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