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He admitted that she had the right to live without utility power, but said that her alternative power sources must always first be approved by the city. Speronis explains that she has won on two of three counts already, but there is still a big fight ahead of her. He argues, however, that he has an obligation to enforce the code. Still, he acknowledges that some of the charges against her are unfounded. The International Property Maintenance Code is still being used by cities throughout the United States and Canada. Once on the fringe, about 750,000 off the grid American households pioneer green living by tapping sustainable energy from the wind, sun, and earth. Green living: Bill and Paula Cirone have sacrificed no modern comfort in their new wind- and solar-powered home, which is completely off the grid and powered with sustainable energy from wind turbines and solar panels.
With more than 4 billion people still without access to the internet, and about 700 million living in remote areas that lie outside cellular coverage, how does one make connectivity possible? The company has just unveiled OpenCellular, an open-source wireless access platform designed to give cellular access to people living off the grid in far-flung communities and also those without the means to pay for costly wireless network services even in urban neighborhoods.
Mobile technology has indeed paved the way for millions around the globe to stay connected.
Because the current ecosystem for cell networks is "constrained," Facebook says, the expansion of these networks has also slowed. In certain projects, for instance, the cost of securing the land and building up the cell tower is often much greater than the cost of the cellular access point itself, Facebook engineer Kashif Ali explains. Unlike the traditional cell tower setup, OpenCellular has its own computing and storage capabilities contained all in one box.
The platform will also be made compatible with a wide range of wireless network standards, including Wi-Fi, 2G and LTE.
The modular design of OpenCellular will allow current and upcoming wireless and cellular networks to easily adopt the system, and let OEMs manufacture the hardware cost-efficiently. With a simple installation process, the box itself will rely on existing structures, such as a pole or rooftop, to keep setup costs to a minimum. Facebook is aiming to partner up with members of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) to gain the support of an open source community well versed in cellular access technology.
A tour of Fred and Shannon Schultz’s amazing off-the-grid tiny house on wheels in Victoria, Australia. Fred spent 3 years designing the house in SketchUp and another year building it, mostly by himself and with little experience. I love tiny houses because they’re a beautiful solution to the current problem of home ownership. Jordan and the team at Happen Films are also asking for help, please read below and enjoy the films.
For this documentary I’ve spent the year living in an intentional community with nine others, exploring simple living, permaculture and natural building as ways to reduce our ecological footprint. After the conversion we’ll hit the road to travel the North and South islands making short films about people pioneering the transition to a sustainable way of life in areas of society such as housing, food, business, healthcare, money, and community.
We’re talking with a bunch of interesting folk still to be confirmed and researching more.
We can’t do this without you and we hope you’ll join us on this exciting adventure towards inspiring change in the world. Because projects like this can serve as a model for any of us to follow or at least learn from to create more tiny living micro communities around the world. But if you wanted (or the group wanted) the land could also eventually serve as a learning center, farm, sustainable living learning center, etc.
If you enjoyed this inspiring story of how a group of buddies got together and created their own fairytale forest micro tiny house community in France then please share below. And also- you’ll absolutely LOVE our Free Daily Tiny House Newsletter with even more!
I think people can buy land together and build a community of tiny houses but subdividing land, regulating utilities and internal strife usually causes these developments to dissolve unless they have a firm agreement in writing.
Looking at the video I would say many of these houses are more of an artistic adventure and not designed for permanent living. I would be interested to know how the land you are building your community on was acquired. But unplugging from municipal services has been ruled illegal by a court in Cape Coral, Florida. Eskin ruled that Robin Speronis is not allowed to live on her own private property without being hooked up to the city’s water system.

The IPMC also would make it a crime for her to use solar panels instead of being tied into the electric grid. Hall, an outdoor-skills instructor, and his wife, Alicia Bliss Hall, a natural healer, live in a kind of off-the-grid neighborhood with another young couple: Jason Brake, a professional muralist, and his wife, Diana Styffeler, a mountain bike excursion leader. In reality, though, the infrastructure necessary for opening up these gateways to connectivity remain costly in some of the poorest and remotest villages on the planet. The team at Facebook hopes to lower the cost of setting up and maintaining cellular infrastructure, and democratize access even more by open sourcing its tools, from the hardware to the firmware. The system can function either as a "network-in-a-box" or simply as a cellular access point.
Everyone requires a home and needing to take out a 30 year mortgage to be able to own a house is ridiculous. This experience has cemented my belief that a low-impact lifestyle is not only necessary but a very satisfying way to live, and that changing the world from the bottom up is possible.
We’ll be filming permaculture properties, tiny houses, backyard gardeners, simple livers, and all sorts of people with inspirational stories to tell. We’d love to hear your suggestions of inspiring people and places that might welcome being part of our project.
He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. Their two cabins, nestled in temperate rain forest, are powered with electricity that comes exclusively from solar panels mounted on a wagon that they wheel around the property to catch the best rays.
It is tapping the expertise of everybody, from telecom operators and OEMs to researchers and entrepreneurs, to build on the team's latest output. Since this is the way the system around us is set up many people take this option because they don’t see another way, tiny houses provide one of the alternatives to this broken system. I’m currently finishing filming the feature-length documentary A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity, which earlier this year successfully crowdfunded over $11,000. When we arrive in New Zealand we’ll spend the first month converting a van into a camper van using recycled materials, and modifying it to run on waste vegetable oil.
We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. If you bought it how did you get planning permission to build your houses on it or did you need to do this?
Using nature – the sun, wind, water, and the earth itself – they cheaply warm and cool their homes and power everything from a blender to a giant flat-screen TV to a raging hot tub. And with the constant concern about global warming and messy dependence on fossil fuels, it's natural that growing numbers of Americans – "the foot soldiers" of energy independence, as one expert calls them – would begin taking steps to untether themselves from the grid.
They're installing a hydropower system in the stream that will add to the solar power.Their existence appears quite rustic – and the "sustainable" lifestyle depends a whole lot on them to sustain it with such work as wood chopping and wagon pulling.
One solution to this problem is buying land with other people and living in an intentional community together. The owner of this website disclaims all warranties expressed or implied regarding the accuracy, timeliness, and completeness of the information provided. But they say they have all the creature comforts they need, and – if February's record snowstorm is any gauge – some their neighbors need, too.
There are already tiny house communities appearing in America and I’m sure that more will soon be popping up all over the world.
It’s great to see people working on creating the solutions to these problems and working towards creating a better world.
Do not wire money in any way without first seeing the home (or other product), checking title, and doing your proper due diligence. Hall.• • •Off-the-grid living for Paula and William Cirone has a more suburban look and feel, as well as a different motive. Their hearts were set on buying and building on woodland near Farmington that he had hunted and fished two decades before. But an issue over easements meant the utility company could not extend lines to connect to their new home. Cirone was initially nervous, not wanting to give up her comfortable lifestyle – being able to throw in a load of laundry, or flip on the TV or microwave, whenever she felt like it. But the Cirones built a comfortable, spacious home powered entirely by wind and solar energy, with a geothermal system for heating and cooling."It was a little scary at first, wondering if this was all going to work," says Ms. In an age of extreme economic insecurity plus concern about the effects of using fossil fuels – witness the BP oil spill and a host of recent coal-mining disasters – living off the grid gives people a feeling of structural, financial, and emotional independence. It liberates them from the grip of government regulators and utility companies – not to mention reducing their utility costs, after the initial investment is paid off.

And it hints at the potential of a different energy future, free of the environmental and social costs of using fossil fuels.Mr. Rosen estimates that the number of people living off the grid in the US is growing by about 10 percent per year. For others, going off the grid is an intentional part of "downscaling to a simpler existence," as Rosen puts it.Most clean-energy experts don't see off-grid living as the solution to the nation's energy crisis.
Hall figures that once the hydropower system is finished on his property, he will have invested about $15,000 on energy systems. Most North Carolinians spend several hundred dollars a month for electricity, water, and heat.
So the Halls will have paid off their investment in a decade.Cirone says he doesn't expect to see a financial payoff anytime soon on his $100,000 investment in higher-end, higher-capacity systems, but the nonmonetary benefits are many. Their two sons, an electrical engineer and a doctoral student with an energy focus, are so enthused about the potential of off-the-grid living that they are launching a renewable-energy consulting company."There's a lot more return on investment than just money," Cirone says. We hope this proves to anyone who even considers [going off the grid] that if you don't want to give up anything in your lifestyle, you can use alternative energy and still have all the amenities you want."• • •Solar energy is the most popular and fastest-growing way to generate your own power. Improving technology, a glut of solar panels on the world market caused, in part, by the end of European subsidies that had driven production, and American government incentives mean solar power is an increasingly affordable option.
San Diego, like some other cities, has started a program to lend money to home-owners for the purchase of solar panels, with loan payments added to the property tax over 20 years.Though the Southwest and South are solar hot spots, studies show it is a viable option in seemingly gloomy locales like the upper Midwest and the Northeast.
Homes typically use "small wind" power – with turbines that generate less than 10 kilowatts.
But "small wind" is not a new concept – wind power has been harnessed for hundreds, if not thousands of years, for such things as transportation, milling, and pumping water.
The "small wind" market grew 15 percent in 2009 despite the recession, says Ron Stimmel, small systems manager for the American Wind Energy Association. The five-kilowatt turbines needed to power an average home range from 30 to 140 feet tall and cost about $30,000.
Turbines that produce less than one kilowatt – to supplement solar panels or electricity from the grid – can cost less than $10,000.Wind turbines aren't as easily suited to a wide range of buildings and geographic locations as solar panels, because they usually require up to an acre of space, unobstructed by tall buildings, hillsides, or trees. Wind turbines can be mounted on roofs or parapets – as in the Bronx apartment complex featured on page 29 – but only if the structure is strong enough.
Zoning restrictions can make it difficult to install wind turbines, so proponents are pushing for wind-friendly codes.And generating one's own electricity isn't the only way to bypass or reduce dependence on commercial utilities.
In many homes, a large amount of electricity is used to run air conditioners, and electricity, natural gas, or oil is used for heating. The simplest way is through architecture that naturally keeps the home at a stable temperature, as John Sagebiel's home near Reno, Nev., featured on page 30, demonstrates. Windows are placed to maximize sunshine exposure when desired, and thick concrete floors and walls hold heat.
Recently developed "smart" windows and drywall even react to the temperature outside by keeping heat out or drawing heat in.Geothermal energy is a high-tech, relatively expensive way to heat and cool a home. But for individual homes, geothermal cooling and heating systems pump water through underground pipes that heat or cool the water to the constant temperature of approximately 55 degrees F.
There are different models, but all essentially rely on fluid circulated through tubing that can be installed up to about 200 feet deep vertically, or horizontally about 10 feet deep and roughly as wide as the property. In winter, the fluid is warmed below the earth, then heats air using a compressor and standard technology known as the refrigeration cycle. In summer, the cycle is reversed so heat is essentially extracted from the home and sunk back into the earth.In relatively soft or sandy soil, pipes for a geothermal system can be run horizontally or in a variety of loops. On top of hard bedrock, one must drill down – a more expensive proposition – to create a "standing column" system where fluid is circulated through a vertical cylinder with a "riser pipe" in the middle.
As it has become more economically practical, geothermal systems also have gained "cachet" as a status symbol, says Andrew Collins of the New York City firm P.A. The firm has designed geothermal systems at the new Liberty Island Retail Pavilion and for upscale homes in Tribeca, the Upper East Side, and on Long Island.Meanwhile, on or off the grid, experts say the cleanest, cheapest energy is the energy not generated at all.
Weatherizing a home is the best thing for the environment and the wallet."It's great to have geothermal or photovoltaic [solar], but we like to stress you don't need those technologies to have a real energy-efficient home," says Nate Kredich of the US Green Building Council.

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