Library police here. Just checking to see if you have been keeping your Solarco-op recommended reading list up-to-date. Here is another for your list. 'Some turtles have nice shells' by Roger D Beck. Santa brought me this after I dropped heavy hints. I found Rogers site a while back. He has photographed 'housetrucks' for years and has collected them in this book. They are beautiful Desert Schooners, hand built on truck chassis and home to people who prefer a simplier way of life. I am sure it would be easy to point out their emviromental failings but, if I got one, would you let me off if I just parked it in a stand of trees, near a stream and promised never to start the 9 litre petrol engine ever again?
So would you live in one of these things full time, if you had the chance? I don't think the environmental credentials would be too bad compared to a proper house as long as you didn't drive it too much. Most houses have a pretty big carbon footprint with all of the cement/concrete that is used in their construction, along with the poor insulation leading to a lot of waste heat coming from fossil fuels. So I think I would let you off with it
I would love to live in one of these trucks. That I would need another two to store all my tools and stuff, is a fact I will leave out of the dream! Environmentally, I suppose, all said and done they are not too bad. They are almost always made from recycled materials, they heat with wood and don't have water tanks. Toilets are not refered to that often in the book but I am certain they are not the flush type. It was the 9 litre petrol engine and probably a lot less than 10mpg that sent me reeling.
All I can say is 'wow', those things are amazing. I think my fav is this one www.mrsharkey.com/busbarn/damien/damien.htm. I'm pretty sure that it wouldnt be very practical here as a road going vehicle, especially with the fish but it would be great if it was parked up someplace. You could use it as a unique holiday let. I can just imagine the look on the mechanics face if you took this thing in for an MOT.
Even the most humble of them is an 'American' sized project. They are also popular in New Zeland where they tend to be a bit smaller.
I have seen houses made from insulated shipping containers which could make use of many of the ideas in this book. People who use containers as the basis for a house tend to go with the corners and sharp edges, resulting in a modern design. I don't have anything against modern design. It is just not easy to achieve with recycled materials and the end result tends to dominate its surroundings (there is the makings of a rant in that bit). I like the cottage look interior and the woody exterior of many of the house trucks. They appeal to my skip-dipping nature.
I quite like that sort of cottagy type look, sort of chaotic and unkempt, a bit like me, however I would if I had the option go for the modern minimal design in a house, the bright white walls and lots of glass type of thing. The cottagy look, while being cosy, just isn't suited to someone of my stature and I tend to be clumsy when in close proximity to knick naks, they tend to end up being knocked onto the floor, usually followed by a restoration attempt or a trip to land fill. The problem with the modern minimal design thing is that I would need a housekeeper to follow me around all day to tidy up after me, I seem to have a knack of accumulating piles of stuff.
I'd be interested to hear your 'rant' on modern design
I lived in cottages on and off for 15 years and have mixed feelings about them. I like the idea that they serve many generations. The place I had in England was 400 years old. Any sense of owning a house that old lost its authority and was replaced with the understanding that I was just passing through. Quirky things tend to forced one to compromise a little, they are often a bit drafty and more than a little damp. They are cool in the summer and cold in the winter. I did not stray too far from the stove in the colder months. My second cottage was drafty, damp and dark which can be a killer for people of a certain temperment. Winter brought the added delight of rats in the walls and loft. I can tell you there was no compromise there- that is war. Although my fondness for cottages is a romantic notion I think that sense of 'passing through' is very important and it impacts on how we feel about the environment beyond the walls. I need to think about that one more. My thoughts on modern design don't really add up to a rant. I feel that modern design often contrasts too much with the environment in which it is built. Modern buildings, more often than not, seem to be imposed on the environment. They take a commanding view of their surroundings. Sharp angles and non-native materials contribute to this image but so does the idea of the life within assuming the same the same nature. These buildings are always presented as pristine, photographed as if no one lives there. Cottages, on the other hand, are usually presented as cosy, the chair by the fire roundly tells the story of the life lived.