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​Systems Thinking for Sustainable Homes​​

Published on: 17-Nov-2016

Date: 17 November 2016​

Time: ​​11am to 12pm​

Venue:​ ​NEWRI Meeting Room 1, CTO-06-08

Dress Code:​ ​​Smart C​asual​​


Abstract

While world population increases towards 10 billion, of which 85% will live in urban areas, natural resources of the world come under stress. At the same time, cities are hot spots for waste and squalor. We can welcome increases in population and consumption of goods ONLY if we produce food and other products effectively and recycle biowaste into food/fertiliser and other waste into new products. An eco-house is built for this purpose to minimize the environmental impacts and maintain sustainability. The 24/7 eco-house comprises several green functions, handles the flows of water, nutrients and energy in a way to make the house function without relying on municipal services – in the middle of a city. Water self‐sufficiency through rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and withdrawal, recycled grey water and water saving devices and installations; No wastewater or storm water to leave the plot, instead practicing source‐control of ingredients added to grey water and treatment of grey water on site (wetland and other) and storm water recharges groundwater through a well; Urine is recycled in the garden and on green areas in the neighborhood; Composted and treated faecal matter or treated blackwater is recycled as soil conditioner, possibly after removing the energy content in a simple biogas reactor. The slurry is treated and used in the garden; Organic household waste is segregated and composted, possibly after energy‐removal in a biogas reactor; Reduced demand for electricity and gas from grid by installing solar panels and cells, and reduced energy use through LED bulbs, windows allowing sun light in all rooms, solar power for heating water, and air‐conditioner replaced by improved natural ventilation and solar‐driven cooling; Natural ventilation by using wind and temperature gradients in the house, and only seasonal forced aeration. Plants and trees help cooling the house; Gardening to produce flowers, vegetables and fruits for household consumption and, simultaneously, allowing for irrigation with recycled water and nutrients.​

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​About the speaker

​Associate professor Jan-Olof Drangert works as a researcher and trainer in the environmental field and based at the Dept. of Water and Environmental Change, Linköping University, Sweden. His research focus went from rural household water over to urban water and nutrient flows. He applies a systems thinking incorporating environment, resources conservation, technical and building aspects, and human impacts and perceptions. He favours to include historical experiences to grasp the evolution of water and sanitation conditions in order to deepen the understanding of what future may hold in store. He has published numerous articles about sanitation, phosphorus recycling, and water management.

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