Housing

Graphics are in development.

housing - script

Many customers remain unable to afford adequate housing.  There is a need to standardize and automate the process, so homes can be produced and delivered more quickly.  Entry level customers are not presented with enough options focusing strongly on minimum essentials with otherwise lower upkeep.

The size of standard shipping containers has been established as enough room for an individual’s living requirements, often exceeding the amount actually needed, demonstrated by the “minimal” or “micro” housing trend.  For individuals who prefer the ability to personally move and relocate dwellings without professional assistance, the size of shipping containers can be unwieldy.

As for the objective to use automatic production, each unit itself can be manufactured in advance as a module, shipped in, and installed, so one can connect multiple units via doorways, attaching halls and so forth.  In other words one may begin with an individual standalone room at first, with the possibility of adding on later.  Each module itself would be equipped with basic amenities, such as insulation and ventilation, along with a function to connect into municipal water and power supplies.

The idea is to streamline the connection process, which calls for a standardized method to plug into water, electricity, cable lines, or combination thereof, similar to the USB port used in PC computing.  USB devices often have the functionality to connect via either cable, for portability, or a docking station, where the device is more securely locked in.  From a housing standpoint the docking station adds more security; for example, several of the “minimal” houses currently available are susceptible to wind damage and could be easily hijacked by vehicle.  The docking station is built into the land to serve as a foundation, preferably along with some amount of insulation and weatherproofing, yet the home could still connect on its own to water and electricity through the same port, without being docked.

We are requesting calculations for optimal target weight and size specifications to provide these features, also to develop the standardization process, as with USB where different brands utilize the same outlet design.  For electronic devices, designers develop “apps,” or modifications expanding the range of uses.  Initial housing apps include: roofing additions, such as “green roofs” and rain barrel collection; towing capacity, the option to attach wheels separately vs. already built-in; showering and laundry mechanisms for use with the built-in wash basin, manual if need be; water heating and purification; mosquito nets for outside vicinities; boating or buoyancy mod, weight permitting; self-contained gardening, like aquaponics; power and heat generation from local fuel sources;  storage space, as in foldout furniture;  pet keeping functionalities.

For those already able to afford modern homes, conditions remain substandard in certain aspects.  Many locations are unacceptable, in terms of not being situated away from high-risk areas, such as those discussed during the Transportation Webinar (nonprofitwebinar.org/transportation).

With second hand dwellings, including those rented out to multiple tenants, there is the risk of the unknown.  Testing for several hazards should be conducted before any leasing or purchase.  There may already be chemical contamination, such as mercury released when some one breaks a fluorescent bulb or plasma screen.  “Meth labs” are becoming pervasive in rented and foreclosed residences.  Mold is another severe health risk affecting common building materials.  Given the cost of testing for all of these, not to mention if anything is detected, it appears more sensible to reduce the cost low enough to purchase a new home in the first place.

In terms of construction materials, wood is susceptible to fire and mold, along with termites, requiring the use of chemical inhibitors which add to the contamination.  Wood and straw buildings can be axed in by an intruder, and trees take a long time to develop lumber, affecting scalability.  Metals, such as steel in the example of “shipping containers,” can be printed in a standardized fashion, which improves production time and cost.  Unfortunately, scarcity is in effect concerning potentially finite resources.  Metals also provide less insulation and act as a lightning or shock hazard, so components must be grounded carefully.

One consideration is the introduction of proprietary hemp-based construction materials, such as those adapted from concrete.  Early indications show that stone-based hemp formulas provide natural fire and mold resistance, along with some degree of insulation.  On the other hand, limestone and other quarry stones are known to contain naturally occurring levels of mercury and radioactive elements, along with potential contamination caused by human activity, so any amount harvested for construction needs to be carefully screened and purified, if possible.  If you or your organization has developed a method to ensure a limestone binding formula is free of radon and other harmful elements, please post your protocol – it would be much appreciated.  We are also requesting assistance from any one able to create open-source modifications to the process, i.e., “3D printing” techniques.  If your organization is developing an open-source, automated hemp construction printing process, including stone products or otherwise, we thank you greatly for your efforts.

References (Last Updated May 10, 2021):

Housing – USA
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Permanent Housing Resources – FEMA
Construction Safety and Health – CDC
Construction eTool – OSHA
ICC – International Code Council
U.S. Small Business Administration – Construction Business Guide
– Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards – OFR
– Home Inspection Standards of Practice – InterNACHI
WikiHouse – Open Source Construction Set
Contour Crafting – Robotic Construction System
Climate CoLab – 3D Printing Hempcrete
Patent US20090234696 – Engineered Architecture
Limestone: Characteristics, Uses And Problems – GSA
International Hemp Building Association
Hemp for Houses – Natural Life Magazine
– Statutory Guidance: Drainage and Waste Disposal – Gov UK
– Zoning – American Tiny House Association
– Minimum Requirements for Lot and Building Size – American Planning Association
Call Before You Dig – It’s the Law
– Safety and Health Regulations for Construction – OSHA
This Old House – Basements and Foundations
Patent US7325363 – Foundation System for Prefabricated Houses
All About Joist and Concrete Floor Structures – DIY Network
– How to Hang Sheetrock – WikiHow
Insulation for New Home Construction – U.S. Department of Energy
Heat Island Mitigation Green Roofs – EPA
NAIMA – Insulation Knowledge Base
About Mold and Moisture – HUD
Mold Cleanup in Your Home – EPA
Moisture Control – U.S. Department of Energy
Moisture Problems in the Home – MSU Extension
External Moisture – Compliance Document for New Zealand Building Code
Air Flow and Water Vapor Transport – U.S. Department of Energy
Technical Guidance to the Indoor airPLUS Construction Specifications – EPA
Home Builder’s Guide to Coastal Construction – FEMA
Indoor Air Pollution – EPA
Sick Building Syndrome – NHS Choices
– Inside FEMA’s Toxic Trailers – Newsweek
Voluntary Guidelines for Methamphetamine Laboratory Cleanup – EPA
National Clandestine Laboratory Register – DEA
Thirdhand Smoke Is Real – National Geographic
Which Household Items Contain Mercury? Mother Nature Network
Hazardous Waste & Universal Waste – Cal Recycle
Cleaning Up a Broken CFL – EPA
Shipping Container Housing: Are the Floors Toxic? – Tree Hugger
Flame Retardants Make Dust Bunnies Dangerous – Duke
Dangerous Materials – Manage Construction and Demolition Waste
Hazardous Construction and Demolition Waste
– Response to Problem Drywall – CDC/ATSDR
Safe Rooms – FEMA
Sinkholes – USGS
Earthquake Hazards Program – USGS
Radiation and Radon from Natural Stone – Rice
Preventing Pollution at Rock Quarries – Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Oceanside: More Contaminated Soil Found at Quarry Creek Site – San Diego Union Tribune
Limestone Increases Radon Risk – BBC
Patent CA2783349A1 – Decontamination of Radionuclides on Construction Materials
Masonry Standards – ASTM
Regulations for Clean Construction or Demolition Debris – Illinois EPA
The Inflatable Concrete Dome – Vienna University of Technology
Earth Sheltered Homes – Mother Earth News
4 Worst Frozen Pipe Episodes in Detroit This Winter – Detroit Free Press
Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes – Red Cross
– Fire Protection Specifications – NIH
When ‘Smart Homes’ Get Hacked – Forbes
– Mobile Homes Are So Expensive Now, Hurricane Victims Can’t Afford Them – Bloomberg
Facing Foreclosure Some Owners Trash The House Before Leaving – Consumerist
Foreclosure Rate on Luxury Homes Explodes – CBS News
Chinese Town Filled with Luxury Properties that Nobody Lives In – Daily Mail
More Than 1 in 5 Homes in Chinese Cities Are Empty, Survey Says – WSJ
China’s Ghost Towns and Phantom Malls – BBC
Find Haunted Houses in Your State or City

Transportation

Graphics are in development.

transportation - script

With transportation the fuel source needs to be more up for consideration.  Fossil fuels are presenting concerns with potential climate change; in the near term, more of an immediate impact would be exposure to harmful vapors released throughout the process of development and use. The first immediate action is to prevent exposure by keeping inhabitants away from affected areas, including fuel production and distribution, along with highways.  Studies are raising red flags for homes and businesses within a range of 100 meters’ proximity to highways / fuel stations and one mile from fuel production, such as hydraulic fracturing.  Within this distance preferably should be a remediation program, similar to those discussed in the Agriculture Webinar (nonprofitwebinar.org/agriculture).  In the event buildings are already constructed too close, workers and tenants should be provided with retrofit protections.  This process may involve a ventilation and vacuum apparatus to generate a barrier which blocks and removes all air approaching from that source.  Workers are to be provided with personal respiration and hazard gear, along with ongoing healthcare coverage.

In terms of climate change, carbon has not been disproved as a contributor.  With that in mind industries are requested to take all steps possible to minimize their acceleration of the process.  With fossil fuel combustion, carbon previously contained within ground gets released into the atmosphere, which scientists have cautioned over time may lead to extreme, traumatic weather.  Biological, plant-based fuel production reduces concern about these factors.  During the growth process, plants absorb carbon from the environment, therefore when leaves or byproducts are combusted the net yield is more balanced out.

Hemp is widely regarded as a worthy plant for this purpose, offering rapid production with minimal treatment.  The seeds can be converted into oil extracts, whereas leaf matter is inherently ignitable for use in biomass briquettes, which serve the same purpose as coal, such as for trains and steam engines.  Calculations in more detail are requested to approximate how much cumulative carbon is absorbed by the hemp plant over the course of various phases in its lifecycle, along with the respective amount released when refined in different ways and burned. For instance there may be an equilibrium point, where portions of the plant could be set aside for other purposes to contain some amount of carbon, if necessary.  Given the hemp plant is a relatively short in height, growing operations can utilize structured platforms to stack multiple levels, maximizing production for a given plot of land   Notice, it is assumed the factors outlined in our Agriculture Webinar (nonprofitwebinar.org) are already accounted for, though areas around hemp refinery and combustion should still be sectioned off, if possible.

References (Last Updated May 10, 2021):

United States Department of Transportation
National Transportation Safety Board
National Transportation Library – Bureau of Transportation Statistics
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Climate Change – EPA
Global Climate Change – NASA
Near Busy Roads – San Diego Reader
American Lung Association State of the Air – Health Risks Near Highways
Living Near a Highway Can Be Bad for Your Health – Tufts Now
Environmental Health – Near-Highway Pollutants in Motor Vehicle Exhaust – BMC
Is It Safe to Live Near a Gas Station? – Scientific American
Living Within 100m of a Garage is Bad for Your Health – Daily Mail
Gas Stations Pollute their Immediate Surroundings – Science Daily
Air Pollution Spikes in Homes Near Fracking Wells – Forbes
Study of Health Impacts in Air Near Fracking Sites – University of Colorado Denver
Birth Defects and Mothers’ Proximity to Natural Gas Development – NIH
Exxon Mobil CEO: No Fracking Near my Backyard – USA Today
Outdoor Air – Oil and Natural Gas Production – EPA
Report Lists Toxic Chemicals Used in Local Oil and Gas Operations – SCPR
Gulf Oil Spill Researcher: Bacteria Ate Some Toxins, But Worst Remain – AAAS
Oklahoma Earthquakes Fracking – LA Times
Man-Made Earthquakes Are Changing the Seismic Landscape – The Atlantic
Here’s Another Complication for Fracking – Radioactive Waste – PRI
– Coal Ash Is More Radioactive Than Nuclear Waste – Scientific American
– Keystone Pipeline Leak Worse Than Thought – US News
A Century of Controversy – National Geographic
America, Oil, and War in the Middle East – Oxford Journals
The Coming Oil Wars – Spectator
– Lead in Aviation Fuel – Scientific American
Hemp Biodiesel: When the Smoke Clears – Biodiesel Magazine
Firewood in the Fuel Tank – Low Tech Magazine
The Cannabis Biomass Energy Equation – CC Guide
USA Energy Department – Wood and Pellet Heating
Biomass Pyrolysis Research – USDA
Cars Made of Plants – Edmunds Report
Hemp is the Future of Plastics – NASA/ADS
America on the Move – Smithsonian
Mushrooms May Slow Global Warming – CS Monitor

Agriculture

Script image posted August 03, 2014; text on page last updated September 03, 2015

agriculture - script

With agriculture our first focus is to ensure safety of the soil before anything is cultivated for consumer use.  Plants take in a cross spectrum of contaminants from the land, which gets transferred up the food chain.  If unsure about the status of a location, phytoremediation could be used, where certain plants are designated to absorb elements then have tissues tested for composition.  When harmful substances are identified, disposal and element reclamation should be handled under hazmat guidelines and the original location avoided without proper equipment, until proven otherwise. Those involved in the operation maintain records of the area each sample is from, so they can trace back to specific sections.  The process is repeated on a continual basis until subsequent generations test clear.

Guidelines are not complete, in terms of the correct spacing between plots for different foliage, given variations in root structures; in other words the ranges of clearance are to be determined.  Also one must assume the soil will be safe only to the depth of the respective roots, so it is becoming standard practice for gardeners to instead add on top of unfit soil with enough clean quantities to match the maximum depth of an intended crop, so it will not reach the unsafe portion.  Another option is to remove tainted layers then run the treatment process on them in a separate, isolated facility.

Similar methods apply for water sources, utilizing varieties of algae and seaweeds.  Yields from lakes and streams may be deemed inedible on account of runoff from surrounding areas, with portions of oceans also now a concern.  Conditions can be controlled more carefully by maintaining a self-contained water supply for raising fish, as in aquaponics, where the fish generate ingredients for fertilizers as a byproduct, whereas treating large bodies of water is less practical in the short term.

Characteristics of plant types best suited for remediation include speed of turnover, along with versatility in the range of compounds capable to siphon out for removal and testing.  It is also an advantage when portions of the product itself, once confirmed clear, can be used for food preparation or industrial purposes.  Notably hemp is demonstrated to offer such benefits, including applications with housing and transportation.  On the other hand it needs to be noted under most classifications hemp is considered a weed, which if left unchecked provides a habitat for vermin and venomous creatures.  Neighborhoods maintain ordinances to prevent such hazards from affecting occupants.  In general areas where remediation takes place are to be kept off limits, except for licensed workers with protective attire.  Pesticides cannot control all concerns and if anything add to the contamination.  Machinery should be integrated as much as possible and workers’ body parts kept away from the area, unless behind protective barriers and inspected before leaving the site.  Segments of residential areas may be “sectioned off,” made inaccessible while the process is underway.  As for legal restrictions concerning controlled substances derived from a variation of the hemp plant, to produce in this fashion requires pest control throughout the growth cycle, so it is unfair to make this association.  On a side note types of trees and bamboo offer their own advantages, and certain fungi have also demonstrated attributes for cleansing soil, in which case the process is referred to as mycoremediation.

On the other side of the coin – the act of remediation to remove harmful elements will strip needed nutrients and minerals as well.  Growing crops in general can lead to soil loss, which over time will render the land no longer viable at all.  For this reason planning needs to take into account adding organic matter, including compost, along with crop rotation between cycles, for instance involving cover crops / plants which have characteristics of nitrogen fixation.  Seaweeds can be used as fertilizers, yet going forward this likely will call for large scale aquarium / on-site production, so integrity from pollution can be assured.  Rocks & gravel dust, added to increase mineral content, should be tested as well if possible.

References (Last Updated May 10, 2021):

Environmental Health – USGS
Contaminants Found in Groundwater – USGS
Phytoremediation of Heavy Metal Polluted Soils and Water – NCBI
Phytoremediation: Using Plants To Clean Up Soils – USDA
Phytoremediation Resource Guide – EPA
Soil Contaminants – Cornell
Urban Gardening: Managing the Risks of Contaminated Soil – EHP
Benefits of Rotational Grazing – UVMg
– Seaweed: The New Trend in Water Purification – UConn Today
Could Bamboo Help in Remediation of Waste Sites? – Science Daily
Hemp Industries Association – Facts
Industrial Hemp in the United States – Harvesting, Retting, and Fiber Separation – USDA
National Agroforestry Center – USDA
Welcome to the PLANTS Database – USDA Plants
International Organization for Standardization – Harvesting Equipment
Agriculture Crop Production Harvest – EPA
National Ag Safety Database
Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides – EHP
A Growing Problem – Nature Research
Organic Arsenicals – EPA
Detection of Glyphosate in Malformed Piglets – Omics Group
Health Effects of Biosolids Applied to Land – VDH
– Risk of Intestinal Parasitic Infections in People with Different Exposures to Wastewater and Fecal Sludge in Kampala, Uganda: A Cross-Sectional Study – PLOS
– Kim Jong Un May Have Caused a Parasitic Worm Epidemic in North Korea By Making Farmers Spread Human Feces on Their Crops – Newsweek
Sewage Sludge Victims
Understanding PCB Risks – EPA
Water Quality Information Center – Conservation Effects Assessment Project
Toxic Chemicals Sneak Out of Homes via Dirty Laundry – NRDC
Division of Ecological Restoration – Mass
Superfund – Cleaning up the Nation’s Hazardous Wastes Sites – EPA
Soil Pollution in China Still a State Secret – Scientific American
The Soil Pollution Crisis in China Presents Daunting Challenge – Yale
– Yards Pose Health Risk to Kids, Moms Near Factory Site – USA Today
Injection Wells: The Poison Beneath Us – ProPublica
Food Affected by Fukushima Disaster Harms Animals, Even at Low-Levels of Radiation – AAAS
Radiation Detected In Drinking Water In 13 More US Cities, Cesium-137 In Vermont Milk – Forbes
Radioactive Leaks Found at 75% of US Nuke Sites – CBS News
Radioactive Wild Boar Roaming the Forests of Germany – Telegraph
At Chernobyl, Radioactive Danger Lurks in the Trees – Scientific American
– Test Reveals Radioactive Chernobyl Residue in Milk From Belarus – US News
Source of Lead-210 and Polonium-210 in Tobacco – Science Mag
Tobacco Smoke – Radiation Protection – EPA
The Tobacco Industry’s Response to the Polonium-210 Issue – NIH
Into the Weeds: Regulating Pesticides in Cannabis – NIH
New Species of Metal-Eating Plant Discovered in the Philippines – Science Daily
Banana Peels May Help Filter Pollutants Out of Water – Live Science
– Mushroom as a Product and Their Role in Mycoremediation – NIH
Heavy Metals Accumulate More In Some Mushrooms Than In Others – Science Daily
Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues – Scientific American
Soil Erosion – Causes and Effects – OMAFRA
– A Study on the Mineral Depletion of the Foods Available To Us as a Nation Over the Period 1940 to 1991 – NIH
How to Convert an Inorganic Fertilizer Recommendation to an Organic One – UGA
About Cover Crops – USDA
Biological Nitrogen Fixation – Nature Education