From Burra's book reviews "Part three, beyond land based design, shows how permaculture design can be applied to other aspects, like course timetables, social structures or even your own life. "
I'm excited to see this. Can you talk a bit about how Pc design can be used for buildings, both new buildings, but also how people can use design within existing homes (retrofitting, but also making better use of what already exists)?
OK, a quick one before I need to get some sleep...
I'd certainly still put buildings in the category of land design as they tend to be the main focus of most and really just a bunch of materials used to create some very specific microclimates. As such all the usual concepts apply in terms of considering flows (inputs & outputs) - often to do with maintaining a stable temperature, humidity and oxygen levels etc. We build in thermal mass where heat needs to be stored for later release, create sun traps using sun facing glazing at appropriate angles for maximising mid-winter passive solar gain. We can make use of pattern to either minimise or maximise edge, depending upon whether we are trying to facilitate a lot of exchange (trap solar heat) or limit it (retain heat in the cold months). Insulation can reduce the transfer of heat across such edges further when that is required and so on.
Applying the principles and concepts to other areas such as social networks and designing processes is just a matter of taking those same concepts and adapting them to be useful in a different context. One example is considering that zoning is simply about the way we use energy and that we can equally find zones in our day when we feel most able to exercise or do mental work. Sectors are simply wild energies that we have no influence over, but that can affect us nevertheless. At home we may have children sectors that keep us from other tasks before and after school, some folks here are challenged by the planning sector, which places limitations on what structures can be built on land. We just follow through the design process, but using these tools in different ways.
Thanks With existing buildings I was thinking about design systems inside as well (where to put the pots, energy flows in kitchens, how systems change with seasons, that sort of thing). I live in a very small space so design of systems has been ultra important.
I will def be buying your book (if I don't win one here).
Thanks Burra, will keep an eye out. I like Celia McCauley's work too (any chance of guesting her, although I don't think she has published any books/dvds?).
Yes, there's plenty to think about inside buildings and how to work around their limitations, but I think permaculture tools work well in helping us with those too. We live in a small space with lots of passive solar, but cold storage space is one of our key limitations here.
One thing is true about small spaces, they stimulate creative thinking in making the best use of the space we have. That's definitely the case with where we currently live.