Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What Engineers Should be Doing

Sure, I'm building this net-zero passive house.  It is taking too long because I want to put so much into it, and because I'm also busy trying to earn some money to keep things working in the family, in the project.

But recently one of my engineer colleagues, Lukas Vos, left Toronto to seek out a deeper meaning - he's actually been seeking for some time, but he went to northern Europe, took a bunch of photos (here and he's constantly out there learning about our world so he can make a difference in it.  I was reading his stuff and I realized, that I have so far to go!

So I asked myself:  What should an engineer be doing in this world, at this time?  Do a google search and you come up with basically nothing.  For some time now, I've been learning and learning about the technical aspects of how to build a house that is nearly self-sustaining.  The answer can be summed up simply:

  1. Build a net-zero energy Passive House.  - This has been my focus, but it leaves three major aspects of sustaining our present human lives unaccounted for:  Food, Water, and Waste (I'm assuming everyone already has enough sex and oxygen - for now).  So for these other 3 aspects, I have also been learning about:
  2. Food:  Design and build a permaculture garden/farm - see Geof Lawton Videos for more on this.
    consider including aquaponics
  3. Water:  See # 2, but also use rainwater collection, filtration, and a recirculating shower
  4. Waste:  implement Eco-sanitation - see the current eco-sanitation project in Haiti - basically harvest human waste for the incredible resources it offers - this is simple and useful
These 4 points, as best as I can tell are the basic directions we must all move towards.  I'm slowly figuring out that what an engineer should be doing is basically becoming an expert in the above, then going out into the world to help others achieve...the above - in the most ecological way possible.  Life's work, here I come.

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