CHALLENGE: Building an Open Source Circular Ecohome

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A lot of the challenges I issued last year will actually fall into this framework challenge. My wife and I are building an Open Source Circular Ecohome and applying as many open source and circular design principles as possible. During this year’s event on Sunday, June 12, we will be presenting the architectural designs, introducing our build team and doing presentations of all the technologies we will be using. In the afternoon, will have Open Idea Jams of all these technologies so that people can collaborate with us.

We are thinking of filming a web video series for the construction of this house and we will open source all our successful designs. Some of the things we will be doing are:

  • use compressed air and water throughout the house for nontraditional uses - compressed air to store energy and to drive motors (instead of electricity)
  • use water as thermal mass for the home (individual district heating instead of community district heating) to supply winter home heating energy needs, and also as our potable water supply
  • building jason’s showerloop and extending it into waterloop to as many places as possible in the house
  • building and testing a variety of vertical wind turbines designed by our resident physicist and applied mathematician Markus Kruger
  • The wind turbines will charge up a vellum (a big rubber bag) that will sit under the 200 cubic meters of water stored in the subbasement of the home. This compressed air will then be used to drive equipment around the home - like washing machines, kitchen tools, shop tools, etc and also to convert to electricty when needed
  • direct power use - no transformation to electricity when it can be avoided - ie laundry machine from compressed air
  • rocket stove powered home heating system and oven - adapting Maker station design
  • multi-energy source oven - from methane from biodigester, fresnel lense sun tracking cooker and rocket stove pellets
  • exploring making a complimentary velo car running of compressed air from the house via a compressed air engine
  • building a small community-scale glass plant and powering it off of small scale CSP / vertical wind turbines to produce low cost double or triple pane insulated window glass to build our greenhouse parts of the home
  • low water irrigation systems
  • and many more

The successful designs will be redesigned for professional manufacturing and we will source circular supply chains. The overall objective is to produce circular technologies that can be produced at community scale so that community level circular manufacturing plants can be set up in marginalized communities in Africa and around the world to become self sufficient Open Source Circular Local Economies.

This is an ongoing project which will last for at least the next year.
OSCEDays Cape Town will explore the ecohome technologies all day on June 12.

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