalize; to bring or come into renewed existence; impart new and more vigorous life. b.; To form, construct, or create anew, especially in an improved state; to restore to a better, higher or more worthy state; refreshed or renewed; c.To reform spiritually or morally; to improve moral condition; to invest with a new andhigher spiritual nature; d. To improve a place or system, especially by making it more active or successful