This is slightly off-topic but very relevant to designing a complete sustainable homestead, which a house is just one component of the whole system. The other components needed to sustain life vary depending on where you choose to live, but the study of self-sufficient homesteading can provide the complete picture of what a sustainable life requires.
The videos below show a continuing project called The Homestead at Denison University, that got its start back in 1977. These students live, work, and learn at this on-campus sustainable homestead. Here’s how they describe the origins of the project:
In 1977, a group of students and Dr. Bob Alrutz, a biology professor at Denison, began an experiment. Their mission was to create an agriculturally based self-reliant democratic community. The land would serve as the experiment station; and they would test environmentally sound materials, agricultural and living practices. Faculty and students worked together doing research and building. They had a seminar with a variety of teachers including Dr. Alrutz and Dr. Paul Bennett. They built three cabins to house twelve students, with the expectation that those cabins would come down and new ones would be built about every three to five years. The Homestead thrived.
It’s inspiring to see a university taking sustainability so seriously and supporting a project like this for more than 30 years. Learn more about The Homestead at Denison University
I stumbled on your blog a few days ago and have enjoyed reading the entries. I earned my associates in construction management and my curiosity of sustainable living was initially sparked by a professor who was experimenting with various sustainable housing designs. During my career in the construction industry, I oversaw and sold materials for the construction of many very large homes and was continually amazed at the massive amount of square feet of the typical high-end house compared to the number of occupants. This article was especially interesting after realizing that I ride my motorcycle by the parking lot of the Homestead every time I go to southern Ohio, without having a clue it was even there. I will definitely have to check this out next summer when I pass through Granville. Keep up the good work!