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Housing, ecology and technology Rousseau, David Lewis 1994

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HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY by DAVID LEWIS ROUSSEAU B.Env.Des., Antioch College West, 1973 B.Arch, The University of British Columbia, 1985  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTERS OF ADVANCED STUDIES IN ARCHITECTURE  in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES THE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1994 © David Lewis Rousseau, 1994  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of  i.._2 1.CA?J i  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date  DE-6 (2/88)  O  /7  H  ROUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY ABSTRACT Science and technology are the operative languages of people in western industrialized society and, to a large degree, define our relationship with nature. This condition may be traced from its emergence in 16th century philosophical movements and the early development of modern science. This philosophical position has been called “scientific materialism”. In terms of housing, it is apparent in the emphasis on isolation from, and control of nature, and in the conspicuous use of energy and material resources in the pursuit of comfort and luxury.  However an emerging ecological trend is beginning to influence housing today. The “natural house” and ‘Baubiologie” approaches are examined both as philosophical movements, and as alternatives to conventional building science. Though the real significance of the ecological agenda is not yet apparent in the mainstream, it is argued that conventional high technology alone has a limited value in providing a more “ecological housing”. The single family suburban home in particular is an inappropriate model for this, even with extreme conservation measures. Environmental, social and feminist critiques are discussed. Facing ecological imperatives will require more than new technology. It will require a shift in fundamental outlook: what is expected from housing, what social and community emphasis is needed, and what luxury features can be discarded. Finding the appropriate uses of technology for providing more ecologically responsible housing will require re examination of the fundamental values on which technological choice is based. In this regard, more collective housing forms hold promise for meeting both social and ecological agendas. Those which attempt to deal with resource allocation, urban and community setting and social change within a context of resource efficiency and modesty are more likely to lead the way towards a more sustainable housing future.  111  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT TABLE OF CONTENTS  II  LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES ACKNOWLEDGEMENT INTRODUCTION Chapter 1. The historical and philosophical background.  l.A. Philosophy of Science. Scientific Materialism. lB. The House as a Metaphor The Organism Metaphor The Machine Metaphor IC. The House as a Technological Artifact ID. Housing Technology and Ecology Conclusions Chapter II Housing, nature and values. Housing technology and typology. The paradigms of the past and present.  II A. The Early Industrial Type Early Ideas of Comfort and the Hearth II B. The Industrial Type Comfort in an Industrial World II C. The Pre-Manufactured Home TI D. The Late Industrial Type Automated Housing Conclusions. The value of progress: Changes in residential construction and services technology Chapter 111 Ecological values  Conclu Si Ofl S. Biotechnic Responses Biologic Responses Chapter IV Scientific paradigms and housing. Building science and the “house as a system”. Alternative models.  IV A. Building Science and I-lousing Technology Applying the Building Science Model IV B. Baubiologie IV B. Is Bauhiologie an Alternative Science? Conclusions  V  1 6  24  56  66  iv  Chapter V House or housing. New technology, the limits of technology, and new settlement patterns and community models.  84 V A. Advanced Houses and Smart Houses V B. The Technological Possibilities for Change; Meeting and Ecological Agenci a. V C. The Urban, Social and Collective Possibilities for Change. Density, Grow Houses and Co-housing. Conclusions  Chapter VI Conclusions. Technology and ecology in new housing concepts. The limitations of technological change. The broader agenda of changes in values and community. The modest beginnings of a new direction. Bibliography Appendix 1  108  117 125  V  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES FIGURES IT-I. Housing Values Diagram (From J.F.C. Turner, 1976) 11-2. Cruck Framed Roof 11-3. Mortise and Tenon Timber House Frame 11-4. Balloon Framing System & Platform Framing System 11-5. Early Kitchen (From Giedion, 1948) 11-6. All Electric Kitchen (From Giedion, 1948)  11-7. Built In Vacuum, I 9 0 (From Giedion, 1948) 11-8. Sears Roebuck Advertisement for Pre-cut Houses 11-9. The Aladdin, a Pre-cut 1-louse IV-L Moisture Transport in a Wall Section (After Hutcheon and Handegord, 1983) IV-2. The “Breathing Wall” Approach (After Berge, 1988)  25 29 30 32 37 38  40 44 45 69 80  V-i.. The Waterloo “Green Home” (After Grady, 1993) V-2. Neighbourhood Densification V-3. The Montreal “Grow House” (After Rybczynski and Freeman, 1990)  102 104  TABLES TI-i. Changçs In Residential Construction and Services Technology 1900-1990 (App.l) V-i. Densification of Residential Neighbourhoods VT-i. House Size Per Person, (Canada) 1920-1993  125 101 110  vi  ACKNOWLEDGEJV[ENTS  I wish to express my gratitude to my thesis committe, Raymond Cole (Architecture), Joel Shack (Architecture) and Diane Newell (History), for their cornrnittrnent to my studies, and for their guidance in completing this thesis. I wish also to thank Bill Rees (Community and Regional Planning) for encouraging my explorations of the philosophical history of science and concepts of ecology. This thesis is dedicated to Annie Rousseau, my life partner for 19 years, without whose support and extraordinary patience it would never have been begun. David Rousseau April, 1994  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY -  Introduction  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY INTRODUCTION In his eloquent introduction to Ethics and Technology, Henry Wiseman writes: “Over time we have come to depend on technologiesfor the solution to many of our problems. The popular andpolitical imagination is captivated by the belief that they are an autonomous and neutral historicalforce. We think that new technologies will rectfy the old, and that the marketplace will continue tofuel the development of more and still better technologies and harmoniously keep all things in balance. This is the age of the virtual de/Ication of technolo. And this we have conic to call progress.” We can no longer rely on the misguided view that the uncritical investment in so-called neutral technologies will naturally bring about the best of all possible worlds. Nor should we attempt to restrain scientJlc enquily, technological innovation and industrial development because ofmisguidedfears. The best of all possible worlds must surely be based on human spirit, human values and a profound concern for all lfe, the environment and the earth itself” (1) “...  Technological choices are usually justified in “objective terms” using quantitative comparisons and measures of efficiency. However every such argument has a value laden, ideological foundation, whether it is explicit or implied. The value basis of technological choice is, in cultural terms, often more significant than the stated “objective terms”. Though Wisernan’s line of questioning is meant to apply to technological innovation in general, it is directly applicable to housing technology. The technological choices made in the building industry are founded on values and assumptions (and sometimes ideologies), they are not “neutral” in any sense. However this foundation of values is highly obscured by arguments about efficiency, consumer demands and market forces. Housing has evolved over the past four centuries in western, industrial society from a simple appendage to the barn or trade shop into the relatively elaborate complex of cultural symbols and technologies which it represents today (2,3). This has been possible due to the unprecedented material wealth available to most citizens of industrialized nations today. Changes in construction technology and it’s associated climate control and communications technologies are both the means by which housing has been transformed from rudimentary shelter, and a result of the imbedded values which housing represents. However the fundamental needs for shelter and community have been obscured in our society by speculative markets, an obsession with investment value and with housing  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Introduction  2  features. We in the industrialized world seem to have discarded many of the social values of housing in exchange for the dollar value and the features. A house is not, in cultural terms, a manufactured object with a simple purpose like an umbrella or an automobile. It cannot, therefore, be understood like any other commodity. There are far more fundamental and complex values associated with the home than with manufactured consumer objects. The North American suburb and its single family detached home has become the singular model for most residential development from the end of WW II until quite recently. The suburban home is more easily treated as a consumer item due to its lack of close community context, and the suburb has earned a reputation for isolation and lack of culture (4). But the demographics, social and economic conditions, and ultimately the values placed in housing and the environment appear to be changing since the 1980’s. The population is ageing, family size is shrinking, unemployment and homelessness increasing, and environmental degradation becoming apparent on all sides. The cherished dream of the suburban home, though it is still being pursued, is turning into a nightmare of traffic jams, crushing mortgages, isolated children, utility and community service shortages, single parents under stress and a host of other problems. And in the middle of this situation there is an emerging ecological agenda. Preserving the environment, reducing material consumption and waste and reducing dependence on the automobile and fossil energy are now added to the list of imperatives. Due to the scientific, materialist nature of our society the early responses to this growing crisis are new technologies for conservation. Utilities and governments have made recent progress in energy and water conservation programs, particularly through encouraging retrofit technologies and technical standards for new homes. But few fundamental questions about the nature of housing are being asked. In view of these contemporary issues of environmental preservation and reduction of consumption one question is “what is more ecologically responsive housing?” A second question is ‘what is the role of technology in acheiving ecologically responsive housing?” These two questions are fundamentally interrelated for several reasons: • The means of housing are, by definition, technologies. Whether high or low technologies, all have an important (and almost exclusively detrimental) impact on the natural environment.  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  -  Introduction  3  • The house, by definiton, is a modifer of conditions found in nature, e.g. site and climate. The choices of land use, climate control strategies and technologies reflect a range of attitude towards nature, from isolation and rigorous control at the one extreme to more relaxed accomodation at the other. • Housing, particularly in industrialized societies, is a very important component of the consumption of energy and material resources. The predominant settlement pattern is one in which transportation, infrastructure and individual consumption exceeds in scale and intensity that found anywhere else on earth or in history. In terms of values, this is a reflection of the assumed importance of the individual and of meeting desires for comfort and luxury. The homes of industrialized people today are several orders of magnitude more complex than they were eighty years ago. Where the 19th century North American home was once a simple shell, similar to the timber framed cottages of England, it now incorporates structural, material, hydraulic, mechanical, electrical and, increasingly, electronic technologies. Many of these technologies were designed to solve a problem created by technology itself. For example residential ventilation systems are a response to changes in construction technology which have reduced envelope leakage and thus made ventilation necessary. Many other technological changes, such as automated thermal control, built in vacuums etc. are a response to consumer demand for more comfort and convenience. At what point does technological change cease to serve housing needs and begin to serve desires; desires which are easily manipulated by advertising and other popular imagery? There is a growing debate in the industrialized world between those who promote the advance of high technology housing production and climate control, and those who prefer the traditional values of “handmade, passive and loose-fit”. These extreme poles are best represented by the 1990’s “smart house’ with it’s manufactured components and fully electronic controls on the one hand, and and the “natural house” with it’s traditional methods and materials and nineteenth century values on the other. The conventional homes produced by mainstream builders today fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. This debate has become very prominent in Europe where proponents of the German system of “Baubiologie” (the biology of building) are attempting to challenge the fundamental precepts of contemporary building science on which codes and practices are based. This debate centers on the issue of moisture control and ventilation in buildings,  4  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Introduction  but also embraces design, materials, light, color, electromagnetic fields and a wide range of other topics (5). This challenge is beginning to appear in North America. The “natural house” and the “baubiologie house” are small contemporary movements in the industrialized world which are precisely counter to the “house as a machine” metaphor. They are, in one sense, expressions of dissatisfaction with the role of technology in the contemporary home, and possibly in more general terms. They are a form of “appropriate technology” movement if not “anti technology”. As predominantly ideologically based movements they cannot be correctly called “alternative sciences”, but they are clearly premised in opposition to technological innovation and conventional building science with its roots in classical physics. As such they represent a classic “insider outsider” confrontation as described by McDonald (6). In this confrontation, the special expertise of the “initiated technologist” (building scientist) is pitted against the moral and ideological -  position of the “uninitiated” who argue for a “natural approach.” Though these debates have been going on for decades, and their philosophical roots extend back to the Renaissance, there is now an important contemporary agenda added in the form of environmental or ecological concerns. The effect of the environmental agenda on house design and construction today has been a rediscovery of energy efficiency with the additional factors of material resource efficiency, land use efficiency, and and other conservation matters which have been somewhat dormant throughout the 1980’s. Ironically both the high technology camps and the natural camps lay claim to having the appropriate tools to meet this agenda! What are the philosophical roots of the mainstream housing values and technological approaches in Western Society? How has the history of technological change in housing met changing needs and desires? What is the influence of building science and can it be challenged? Is it possible to meet the ecological agenda through technological change? These are some of the contemporary questions which are the subject of this thesis. It is the purpose of this thesis to show that a more ecological housing technology has not emerged in Western society because the problems encountered are not fundamentaly technological. They are cultural and social, economic and philosophical. A truly ecological approach to housing will not occur through technological change because the value basis of our contemporary housing forms has only begun to be questioned. The most promising movements emerging are those which incorporate community, social  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Introduction  5  change and new urban visions. They incorporate new approaches to technology which are not necessarily high technology. They are perhaps best described as a form of ‘appropriate technology” for (over)developed nations. The subject will be dealt with by exploring some of the philosophical roots of technology, the history and manifestations of values in housing, and the value position of contemporary science and technology in housing design, production and climate control today. The history of technological change in housing over the past 90 years is examined for patterns of emphasis. The emergence of ecological values is discussed as a new agenda which does not yet have a distinctive typology, but which is beginning to influence housing form and technology. The conclusion of the thesis is an evaluation of the potential role and limits of technological change for meeting the ecological agenda in the single family home, and an exploration of the emerging urban, community and social interpretations of an ecological approach.  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  CHAPTER I. The historical and philosophical background. l.A Philosophy of Science. Scientific Materialism.  Neil Postman in his 1993 book Technopoly describes ideologies this way: “An ideology is a set ofassumptions ofwhich we are barely conscious but which nonetheless directs our efforts to give shape and coherence to the world... “(1) Cain, the grain grower, murdered his brother Abel, the shepherd. Symbolically this represents the transformation of human society from it’s stewardship of nature to master of nature. Other traditions, such as the Hopi and the Navajo, describe this emergence as moving from being a child of the creator to challenging the creator. In many traditions those who challenge the creator suffer, or are destroyed. The mythical memory of the destruction of nomadic society by settled, agrarian society is a starting point for this discussion. Is material progress always won at the expense of the preceding society? And what values are we really pursuing with material and technological change? Robert Waller in his 1980 essay ScientfIc Materialism writes: “The rational and the mystical are two poles of human lfe. The rationalists regard the mystics as ‘irrational’ while the mystics, those who live by experiences which cannot be explained in ‘rational’ terms, regard the rationalists as unenlightened barbarians” (2). In ancient times the gods and spirit creatures determined fate. Their activity was beyond the human realm and largely unknowable. Today it is atoms, molecules and genes, physical forces, electromagnetic forces and market forces. Even many subtleties of the psyche have been described and classified. But what is the nature of these scientific descriptions of reality? According to Wailer, ultimately all such descriptions “are the equivalent qnythicai creations, though they are disguised as scientficfacts”. They are models created by the human imagination which are arbitrary and may change. Their only claim to coherence is internal (i.e., their internal consistency); their only measure of success the degree to which they can predict physical causes and effects. The prevailing mythology of today is often called scientfc materialism. But again according to Wailer, “because it rules out what cannot be explained by inorganic or organic theories of lfe it effectively wipes out half of the human dimension” (3).  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  We are metaphysical creatures, not organic machines. Though our economic and physical life is dominated by the rules of scientific materialism, we still must live, subconsciously, by our imagination which spontaneously creates the supernatural. This profound dilemma, the inhibition of the soul by materialism on the one side, and the challenge to materialism by the spirit on the other, is perhaps the most potent psychological force at work in shaping our society today. Opposing forces, according to eastern mystical philosophy, bring about harmony when they are in balance. But are we in balance? The resentment for religion is based on the belief that the metaphysical imprisons the human will and makes people ‘irrational’. That it leads them astray by directing their attention to illusory values which distract from improving the world in which we actually live. The resentment for science is based on the belief that the mechanistic invalidates the emotions and the spirit. This debate between the voice of emotion and the voice of reason is apparent in many fields today, particularly those most concerned with environmental responsibility and technological change. In this light, contemporary movements such as “eco-feminism” and “deep ecology” can be seen as reactions to several centuries of dominance by scientific materialist attitudes. The dilemma of scientific materialism is not due to it’s inherent qualities, but to it’s role in our collective imagination and it’s uses. Certainly almost every event which is observable can be explained in terms of a mechanism which enables it to happen. But the mechanism is not the event. The model is not the same as reality. Reality is always much richer, more mysterious and complex than any model we are capable of conceiving. It is in realizing the intentions behind our actions in engaging life that we must make progress. There will always be frameworks of physical possibility around actions, but to assume that intentions are determined by the mechanisms which have been described is to deny the philosophical side of human ability. The uses of science through technology are not inevitable. They were invented and can be guided by people as moral and spiritual beings. Because the boundaries of this construct called science are not recognized, because a model which has been mistaken for reality begins to define what is real, that which cannot be proven (using the tools at hand) is thought to be an illusion. But it is not only the proofs, but even the questions we are able to ask which are defined by the tools we have.  7  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  One of the significant ethics of the pre-industrial world was to conserve the past and hand it to the future. Today it is difficult to preserve even the present and hand it to the future. This is largely due to the juggernaut of technological change. But how does this come to be? Neil Postman points out that tools, after all, were developed to ‘solve specJIc and urgent problems ofphysical lfe... or to serve the symbolic world of art, politics, myth, ritual and religion.., they were not intended to attack the dignity and integrity of the culture into which they were introduced” (4).  And scientific materialism leads to utilitarian zeal. It is a natural leap from learning to master some aspect of nature through applications of physics and mathematics, to wishing to apply these things to increasing health, prosperity and pleasure. It is as natural as imagining what a Conneticut Yankee could do in King Arthur’s Court. What enthusiastic utilitarians overlook is that science, applied by society through technology, can reach a stage at which it no longer improves human life, and may also lead to ecological disaster. For example the production of chlorofluorocarbons in the 1930’s was the act of a clever chemist who imagined what wonders could be done with a cheap, reliable refrigerant which appeared to be much less toxic than the ammonia which had been used before. He certainly never imagined the depletion of stratospheric ozone and it’s potentially catastrophic effects on the entire biosphere. But Progress was and is a real hope. It has only gone astray because it has not been kept associated with our moral, ethical and intuitive side. It has gone too far along ‘rational’ lines. According to Wailer: “Progress has been arrested and imprisoned by the philosophy of sciemitific materialism We have made a fine weapon of the scientfic intellect no doubt, bitt it has ceased to serve the higher needs of mankind” (5). And efficiency is the handmaiden of progress, particularly since the late 19th century. At this time mathematics was first systematically applied to human labour by people such as F.W.Taylor (The Principles of Scientific Management, 1911). According to the dictates of mathematical management, the primary, if not the only goal of human labour and thought is effIciency. Calculation is said to be always superior to judgement because human emotions are characterized by laxity, ambiguity and unnecessary complexity. Subjectivity is said to be retrogressive and objectivity is progress; what cannot be measured either does not exist or is of no value.  8  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  Under a regieme of efficiency, the affairs of people are guided and conducted by experts using reasoned arguments. But when efficiency is adopted as a single minded mandate, as an icon of perfection, what is lost? In cultural terms, important traditional values such as the beauty of landscape, the importance of space, the necessity for a symbolic life, the merit of quality and the dignity of work tend to take second place. The price may also be in ecological terms, not just human. Some contemporary examples are: • Strip mining of minerals and clear cutting of forests is efficient. The loss of landscape and habitat is the price. • Stripping old buildings, historic artifacts, trees and soil from a building site is efficient. The loss of landscape, continuity and memory is the price. • Providing low-cost, manufactured mobile homes or high-rise apartments for people to live in may be efficient. A poor psychological climate and the loss of important urban qualities is the price. • Early energy conserving houses were efficient. They were well insulated and used solar energy effectively. The loss of domestic qualities and traditions of residential space was the price (6). Efficiency is a utilitarian position which is complicated by unexamined value premises. A contemporary example is the cost-benefit analysis which may be applied to decisions as diverse as industrial development, housing policy and medical research. A typical costbenefit analysis appears to be highly structured, rigorous and “objectiv&’, but according to critics, it leaves several important premises unchallenged (7): • What is the range of alternative courses being examined? Is it broad enough? • What is the definition of benefit and to whom does the benefit accrue? (n.b. philosophers have long rejected the concept of single, simple definition of benefit or “pleasure’). • What is to be counted as a consequence or cost of an action? • What is an acceptable time scale for assessing consequences?  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  This criticism inevitably raises fundamental questions about the nature of objectivity; i.e., whether it is a useful concept at all given the necessarily value laden context of any decision. It may be that objectivity is only a useful concept for ordering information in what must inevitably be a value-based judgement. But where did the scientific materialistic emphasis come from in the modern western mind? An examination of the 16th and 17th century European philosophical roots of modern thought is instructive. “...the real goal of discovery is the endowment ofhuman lfe with new inventions and riches” (Francis Bacon, 1597) For Francis Bacon, knowledge of nature acquired through discovery was not the mere object of contemplation, as it had been to the ancient Greeks. Bacon believed that discovery should not be be curtailed by religious beliefs, but that knowledge should be put to work so that the human race could ultimately assume mastery over nature in the pursuance of its own interests. And science, particularly the science of Newtonian mechanics, is very well suited to our attempts to gain mastery over the material world. This is done through technology; the applications of science. It is important that the emphasis be placed on the material world, particularly in Western society, because in recent Western traditions little emphasis has been placed on mastery of the irrational world of the spirit. The spirit world is much more prominent in other traditions such as Buddhist and Hindu Mysticism and African Animism. But what of the value basis and intentions of knowledge? It was perhaps Rene Descartes, the inspiration for Newton’s work, who first separated values fromfacts. It was axiomatic to Descartes’ thinking that objective knowledge can be acquired without the intrusion of values. This assumption is a key to contemporary technological pursuits for two reasons: first, it helps to define all problems in technical terms and suggest that there are technical solutions; and second, it clears the path of awkward obstacles, such as queries about values and intentions, by suggesting that they have no standing. “All philosophy is ordered like a tree. The roots are metaphysics, the trunk is physics and the branches are all the other sciences. It is thus that all knowledge, moving like the .sap of the tree in .spring, conies to us through the orderly rules of phy.sics. I am content that explanationsfor all matters of creation will someday flower from the branches of that great tree, that all can be known in the clear language of mathematics.” Rene Descartes, 1596-1650  10  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  One result of”objectification” of knowlege is the separation of the observer from the observed, of humanity from nature, of expert from subject. Our language embodies many examples of this isolation such as the term resource. This term is used first in connection with the raw materials and energy extracted from nature to supply human enterprise. The terms forest resources, mineral resources, fisheiy resources, agricultural resources and energy resources are examples. It is also used in connection with available human labour and information. Personnel offices are now called Human Resources Departments. The term Housing Resource is used to describe the stock of housing available to supply an identified need. The Oxford Dictionary lists the root of the word resource as the Latin resurgere, to rise again. This original meaning implies renewal quite directly. It implies a harmonious balance with nature, a concern for closing the ecological ioop. But today it is rare to hear the term resource used without the word exploit in the same sentence, except among a few environmentalists. The application of scientific materialism as a substitute for moral philosophy and religion has made it possible to assume that science and technology have a positive value basis and direction. Thomas Kuhn in the Structure of Scientific Revolutions points out that “We are all deeply accustomed to seeing science as the one enterprise that draws constantly nearer to some goal set by nature in advance. But” Kuhn asks, “need there be any such goal?” (8). .  .  Science is not a substitute for values. Technological change is therefore not necessarily progress. Because modern technology has given humanity the ability to control nature and to produce irreversible changes, it is more critically important than ever before to question the direction of change. Cont,ol of nature is not only a theme of applications of technology in industrial production, medicine and agriculture, it is also a central theme of housing. Housing provides weather protection (control of the indoor climate), security (control of hazards), privacy (control of human contact) and a controlled sensory environment in terms of lighting, space, color, texture, sound etc. Some of these measures of control are provided, as they have been traditionally, through the building fabric. For example roofs, walls, insulation and windows provide climate control; doors, locks, bars and window coverings provide security and privacy; and windows, interior space design and materials provide a  11  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  private visual and tactile environment. These are passive measures. They are static or occupant operated. They do not require energy driven, active components. But control can also be provided through active means. Automatic heating, cooling and  ventilation provide climate control; electronic surveillance provides security; and electrical lighting and home entertainment electronics provide a controlled visual and acoustic environment. These are all electrical energy and fossil fuel driven, and require complex hardware and software. Development of these active systems has been the major emphasis of technological change in housing since the turn of the century. The kitchen is a useful example of the shift from passive, labour-intensive, to active energy and information-intensive technologies. Changes in kitchen technology have been tracked by Gideion from the medieval period to the mid-2Oth century (9). Gideion traces the changes from the open fire to the “efficient” all electric kitchen of 1942. This clean, efficient automated kitchen was a novelty in 1942 and was the type of image prepared for a world’s fair or futuristic design showcase. By 1960 however, nearly all North American households had such a kitchen, or at least expected to have one soon. Gideion’s work of course predates most of the numerous small electric kitchen devices, the programmable appliances and the microwave oven which are commonplace today. The technological future has arrived quite rapidly. The transformation of the household by technological visions of this sort has reached new heights in the 1980’s. The “smart home” concept is an effort to extend fully automated functions throughout the household using sensors, microprocessors and powered servos controlled by software. The vision is of a programmable house which will require little participation by occupants, but will operate by sensing occupant movement, ambient conditions and several other parameters. Though smart homes have not been widely accepted, there is some demand for this degree of active home control among wealthier people today. This trend and its value implications will be discussed further in the following chapters. The significance of emerging energy and control technology in architecture, and the reliance on it when it became available, meant that the natural environment could be ignored as a factor in design. In climatic terms, the whole modern movement was premised on the idea that buildings could be designed based on formal abstractions, and that the same architectural solution could be applied in the arctic and the tropics. The  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  extreme climatic differences would simply be taken care of by adapting building technology, and heating and cooling machinery. Obviously this trend has increased reliance on energy sources, and on complex hardware and software which is more costly and less reliable than simple passive technologies. It is also increasingly incomprehensible to typical users. In terms of public perception, many changes in home technology have been looked to as labour saving conveniences which will lighten the load of homemaking and provide more leisure time. This has been obviously true of major advances such as the introduction of automatic central heating, indoor plumbing and electric lighting and refrigeration. It is not so apparent that programmable appliances, automatic lighting controls and electric door openers have produced significant gains in leisure time. This topic is taken up fbrther in later chapters. In the production of houses, technology has quite a different role than it has in their environmental control functions. The technology may be as simple and labour-intensive as bare hands weilding timber, bricks and mortar. Or it may be as sophisticated and information-intensive as computer operated robotics cutting, welding and pneumatic nailing as is done in the Japanese manufactured housing factory. Both produce houses which may be almost indistinguishable in the end. The primary differences are in terms of capital and labour cost and expedience. Production technology also involves the extraction and manufacture of materials used in house building. This technology may also span a range from timber and stone, which are local and used with minimal processing, to metals, plastics and ceramics which are imported, refined and processed by very complex machinery. In terms of public perception, production technology is largely expected to deliver affordable, expedient and durable housing which meets performance expectations. But production technology is not value-neutral, particularly in market and public policy terms. If maximum expedience and lowest cost is emphasized, then something like the North American, manufactured modular home may be the result. If quality and durability is emphasized, then methods and materials more consistent with the best site-built housing in North America or the best Japanese or Swedish manufactured housing will be a more likely result. Cost will be higher, but so will quality and performance.  13  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  Both in terms of housing as a controlled environment, and in terms of housing production, applications of advanced technology are now often promoted as a solution to the housing needs facing western industrialized people today. Some suggest that advances in energy conservation technology, for example, can provide the houses people have come to expect (large, with luxury features and powered conveniences) on a tight energy budget. Or that advances in wood conversion efficiency can produce inexpensive building materials from the low grade wood which predominates today. Or that manufacturing can provide “rationalized and affordable” housing to help solve homelessness and underhousing of low income people. But these are problems generated by uses of technology itself or by the social and economic patterns which prevail. Extreme energy efficiency measures appear necessary because the homes are large and packed with features; the trees are poor quality due to reckless forest harvesting over the past two generations; and people are underhoused and homeless because of economic disparity and marginalization in our society which has not been adequately addressed. These are problems with complex human dimensions, and as such are not widely amenable to technological solutions. This is the fundamental failure of a technocratic (or as Postman calls it a lechnopo/ic) society. It is assumed that expertise and new inventions can solve our social, economic and environmental problems, but the technological outlook relied on offers no solutions to what are essentially problems of moral philosophy. The nature of decision has been isolated from its moral foundations in western society. It is clearly necessary to be able to question what is important and appropriate in order to find a way forward.  LB The [louse as a Metaphor. The house is both a metaphor and an artifact i.e., it has socio-cultural meanings as well as the more obvious physical characteristics. Or as described by Nelson and Wright, the house is a technical fact, a social fact and a psychological fact (10). In architecture, as in many other fields, metaphors have an important role in expressing  subtle ideas which cannot be easily described in less evocative and poetic terms. The social and psychological facts of houses are such ideas. Metaphors are symbols which bring ideas to life by drawing on language which has deep rooted meanings. They can also be useful for illuminating technological facts. One of the important metaphorical debates  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  of 20th century architecture is that of the building as organism or as machine. It is a debate which has been easily identifiable since the 1920’s, though Peter Collins in his 1965 work Changing Ideals in Modern Architecture traces the roots of the organic and machine metaphors in architecture back to the 1750’s. This was the period before Darwin in which biological classification and the basis for theories of evolution were first developed. In addition to their formal architectural implications, these two metaphors today describe two extreme poles of a technology debate in housing. Is a building something which has complexities which transcend rational understanding; that is, does it have a mystical component; a spirit? Or can it ultimately be reduced to a set of equations; a precise, rational argument? This is not just a philosophical conceit, these two positions and their underlying values are clearly in conflict today. On the one side are the appropriate technology or minimum technology proponents who may also espouse cultural and emotional principles for housing, while on the other side are the proponents of high technology solutions, rationalization and efficiency. The remarkable thing in terms of the contemporary agenda of environmental preservation is that both extreme schools claim to have the  ansii’er for  the future; a more ecological house.  The Organism Metaphor Buffon in his Flistoire Naturelle of 1749 first clearly proposed the idea of evolution as a process of degeneration; i.e., that organisms are created perfect (a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis) and begin to decline through adaptation. This approach, the exact opposite of Larnarck’s and later Darwin’s position, is entirely consistent with the era of Rousseau. Rousseau, after all, gave us the “noble savage” as natures finest work, and suggested that civilization has only succeded in weakening the species and rendering it less fit for survival. The primary implication for architecture expressed here is the romantic notion that natural forms and processes are appropriate modelsfor human efforts, and that the most elemental are also the most petfect. The difficulty has always been in attempting to understand nature well enough to emulate it at all successfully. Later, in the 19th century, Lamarck and Darwin expressed the concept of environment as the major determinant in species evolution. The primary implication for architecture was  -15  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  the natural em’ironment as a design determinant. This was a highly significant development which is still quite visible as a foundation stone in environmental design and “ecological architecture trends today. By the 9th century evolution was no longer regarded as retrogressive but progressive. The literal interpretation of Genesis and Rousseau’s revolution had fallen from favor and been replaced by the Roman Church doctrine of original sin, From this outlook, spiritual evolution consisted of atoning for our primitive state by becoming “civilized”. At the same time modern science and technology had begun to take hold, and with it came the notion that nature was a resource, here to be dissected and manipulated to human ends (the Baconian view). The scientific model, taken literally and to it’s extreme, meant that any human intervention in nature which produced material benefit was necessarily progress. This philosophy matured in the Victorian Age and is still widely prevalent today. In fact technology, by definition, is premised on the idea of progress and advancing human wealth. At the same time that Larnarck was proposing theories of environmental adaptation which would influence Darwin, Goethe in Germany had proposed a unified “life force” model for nature in which “organic growth” could be seen as the organizing principle for the structure of a crystal or the design of a Gothic cathedral. This powerful metaphor would be later rediscovered as the basis for anthroposophical philosophy under Rudolf Steiner, and it’s modern relative “Baubiologie”, the biology of building. This school today represents an extreme pole of the most literal organic metaphor. However the most literal expressions of organic metaphors in architecture are actually uncommon, except during the brief period of influence of art nouveau and among the rare proponents of expressionist design. The full range of interpretations of organic theories in design is actually very broad and with little apparent common ground: • Frank Lloyd Wright spoke of organic architecture as “an architecture that develops’ from within, outward in harmony with the conditions of it’c being as distinguished from one thai/s appliedfrom without” he also used the term to  mean the use of local materials and drawing formal inspiration from local landforms etc. (11). • Both Viollet-le-Duc and Ruskin admired the way in which mediaeval sculptors had studied and understood that the contours of plants always expressed a function, or submitted themselves to some necessity of the whole organism. This functionalist  16  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  attitude led to an architecture of strong and simple forms, not reliant on ornament (12). • Ruskin, and later William Morris espoused profoundly anti-industrial sentiments and romanticised medieval technics. Their position was simply that the machine detroyed the human values of craft and pride in work (13). • Louis Sullivan proposed a comprehensive biological analogy for architecture in which cell-like planning prevailed, functional distinctions were expressed like organs, and the design process followed patterns of crystalline or cellular growth. However natures processes are ultimately very difficult to fully comprehend, and so organic theories are prone to explaining organic relationships in functional terms, as if each organ was a small piece of clockwork mechanism and not a part of a very complex whole system. As Peter Collins points out, “no theory of/he development offorn2 is more mechanistic than Darii’in’s theory ofNatural Selection” (14). By this he refers to  Darwin’s observation that an adaptation, such as a change in the legs of a sea turtle, would be selected based only on it’s functional (i.e. mechanistic) success in helping the turtle to move, to mate, to feed or to escape predators. It seems that organic metaphors have been efforts to understand and emulate nature using the philosophical tools at hand. Though efforts to learn from nature are laudable, they have been largely frustrated by the fact that the tools are instruments of dissection. And once dissected it is extraordinarily difficult to put a living system back together again. It may be that the organic metaphors which briefly surfaced in the 1970’s as part of environmental design thinking will re-emerge as part of the ecological agenda of the 1990’s. These models emphasized the structure of seashells and crystals, the complex relationships between organs in living organisms, and the closed cycles of water and energy found in nature (15). This is particularly likely in ecological movements such as green cities, commun/ty ecology and building ecology. Though he wrote in 1965, Peter Collins could sense these concerns surfacing when he remarked “The nineteenth century naive fciilh in evolutionary progress is now being seriously challenged, and a suspicion has arisen that Bii//on approach may not have been entire!)) wrong”... (i.e., that evolution is retrogressive; a fall from perfection)  .  .  .  “This does not of course mean that  17  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  optimism has give!? place to pessimism, but simply that we no longer accept, like the followers qfDarIlIin, the idea that every change must be for the best” (16). The organic metaphor suggests that the models which are needed for directing human efforts are already there in nature. One need only look out the window to see them. Excessive reliance on human constructs, such as science and material progress, though it has produced wealth and comfort, must now be questioned because it has obscured the view out the window.  The Machine Metaphor  The machine metaphor in early modern architecture was probably best expressed by Le Corbusier in his famous dictum “the house isa machine for living in” (17). In its most literal sense this remark, and Le Corbusiers illustrations of ships and airplanes as models for architecture, suggest that the lessons of rigorous response to function which are necessary for designing airplanes and ships are also important to buildings. The period was characterized by exuberance about the mobility and ability offered by new technology. And within that context the remark seem appropriate and optimistic. But the determinants of houses are only in part functional and mechanistic. Cultural and aesthetic values, human perception, history and sensibility are also very important. Also a machine such as an airplane is a single-purpose built item with, as Collins points out, “a destination”. As such it is hardly comparable to a building. The home is, to most, a symbol of stability, security and permanence while the airplane is a symbol of movement, freedom and transience. LeCorbusier did not mean that a house is the same as a machine in any literal sense, He simply meant that the same exuberance and spirit with which people had embraced the machine age, and the new materials and methods that it brought, could be applied to the design of the home. That we could abandon some of our traditional cultural baggage associated with the house and view it from a fresh, modern perspective. Unfortunately it is only a short step fi’om abandoning traditions to pursuing mechanistic and technological solutions to human problems. In it’s extreme form, clearly apparent today, the mechanistic model denies context and culture entirely, and is therefore expressly anti-human and anti urban. Criticisims of modern architecture today typically point to a landscape dotted with  18  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  buildings as objects, each competing with the next, each denying history and place, and few making any concession to the street, the existing urban fabric and the potential relationship with it’s neighbours. It’s human purpose may even be obscured. Environment is, after all, not only the natural elements, but the accumulated human legacy of buildings and urban places. The two metaphors have not only formal significance for architecture, but specific and architectonic as well. For example Henry Glassie (18) has argued that the folk builders of seventeenth century Virginia were profoundly concerned with eradicating the natural qualities of their most prevalent material: wood. ‘The timber, ii seems, was sawed after hewing, mainly to take it stillfurtherfrom its natural stale. Hewn, then pitsawed, the framing member bore little reminder qf its’ on gin as a tree. Thin walls define a concept in the air with minimal obeisance to the natural substances of which they are composed. The main nea.s’omi thai wood ivas used was that it was present— too present. All those damned frees’ stood between man and his vision. The tree was chopped, dra’i.vn, hewn,  .s’awed, chi.reled, shaved, pierced with nails, and hidden by paint. Nature was made to submit utterly to the ideas of mcii” (19). A feminist critique of this phenomenon would not miss the metaphors of violence and rape in this passage.  The “house as a machine” is a much abused and misunderstood metaphor which, due to our scientific materialist philosophy, can be said to have diminished the richness and complexity of the house as a cultural historic symbol. This is precisely what has been claimed by the contemporary “natural house” proponents. Their arguments are a metaphoric effort to counter cultural deterioration, and reach for the ideal of the organism. Though the house will typically fall far short in comparison to even a simple living organism, it is a higher challenge.  “if machines are sufficiently simplified to help us understand better how organisms’ behave, ills because the mechanisms involved in organic behavior are too clymiamic, too complex, too qualitatively rich, too multifold to be grasped except by sonic site/i simplification. But it/s not the machine that explains purpose/ui organization: ills organic functions that explain machines.” (20)  19  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  I.C The House as a Technological Artifact  Housing embodies physical characteristics which are a result of technologies driven by the social and historical forces and metaphorical ideas which shape them. A house is therefore a technological artifact. “A technology is any systematizedpractical knowledge, based on experimentation and/or scientific theory, which enhances the capacity of a society to produce goods and services, and which is em bodied in productive skills, organization or machineiy”. (21)  There are several types of applications of technology to housing. First it is helpfiul to distinguish between building technology, climate control technology, convenience technology and communications technology: •  Building technology is the means by which buildings are made. It can also be extended to include the fabrication of materials and components off site, i.e. the industrial technologies of material production.  •  Serice,s technology is the means by which buildings are supplied with electricity, water and fuels, and sanitary wastes are removed.  •  Climate control technology is the means by which building interiors are heated, cooled and ventilated and humidity is controlled. It may also include refrigeration and water heating, illumination etc. Technologies may be passive or active.  •  Con ienience technology includes devices which automate household labour. These may be portable, or built-in devices (e.g., the built-in dishwasher and vacuum cleaner). The automatic clothes washer and garage door opener are other examples. Numerous small machines such as kitchen appliances can also be included, but these are household technologies only because that is where they are used.  •  (‘omnn,nications  / information technology includes devices which handle  information electronically in the household. The simplest examples are the doorbell, the telephone and the cable television system. More complex  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  examples are the security system and the electronic home control system. Again, home entertainment electronics can be included only because that is where they are used (though these are now sometimes built-in as home theatres) The distinction between passive and active climate control components is usually based on the degree to which occupant participation and electrical or fossil energy input is required for operation. Convenience and communications technologies are generally active components. These require active information or software” to control their active parameters. In most applications of technology there is a spectrum of possible choices from low technology to high technology. Though these are loosely defined terms, they generally refer to the following characteristics: Low Technology -Based on rudimentary, empirical science and observation. -Traditional methods, hand tools and muscle power. -Using readily available materials and energy with minimal processing required, e.g. wood and carbon based fuels. -Emphasis on acheiving adequate performance or technical efficiency. -Low capital but high labour requirements. Intermediate Technology -Based on widely available popular information. -Moderately mechanized methods, powered tools and vehicles. -Using common commercialized products, packaged systems, electricity and fossil fuels. -Emphasis on expediency and moderate efficiency. -Moderate capital and moderate labour requirements. High Technology -Based on sophisticated theoretical science and information. -Highly industrialized methods and tools, minimized labour, maximized logical control. -Using highly processed (and possibly rare) materials and energy forms, e.g., rare metals and minerals, electricity and microwaves. -Emphasis on high performance and efficiency. -High capital and low labour requirements. I.D  Housing  Technology and Ecology  Housing in western industrialized society has been produced and climate controlled by intermediate technology means since the early part of the 20th century. Very little housing  21  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  now relies on low technology, as it still does in the majority of the less developed world. High technology is also becoming a significant part of housing, particularly its application to energy efficient climate control equipment, security systems and communications systems. It is also increasingly important to the industries producing building materials and systems if they are to remain competitive. Simply put, people in industrialized society use intermediate and high technology because they have built up the infrastructure which supports it and amassed the wealth to capitalize it. People in less industrialized society use low and intermediate technology because that is what is available to them and what they can support. What high technology is used in poorer nations is generally imported at great expense from industrialized nations. The emerging ecological agenda in housing has now raised to prominence questions about energy and material consumption, waste, environmental health, disturbance of habitat, associated transportation usage, social equity and several other matters which have been minor or dormant in the past. And the observable and accelerating deterioration of the atmosphere, the terrestrial biosphere and social conditions underscore the urgency of these questions. Due to the scientific materialist traditions in western society, technological change, once viewed as a panacea, is considered by many to be a way of accomodating the ecological agenda. To what degree can technological change address these issues, and what forms of technology are the most appropriate? This topic is discussed in greater detail in later chapters.  CII. I Conclusions Science and technology are the operative languages of people in western industrialized society and, to a large degree, define their relationship with nature. This condition may be traced from its emergence in 16th century philosophical movements and the early development of modern science. This philosophical position has been called “scientific materialism”. In terms of housing, this premise is apparent in the emphasis on isolation from and and control of nature, and in the conspicuous use of energy and material resources in the pursuit of comfort and luxury.  22  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter I  The house is a social and cultural artifact. It is also a technological artifact. The philosophical premises by which housing is shaped are important forces in history and must be consciously examined when determining thture directions for housing. For example the historical differences between timachinet and “organism’ metaphors in architecture reveals some of the roots of the contemporary debate about ecological responsiveness. There are several types of technology applied in housing, and there are low, intermediate or high technology choices, but answering the question of what is more ecologically responsible housing entails making technological choices which are heavily biased in western society towards capital and information intensive types. Finding a more ecologically responsible housing involves forming a new attitude towards nature and resources which is tantamount to remaking some of philosophical foundations of western thought. “Through di.s’covery 0/our technological intentions we may yet master our tools before Ihey master us” (22).  23  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  CHAPTER II Housing, nature and values. Housing technology and typology. The paradigms of the past and present.  Housing Nature and Values In 1854 Henry Thoreau wrote: “From the cave we have advanced to roofs ofpalm leaves, of bark and boughs, of linen woven and stretched, and ofgrass and straw, of boards and shingles, of stones and tiles. At last, we know not what it is to live in the open air, and our lives are domestic in more senses than we think. From the hearth the field is a great distance. It would be well, perhaps f we were to spend more of our days and iiigh/s without any obstruction between us and the celestial bodies. Let us learn from the poet who did not speak so much froni under a roof or the saint who did not dwell there so long.” (1).  Thoreau recognized, more acutely than most, that living indoors is a poor substitute for living in nature. This assertion, and the popularity of Thoreau’s writing today, points out the force of “natural philosophy” in western culture. It also raises some complex dilemmas about the nature of housing and the emerging ecological agenda, particularly in northern industrialized countries. Housing in a temperate or extreme climate is necessarily isolated from nature to the extent that the indoor climate must be controlled for survival and comfort. Providing security and comfort is one of the promises of industrial development. But enclosure and security from climatic extremes is also isolation from the sensory experiences of nature which nearly all people crave. If these cravings are not satisfied through daily living then “recreation” (literally a return to nature) must be found through intentional efforts. Walks outdoors, using public parks, taking nature holidays, hiking and boating are common examples. The idea of placing housing in closer contact with nature has been popular for more than a century in industrialized society. Many of the reform movements of the 19th century were reactions to the effects of industry and crowding on the city. The workers utopias in England, Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City and Wright’s Broadacre City all attempted to bring people closer to nature. But to do so has led to the low density suburb in North America, an icon of consumption, excessive land use and transportation, and social isolation. In ecological and social terms the North American suburb has been called unsupportable (2,3,4).  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  Clearly living in a wealthy, industrial society and living in nature, particularly in a more ecologically responsible manner, seems to be an almost unsolvable dilemma. Why this is so has a good deal to do with the economic basis of industrial society, but it also is due to the values placed on housing and the way technologies are used. TFC Turner (Housing for People, 1976) makes the case that housing, building and planning terminology universally confuses the meanings of housing with housing value. He points out that ‘the performance of housing, i.e. what it doesfor people, is not described by housing standards; they describe only what it is, materially speaking. Yet this linguistic inability to separate processfrom product and social value from market value is evident in both commercial and bureaucratic language.” (5). Social or institutional processes, though they have some quantifiable aspects, cannot be described in monetary or market terms. According to Turner Quantitative methods cannot describe  the relationships between things, people and nature which is just where experience and human values lie.” The conclusion of Turner’s argument is that houses with higher material standards are not necessarily a better match for peoples needs than those with -  lower ones. Turner defines the non-monetary housing accounts on the basis of four value measures. Each measure is described in terms of the priority of that value and the actualization of that value. It is then possible to graph the (subjective) value performance of housing by comparing the priority with the acheivement: Security of Tenure Physical Standards Social Access Employment Access  C)  Fig. 11-I Housing Values Diagram (From J.F.C. Turner)  =  Zero  A  =  Very low  B  =  Low  C  =  Moderate  D  =  High  F  =  Very high  —  0  JVon-iIonetary .-lccounts EMPLOYMENT ACCESS actual priority  <XL  priority actual PHYSICAL STANDARDS  CD  b: The car Painter 3 a maximizes access to sources of social arid economic support at the expense of comfort and security of tenure. Priorities arc well matched. Tire poverty of tire shack is partial iv compensated by access to utilities.  Art)’ 10 Von rnoneIayr1ccounfs SOCIAL ACCESS: dwelling location as a fturction of’ proximity to people on whom Else household is dependent for social support. From next door to over i (lay’s retorts journey.  AC ECONOMIC lo (Iwel I ing CESS: cation as a function of sources of proximity to tire isouseiso id’s i rscorsse. From tie sarsic St reel to over a hours’ commute  by public transport. STAN PHYSICAL I)ARI)S: space, con structiorm and equipment stamsdards frorn urisliel— tered and irriserviced to slid tered and serviced to  rsiocfermm  minimum  staisciards. TENURE SECURITY the duration of the isousehold’s option for residence. continuous From less than r month to more than a liktusw.  —i  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  Turner refers to housing value as a measure of the fit between the fulfillment, or realization of the needs of people and the housing they get. Though he writes about the context of poorer nations attempting to provide shelter for their poor, he is clearly expressing a model of value with a very broad applicability. The two most critical terms which Turner identifies are the degree of control people have over their housing and the appropriateness 0/the technology. By degree of control he means the type of agency which makes housing decisions and the extent to which they are individually and community controlled. The worst examples, Turner argues, are those in which a large, central bureaucracy makes housing decisions. The best are those in which the occupants have a good deal of local autonomy. The value of control expressed here is one of personal empowerment and control over ones life. Though Turner is describing low income housing in poorer nations there are lessons here for every housing situation. For example zoning bylaws and public housing authorities are important determinants of housing in urban areas of industrialized nations. It is readily apparent that these institutions may compromise individual and local autonomy, and are not necessarily even responsive to basic human needs. Turner’s discussion of the second point, technologicalfit, is also essentially an argument for local self-reliance, but in technological terms. He points to housing solutions which rely on high technology as mismatched to the less industrialized parts of the world. These rely heavily on imported machinery, fossil energy and central bureaucracies. They also rely on a capital based economy rather than a sweat and muscle economy. In nations where these resources are limited, these technologies create inappropriate dependencies which are very socially and economically unstable. Turner also argues that these considerations are relevant to ordinary people everywhere; “I could have used examples from A hmedahad or Boston” (6). Though questions of basic housing values have not been asked in North America, except among a few who avocate for housing rights for the less advantaged, this is only because wealth has obscured the condition of those who have little. But this is changing. Housing is less affordable to average income earners than ever before, government housing assistance has been shrinking through a decade of recession, and homelessness is apparent on the streets of every city (CIVtHC). The questions are then raised “what housing values are we meeting in our rich society, above and beyond the fundamental need for shelter, through our sophisticated and highly technical housing methods”? And “are technological dependencies also socially and economically unstable in wealthy societies”?  -26  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  Another definition of value in housing is offered by Swedish Housing Researcher Jan Eriksson. The analysis begins with a critique of modern architecture, pointing out the emphasis on practical and economic-rationalistic values to the neglect of aesthetic and historic values. This emphasis has produced anonymous and hostile cities. Applied to housing, it is argued, this has left a serious vacuum and confusion of values in the built environment. The model proposed is one in which “user values”, i.e. meeting the dwelling needs and desires of the user, are distinguished from economic value (the market value of the dwelling), historic values and other external factors. Within the category of user values there are then three divisions proposed: practical, symbolic and aesthetic. Practical or functional values are the necessity for shelter and the need to meet certain familial or religious expectations in the dwelling. Aesthetic and symbolic values are complementary to the practical values. Eriksson argues that our modern traditions and market system have done a very poor job of recognizing user values for many people (7).  Housing Technology and Values  To trace housing technologies, their history and value emphasis it is useful to distinguish several house types in terms of their applications of technology. The purpose of this discussion is to discover any trends in the values implied by the uses of technology throughout recent history. The three examined here are: Early indnstriai type Examples: typical houses in western society until about 1900. Most rural and urban squatter houses in less industrialized nations today. Industrial type Examples: typical houses in western society since about 1900. Most urban houses and low-rise multiple dwellings in wealthier parts of the world. Late industrial type Examples: a few demonstrataion houses such as the “smart homes” and “advanced homes” in wealthy societies today may be indications of a late industrial type.  27  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  II A. The Early Industrial Type  Most of the great and lasting buildings of the ancient world were palaces or related civic works built by slaves for an emperor. By the middle ages, however, the catherdral had become the prominent building type. It was an expression of the vision of the human community looking towards heaven, and as such it marked an important transition towards the values of common people. It was not built by slaves but by artisans who were respected for their skill and devotion. This period is often recalled by historians as one in which individual and community values were compatible and continuous, and technique well adapted to serve them. According to Mumford “the great feat of metheval iechnics was that it was able to promote and absorb many imporfan/ changes without losing the immense carryover of inventions and skills deriiedfroni earlier cultures. In this lies one of its vital points of superiority oi’er the modern mode of lechnics which boasts of effacing, as fast as possible, the technical acheivements of earlier periods... “(8). Where highly mechanized technology and utilities are not available, readily accessible materials and traditional manual methods are major determinants of housing (9). Lighting and environmental control is likely to be largely passive, i.e., a function of the location of openings, the building material and the local vegetation. Open fires or simple stoves, shutters and fuelburning lamps are the main technologies used. Where technologies such as wiring, heating and plumbing are either nonexistent, or extremely minimal, the house will not be conceived with control technology and electrical and hydraulic features in mind. This was the case in western society until the end of the 19th century, and is still the case among the majority of the worlds people today. Native building traditions in the Americas were as widely varied as any region on earth. There were snow shelters in the arctic, skin tents on the prairies, highly sophisticated wood timber lodges on the west coast, pueblos in the southwest and grass huts on the Carribean islands. When European settlers arrived, their housing was also built with modest tools and materials in America and Canada, fusing the technologies which had been brought from Europe with locally available materials. Methods changed little for over two hundred years, except for the improvements in brick factories, glass works and nailmaking as these industries matured in the new world (10). Probably the two most important changes in house construction technology which marked the industrialization of  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  building methods occurred during the late 19th century. These were the introduction of stick framing (also called balloon framing) and the mass production and continental transportation of modestly priced materials and components such as windows, doors and even whole pre-cut houses. Previous to these changes houses were framed using various timber methods which had remained little changed since they were imported from Europe (11). Typical methods were post and beam frames, using raw or roughly hewn logs shaped with broadaxe and adze. Joints were generally fastened with large wood dowels or wedges. Roofs were “cruck framed’ using a system of poles assembled into great triangular trusses (or crucks) fastened with dowels. The crucks might be split into two using a saw and raised as matched pairs (12). These methods were slow, very labour intensive and material inefficient but had the advantage of using readily available local timber with minimal milling requirements. The glass was likely to be available in very small sections as shipped from a few central manufacturers, the hardware made by the local blacksmith or a small manufacturer, and the millwork made on site, or in local shops using only hand tools. ,  Fig. 11-2 A Cruck Framed Roof. Built from hand hewn poles and fastened with pegs and wedges, this 17th century English frame represents minimum technology and maximum labour intensiveness.  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOL  Chapter II  Fig. 11-3 A Mortise and Tenon Iimber Built from pit-sawn timber and joined with mortise and tenon joints, this 17th century New-England example represents an early use of basic manufactured lumber. This frame type changed very little for two hundred years.  The application of power technology to manufacturing of house components created a small revolution in the 19th century. The canal system and later the railroads also made most parts of the expanding western frontier accessible by 1900, allowing both the movement of raw materials (such as lumber) from areas of plenty to areas of scarcity, and the movement of finished products to markets. Though water power had been applied to milling for several centuries, and it was used in New England and Upper and Lower Canada, it wasn’t until the 1840’s that steam mills modeled on those in England allowed mechanized production of wood and metal products over large areas of the North American continent. Typically powered by one or two large steam engines, these mills used long iron shafts with pulleys driving belt operated machines throughout the plant. Early woodworking machinery was limited to circular saws and power augers, but planers, shapers, jointers and eventually sanders were developed by the end of the 19th century. This plant arrangement, capable of turning out high quality doors, windows, stairs, mouldings and finishing woods, remained essentially unchanged, so long as the power sources were cumbersome and expensive. It wasn’t until the widespread use of internal combustion engines and electricity in the early 20th century that powered manufacturing  -30  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  machinery became lightweight, inexpensive and portable. Only at this point was the great construction boom of the 20th century possible (13). The major impact of this development was the replacement of labour in construction with capital. Between 860 and 1896 the typical labour cost of manufacturing wood flooring, paneling, sashwork and stair components in America dropped by about ten times (14). The cost saving to the builder, however, was small because highly capitalized industry requires a return on investment. The net result of labour cost reduction was a small change in price, but vastly increased speed and convenience. This shift from labour to capital set the stage for mass production and rapid urban expansion. However labour intensive traditional framing methods were not suitable for mass production, so new methods were developed. A major change was the replacement of timber framing with “balloon’ or “stick” framing. The original use of the term ‘balloon frame” applied to stud walls of two or more stories in height which were raised as a unit, allowing the roof to go on immediately and floors to be hung later by nailing joists to studs. This method was probably called balloon because of the very rapid way that the outer shell took shape. Balloon framing was developed in the American midwest in the 1870’s and replaced mortised timber framing very quickly. In the 1920’s a new variant of balloon framing began to appear in the western U.S. and Canada; platform framing. Platform framing is much faster and more expedient than true balloon framing because the floors don’t have to be hung from the walls. Each floor is framed and used as a staging base for the walls of the next. This system has remained basically unchanged for 70 years and is used today for the majority of house construction in the U.S. and Canada. The major changes since 1920 have been in the materials and tools employed. Stick framing reduced labour requirements, though not as significantly as machine manufactured miliwork and other components. Unlike complex millwork, stick framing simply requires accurate milled lumber which is not a highly manufactured product. The result of stick framing was expedience and some cost reductions.  -  •  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  Fig. 11-4  Balloon Framing and Platform Framing  Balloon framing, introduced in Chicago in the 1870’s, revolutionized house building. The wall studs reach from the foundation to the roof allowing very rapid and expedient construction. All materials are machine made.  Platform framing, introduced in California in the 1920’s, allowed completion of each floor as a staging deck for the next floor. This method is more expedient because it reduces the need for temporary staging and excessive blocking details.  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  Another important technological change was the development of reinforced concrete. This material was widely accepted by about 1910 and replaced the masonry foundations used previously. Masonry foundations from stone are very labour intensive, but they have the merit of using locally available materials. However they do require cement, a manufactured product. Reinforced concrete replaces a good deal of the masons labour with cement and steel. The effect was some cost reduction, but more significantly, the time was reduced. The value of industrialized production was largely expedience, though houses could also be made somewhat more cheaply. One of the obvious associations with industrialized production was to make houses affordable to common working people. Prior to industrialization home ownership had been extremely class-determined and working peoples incomes very limited. But the industrialization of the 19th century led to growing real incomes and growing availability of inexpensive goods, particularly in the new world. This democratization period meant that more people could purchase houses. Andrew Jackson Downing captured the spirit of the times when he wrote in the 1850 introduction to The Architecture of Country Houses: “We hm’e been most anxious to give designsfor the cheap cottages. There are fe/is of thousands qfivoi*iiig men in this countt, who now wish to be given something ?f beauty and interest to the simple forms of cottage lfe “.  The desire for home ownership, coupled with the decreasing cost and increased expedience made possible by new technology, has driven North American construction and urban expansion almost continuously since the 1870’s. The only interludes have been relatively brief periods of economic depression and war. This phenomenon is also linked to the massive migration from rural to urban places to take up manufacturing related work. People came for the work and housing was needed. In Hamilton Ontario the percentage of home ownership rose from 23.7% in 1871 to 50.9% in 1931. By 1966 the percentage of home ownership in the Hamilton suburbs was 76.1% (15). Construction technology was driven by demand for expedience and lower cost, largely to meet housing demands brought about by industrialization and urbanization. This is a classic case of technological change driving further technological and social change. Capital and mechanical energy replaced labour, which changed the way people lived and  the kinds of communities they lived in.  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  With regard to climate control technology, the process of change was somewhat different. Henry Glassie studied housing in rural Virginia from the 18th century colonial period to the late 19th century. The earlier Virginia examples studied were well adapted to the regional and local climate. They had high ceilings, deep porches and carefully placed shading. But in the more recent examples the designs had moved away from climatic adaptations in favor of other concerns, eventually culminating in power-operated climatic control. Curiously this “devolution” of climatic adaptation far predated the actual availability of central heating and air conditioning, or even rural electricity. Glassie suggests that it was the attitude which first changed and then the technology which followed The architeciural characteristics that defined the house as being a goodfit in a hot, ive/ coii text were a/i extensive: 1/ic house was lfledfroni the earth; the ceilings of its rooms ran high, the roof above reached sharply into the air, additions on its ends extended its length. These features made the summer sufferable. ihe c/evolution of environmental efficiency is an essay in the evolution of intensiveness”... (i.e. cultural or technological logic replacing environmental “The early roofpitch was above 50 degrees; by the second quarter of logic). the nine teeimth century ii hadfallen to below 30 degrees... The ceiling of the fine early house was generally about lofeetfronu the floor, but even a poor, early house. had ceilings 8-1/2 feet high, whereas (another), comparable in size and stains hut a centuly younger, has a ceiling afuill 2 feet lower, barely 6-1/2 feet high.” (16). .  .  .  .  Glassie’s explanation for this change, which would clearly have reduced comfort in the home at a time when no cooling or ventilation machinery was available, is helpful: “The mu/nd of the white jirmer in eighteenth-century Virginia was characterized of the traits of the modern mind that are normally explained as products of the nineteenth centuly’s inthistrial revolution. More utilitarian than aesthetic, more aimalytic than organic, more individualistic than communitarian, emphasizing precise repetition, mechanical line, and geometric objectjlcation. This inind, though rural and agrarian, was a cause of the industrial revolution, 1101 a result of it. “(17). by mail).’  This point suggests that climatic adaptation was lost, even at the price of comfort, for reasons of expedience. The features which made the early house sufferable in the summer were abandoned because they were too difficult and costly, too much associated with style and class, or considered expendable by short sighted utilitarian farmers. Several decades later the climate control problems, largely created by this attitude, could then be solved by  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECNOLOGY-35  Chapter II  electricity and cooling machinery. This would, by then, be considered a technical miracle because the competence for building in response to climate was largely lost.  Eaiiy Ideas of Comfort and the Hearth The notion that housing should incorporate comfort rather than bare function as shelter is a relatively new idea in western thought, and is an important part of the emergence of housing from mediaeval times to modern (18). Though comfort had been an important concept until the fall of ancient Rome, most civilized notions of comfort were lost and chairs, baths, central heating and many other technologies of comfort disappeared from common use in Europe. It was not until the 15th century that concepts of comfort began to reappear. This transformation has been well documented by Siegfried Giedion in his classic 1948 work Mechanization Takes Command (19). According to Jacques Ellul (The Technological Society, 1964), who also studied the development of technology in Europe: “..cOfli/orl consi.steclof a certain arrangement of.spaces in the Middle Ages. A room could he completely ‘finished’ even though it might contain no furniture. Everything depended on proportions, material, form. The goal was not convenience, bitt rather a certain atmosphere....the man of the Middle Ages did not care i/his rooms were not well heated or his chairs hard.” (20)  A significant transformation of the concept of comfort and convenience in the home was the introduction of more technological methods of heating. The place of the hearth can be traced this way. Fire was first used indoors in open fireplaces used since very early times. This (notoriously ineffective) method prevailed for many centuries, with the occasional digression such as the very sophisticated central heating methods used in Roman times. By the 16th century in Europe there were a few examples of large brick or stone stoves in homes, though these were typically found only among a few aristocrats. It was not until the early nineteenth century that fire was commonly harnessed more effectively in the home by the use of a cast iron stove. Many of these innovations were invented in the new world. The cast iron heater soon led to the cast iron cookstove, the first truly specialized cooking device used in common homes (21). The cast iron heater, originally a “parlour stove’ type of replacement for the fireplace, was eventually replaced by a central furnace which was then meant to function silently and invisibly, usually in a basement location. This arrangement was common in the U.S. and Canada by the end of the 19th century.  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  Once the convenience of central heating was established, the fireplace could be redefined as a symbolic hearth which need not necessarily function for heating at all, which is its place today. The fireplace in contemporary North American houses is rarely able to burn solid fuel, but is more likely to be an automatically controlled gas burner, completely sealed from the room, with a heat resistant glass door to allow viewing of the fire. These units were primarily decorative until the 1980’s when a few energy efficient models began to appear. It wasn’t until about 1990 that it was possible to use an efficient gas fireplace as supplementary heat in an energy efficient home. Conventional woodburning fireplaces, where they still are used at all, have been relegated to use three or four times annually, almost exclusively for holiday celebrations. In this case heating technology was improved for the sake of convenience and effectiveness first (the practical values), but with the loss of the symbolic fire. The symbolic value of fire was then reclaimed by developing convenient, decorative fireplaces. Though energy efficiency has been an issue since the 1970’s, it has taken almost another two decades for decorative units to also become energy efficient. Part of the reason is that building envelope efficiency had to also increase to the point where a small and local heat source could provide useful heating. The value of energy efficiency is clearly the most recent addition to technological development, and is now a part of the broader ecological agenda. The kitchen is also a useful bench mark for the introduction of technology into housing. In the middle ages the kitchen was the hearth (literally heart) simply because houses were undifferentiated. Trade shop or farm work took place in the same rooms as sleeping, cooking and eating. However by the end of the renaissance in Europe the kitchen had become separate from the other parts of common homes. The early industrial kitchen was a collection of “kitchen furniture” or what is today referred to in England as an “unfitted kitchen”. The sink, cooler, flour storage, dry goods pantry etc. was each a separate piece which could stand alone. The cooker was an independent unit, sometimes placed in a special room. It was never built in. This tradition of a special place for the range in early industrial homes in Europe and North America recalls the tradition of the hearth as a special and central place (22). It also suggests the danger associated with contained fire. In the kitchen, technology was introduced slowly and with caution. Kitchen work was something which was kept apart from family life in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  —  —  —  therefore was not a “proper concern for refined people” in the Victorian era. The kitchen and was somewhat exempt from rapid technological change until the more democratic practical values of family life became more prominent. The “modern kitchen” with mechanical conveniences and efficient design did not begin to appear until the 1920’s.  Fig. 11-5 An Early Kitchen This 1930’s kitchen is still a “collection of furniture” with a separate range. Note that each cabinet is an unfitted, independent unit.  II B. The Industrial Type  The way houses were made changed quite significantly during the first decades of this century as industrialization advanced. Two of the most important changes were the introduction of more manufactured materials and systems such as plywood and gypsum panels, and the reduction of labour required on site due to powered construction equipment. These trends will be discussed in more detail at the end of the chapter. But more significantly perhaps, the modern values of comfort and efficiency and the technologies which provided them became firmly established.  37  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY-  Chapter II  Comfort in an Industrial World  In the early industrial world, comfort was still a spatial and social idea as much as it was associated with furniture or housing features. But to industrial society, as Ellul points out, “Comfort means  bathrooms, easy  chairs, foam-rubber matresses, air conditioning,  washing machines, and so forth” (23). In a technological society, house function is associated with its material technology. Technological change first revolutionized furniture, then household appliances and then turned to mechanization of the household itself(24). This can be seen in the evolution of kitchen designs from the country craft kitchen of the 1870’s, with it’s substantial multipurpose spaces, into the compact and specialized kitchen of the 1940’s with it’s surgical operating-room like efficiency. In 1942 General Electric produced its prototype ‘all electric kitchen” which featured, for the first time, a functional room planned around its domestic machineiy and the tasks which they were to serve rather than on the basis of more formal and stylistic concerns as had been done in the early industrial age. This change in technological emphasis reflected a changing social climate. Kitchen work was now openly the responsibility of mother, and could take place in view of the family and visitors. In fact the kitchen, relegated to a separate place at the back of the house during Victorian times, could now reemerge as the heart of the home again. But this time it was a tight and functional heart, designed for efficient work. Convenience had become an industrial idea. Fig. 11-6  All Electric Kitchen By the 1940’s efficiency and electric appliances had begun to dominate the kitchen. The modern kitchen with it’s built-in cabinets and “specialized work area” design is already well developed in this example.  Hz’.  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  In the kitchen the coal or wood range was replaced by gas in many homes by the 1930’s. Though gas allows accurate control of heat, is clean burning and effective, it was received with mistrust when it first became available for cooking and heating in homes. Originally meant for lighting, where it excelled over previous technologies, people were probably anxious about cooking and heating uses because gas is invisible, explosive and toxic so that acceptance took some time. However by the time gas was widely accepted for cooking and heating, electricity was already a strong competitor (25). Electric ranges and appliance began to appear in the 193 0’s, and by the postwar decade had become popular. Though electricity is even more mysterious and intangible than gas (heat without flame), it was certainly considered less dangerous. During the same period the household mechanical clothes washer and dishwasher began to also be commonplace, as electric motors were finally applied to hand mechanisms which had been patented in the 1850’s and 1860s. The introduction of efficiency as a value had changed the household dramaticallyy. “Labor saving” devices became a household necessity for all but the poorest in western society. The introduction of new technology was advertised as liberating at the time, as it often still is today. Mother was shown playing with the children while father read the paper and the dishwasher took care of the dishes. But the consumer of labour saving devices, freed from heavy toil, was now committed to a new fOrm of technological labour. The owner of the washing machine must understand it well enough to be able to operate it, and now finds it necessary to have cash to purchase and operate the machine, repair the machine, purchase supplies to operate it, have the house room to keep it and a reliable hot water supply. Furthermore the need for the machine will be likely to expand with its ability. The replaceable shirt collar, for example, lost popularity by the 1940’s because washing the whole shirt had become so easy. In the immediate post WWII period an identifiable technology appeared that went with the industrialized house. Certain necessities” like automatic central heating and sometimes air conditioning, were included, as well as extensive plumbing and electrical wiring. The mechanical core of the house, a concept almost unknown at the turn of the century, represented 40% of building costs by the late 1940’s (26). This includes plumbing, wiring, heating, the baths, kitchen and laundry. But above all it includes a vast array of consumer conveniences. It was ‘necessary”, by the late 50’s, to have at least electric refrigeration, an electric mixer, an automatic toaster, an electric frypan or grill, a blender and an electric can opener in order to lead the good life. This is the result of a long period of change,  -40  ;ING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOG’  Chapter II  beginning in the late 19th century, in which technological novelties became commonplace. For example, built in vacuums were available in 1910! They were huge cumbersome affairs installed only by the very rich (27). Today they are a common feature in new homes of most types.  Fig 11-7 Built-in Vacuum (1910) Highly specialized built-in  machinery was already  knownin 1910. Itwas very cumbersome and expensive and was a novelty for the very rich.  -  Introduction of technologies also affected home planning. Just as the kitchen range had been placed in a special room, so were eventually the furnace and water heater, the sewing machine, the laundry machines, the television, and more recently, the excercise machines, the spa and the computer. Space planning had shifted from accomodating social values and traditions to including technologies.  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  Technological change seemed to be universally and unquestionably accepted as progressive and necessary throughout the early to middle part of this century. Questions of what is actually acheived by new technology and who is actually served were generally not asked. It is only more recently, in the age of feminist critiques and emerging ecological awareness that these changes could be examined for the values they represent. For example it is now understood that there is an important gender distinction around labor saving technology in the home. When technological change was new there were optimistic views expressed about “liberation through technology”, and of course it was the woman as housewife who would be liberated. “The housewife ?f the future will be neither a slave to servants nor herself a cfrudge. She iii!! gii’e less a/feu/ion to the home, because the home will need less, she II’!!! he iather a domes/ic engineer than a domestic laborer, with the greatest of all handmaidens, electricity, at her service. This and other mechanicalforces t’,liso ic i’olu/ionize the woman’s world that a large portion of the aggregate of woman’s energy will he conserved/or use in broader, niore constructive fields.” (Thomas Edison, Good Housekeeping interview, October 19 12) But in western society women were still expected to be in the traditional roles of homemaker and mother, certainly throughout their childbearing years. The “broader more constructive fields” which Edison referred to were simply not accessible to most women. This condition was reinforced by the marketing of the suburb and the image of the single family home. For example in the post WWII era the role shift for women from wartime workers to peacetime wifes and mothers (or volunteers and part-time workers) was encouraged, on the one side by the popular press (especially women’s magazines), cinema and advertizing, and forced on the other side by actual employment discrimination policies. It was patriotic for “Rosie the Riveter” to give up her job to “G.I.Joe” who had, after all, risked his life for freedom. Not only was it patriotic, it was represented as worthy and attractive! Ruth Schwartz Cowan points out how advertizing has depicted the woman at home as glowing and contented, and the working woman as cold, jealous and unfulfilled (28). If home technology has reduced the homemakers labour, what has been the consequence of this “freedom” and what could women do with their time? Gwendolen Wright, another feminist critic, observes: “The tiei’ly iwioiialized industrialized home was an improvement over the eccentricities of the preceding Victorian period. The new model would be the proper .s’effii’igfi.r the ‘home executive’ or ‘home efficiency expert’ as the  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  hou,sewi! was’ rechristened. Yet higher standardcfor that housewife’s peijormance meant that the hours that she devoted to her work f she was not employed outside the home,) did not change perceptibly. The new standardized dwellings wi/h their simple lines andfunctional plans, did make housework less diudgety and home/i/c more healthy. Butfew envisioned the modern home as a way qf liberating women to pursue meaningful work outside the home. “(29) If the homemaker was freed from drudgery, perhaps there was something more fulfilling and socially meaningful for her to do than cook more elaborately, keep the home more perfectly, volunteer more often in the community and provide more extra activities for the children. And perhaps this activity would be outside the home. Barbara Bergman investigated the return of women to work in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s (30). Her study suggests that labour saving devices have probably reduced the total time spent preparing meals and housecleaning, but the major advances such as indoor plumbing, automatic heating, electric lighting, refrigeration and the private automobile were available to nearly all urbanites by 1930. Laundry machines, home freezers, new kitchen devices and powered lawnrnowers were the only real additions of the postwar period. According to Bergman, it is not home technology which has freed women to go back to work, it is increases in the cost of living which has instead drawn them. This, in addition to the feelings of underemployment and dependence fostered by staying home. Childcare, she adds, is still the main responsibility of mothers, and the main domestic call for her time, and it cannot be automated, except insofar as television can occupy children’s time. In the nuclear family, only child care by others, in home or outside, can substitute for the parents time, and it is very costly. Ruth Cowan provides a more revealing interpretation of household technology in her 1983 analysis of wornens’ housework and employment outside the home, More Work for Mother. Like Bergman, she also points out that household convenience technology and advertizing for consumer goods have increasingly tended to raise the standards expected of homemakers, so that their worldoad has not diminished appreciably. The house is expected to be cleaner, the food more elaborate and the children better dressed and cared for than ever before. She suggests that domestic machinery has actually relieved from some of their traditional tasks such as stoking the furnace and beating the rugs, while convenient access to consumer goods have eliminated even more traditional men’s work such as grinding flour, butchering meat and mending shoes. Almost none of the benefits of these changes have accrued to women at home (31).  42  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  In summary, home technology has lightened the heavy physical load of housekeeping, but has also served to divide the social roles more sharply in the family and at home. For women with families who also work outside the home, this has meant doubled burdens which technology cannot relieve. Labour saving technology, except in its most basic  forms, has not met the promise of freedom due to social and economic forces. The panacea of technological progress is in conflict with social values, and more recently of ecological responsibility. Can a technology be “progressive” if it is not well matched to filling a real and identified social need? And can the price in community and ecological terms be justified? In terms of the house as a technological artifact, the question can be posed by the middle of the 20th century, are building technologies, such as mechanization and conveniences (e.g. appliances and plumbing) obscuring the significant social values in housing?” This question is based directly on IFC Turner’s distinction between the material values and the social values of housing. It does appear that technical features and conveniences have replaced other traditional cultural values and simple economies in housing concepts in the industrial age. Though this transformation is subtle when considering the construction technology itself, it is more apparent when considering the environmental control and convenience technology. This trend and its relationship to the ecological agenda is discussed further in later chapters. “Mechanical improvements alone do not suffice to yield socially valuable results. “ (32) II C. The Pre-Manufactureci Home  An obvious extension of the material success of the late 19th and early 20th century was the application of modern industrialized production to housing, just as it had been applied to consumer commodities. The inanufrictiired home was first realized just after the turn of the century in the pre-cut packaged house which was very popular in the Canadian prairie and American Mid-west. The pre-cut house used conventional construction technology of the day, but reduced the labour and skill required on site by providing all of the pieces (frame, siding, roofing, windows, doors, interior finishes, plumbing, wiring and heating)  ready for assembly. Entire towns were built from house kits shipped by rail to the west. These could be assembled quickly using less skilled labour than site built houses. One pre  -43  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY-  Chapter II  cut home manufacturer in the 1920’s estimated that semi-skilled factory workers using powered cutting machines could replace about 40% of the carpenters labour on site (33).  Fig. 11-8 1924) Sears Roebuck Advertisement for Precut Houses. The merits of expediency and cost savings from factory cutting were heavily promoted in the early part of this century. Before the advent of portable power tools in construction and during the era of rapid Western expansion these houses were very popular.  rpenterLabor Cut Bqlland On the Job  b,  .1 Tv... pho..e.c, c.. ..., ,.I4 wee,Id .rth..nJ, p.y a eepeaan .,t Thee .h.,- he Co. hl.d.,, Oo4. b..Id.  e b e,aw, Ih.%. th11  Pgtfl  q, &w.4g r., be,.,... —. nwpfrd UlI hc.r. .be$ 0  cpd  ,  —4—  ...,‘Jv 4.k.  -  fle  1__ —  the flt  ,e.td  .5e’ .,.l.,..  .,& h .4.: ( b,, lab ‘..fl.. ,,.e,. heel  be  .- o.  a€W&  la.,. Ill,  C’,,  b%I. t.I,e,h.,4,l .l,.ee,d.. ,.,‘, ,,I..e b.e ..ea.0th  II,.,.  b’,S.  SI.  Ill  .,.v.  he .  .hac.p.r.  In hull?!  I,  ‘0  S  •tj  •1  Lj .,_  >. C I  UI  z:  Z..  -c)  C— Ci U  Cd,  (Zi Z C  C  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  The pre-cut house, though it was very influential from about 1908 to 1945, began to lose popularity after WWII. The probable reason was that the pioneering mood of the early part of the century had been replaced by something more permanent. Whereas prewar development in the west had been oriented towards the railway, postwar development was typically an automobile oriented suburb outside an already established town or city. Postwar homes were mostly built by local small contractors and small developers who had settled in the region and taken up speculative building. The pattern which developed, largely due to the automobile, was one of dispersed land use, large detached homes and few local amenities. This housing pattern is market driven and image oriented. The promise of lower cost housing through manufacturing technology has not been broadly realized, largely due to economic and geographical limitations, and resistance to change. In Canadian and American home building practice, small builders have been known to be cautious about change for over fifty years (34). The lack of capitalization by small contractors and the high financial risks they carry is often cited as a reason for caution toward innovation, particularly technological change. A fuller explanation of the failure of pre-manufactured housing in Canada should include several other reasons: The diversity and geographic dispersion of a nation like Canada has made it difficult for large, capital intensive companies which could successfully pre manufacture houses to compete with local contractors in homebuilding.  Consequently the vast majority of building was still done until very recently by contractors producing less than 10 homes per year. Small contractors will not move towards mass production because they are offering labour and local knowledge (35). Only recently, as apartment and townhouse construction gains in popularity over single family homes, have large companies capable of pre manufacturing become more prominent.  • There is popular demand for evidence of craft, style and uniqueness in a home. To the hornebuyer this usually implies site built features and details (36). • There is demand for the widest variety of designs to suit individual requirements and local conditions. The builder’s planbooks offer hundreds of possibilities for the homebuyer while the pre-manufactured plans are limited to a dozen at most.  46  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  There is demand, in some regions, for materials which symbolize durability such as masonry, which are not suitable for pre-manufacturing. • The hornebuyer may have greater trust in the knowledge and services of a local general contractor than a central manufacturer. • The small contractor can economize by selecting the best buys from a variety of suppliers rather than buying a package from one supplier. Another type of pre-manufacturing is the mobile home, or modular home, defined as a pre-manufactured and finished unit which can be transported complete, and set up in a very short time. Though this type of manufactured house is very prevalent in the U.S., it has been less well accepted in Canada, particularly since the late 1970’s. There is a  common negative association with mobile homes which has prevailed for many years, and has caused municipal authorities to exclude them through zoning bylaws. Mobile homes imply poverty, transience, poor quality and fire and electrical risk to many people (37). The statistics suggest that there has been some reason for these fears. Mobile homes have often been poorly built, more prone to weather damage, and more susceptible to electrical faults than other homes (38). In the U.S. there is another substantial pre-manufactured building industry; the panelized home industry. This type is defined as homes constructed from large sections of factory produced wall and floor sections which are installed on site. This type is adaptable to small multiple housing construction such as low-rise apartments and townhouses. Though up to 60% of all housing starts in the U.S. in the mid-1980’s were modular or panelized, only about 14% of Canadian housing was pre-manufactured in 1989 (39,40).  Those who promote manufactured housing technology suggest that it is the next obvious step in making housing available to those who need it, and that the demands for housing can be as standardized as the the demands for automobiles. The potential cost savings of mass manufacturing  lead to a 20 to 25% construction cost reduction over site-built housing of comparable quality. Unfortunately the supply of less costly housing is usually more limited by land and servicing costs than by building costs. In term of meeting housing demands, again according to IFC Turner, housing value is not the same as the value of consumer commodities.  -48  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  the complex fuiic/ions of housing... cannot be compared to the single and socially u,id economically questionable function of cars.... economies ofscale in housing production... .farfrom being better, are more expensive and wasteful of resources and increase the mis-matches between the provision of and the peoples variable demands/or housing... Only people and local organization localized housing systems can provide the necessary variety in housing and the great range ofproduction techniques needed to build it” (41). -  -  In the low cost sector of the housing market, Turners advice probably applies well in Canada and the US. Centralized planning and public housing authorities have done a notoriously poor job of providing safe and appropriate housing to low income people in our society. The most promising programs are those such as Habitat for Humanity which are essentially local self reliance and appropriate technology movements run by volunteers. Habitat for Humanity has over one thousand chapters, mostly in the U.S., and will be the largest builder in the world by the end of the century. They are building and renovating housing using salvaged and donated materials and volunteer services. The technologies are kept very simple due to the low budget and limited skills of participants. Panellized housing primarily offers advantages to the large volume builder. It offers little advantage to small housing providers and those serving a local market. It is a technological solution to complex problems which have social and cultural aspects which are more important than than the technological and economic. But is manufactured  housing inherently a low quality housing technology? The Japanese and Swedish experience with manufactured housing suggests that it can be very high quality. The Japanese industry produce unique homes, designed precisely to the buyers requirements, using computer aided design software. Though design is done using dimensional modules, the modules are quite small allowing great variety and flexibility. The home is computer modeled, including an interior walkthroughH, and the final result is costed and a materials list generated by the software. Some systems also send the production order to the factory, and in some cases programs the robotics which cut and assemble the pieces. Four of the five major manufacturers use frames formed from welded steel, similar to auto rnanufcturing. Many of the finishes are traditional ceramics, plasters and woods. Contrary to the Canadian experience, manufactuted housing meets a high cost, entirely urban market in Japan (42). The Swedish manufactured house has also earned a reputation as a high quality product. Up to 90% of homes built in Sweden are manufactured, using a panelized wood frame  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  system, and are considered by housing consumers as some of the best available quality housing. Sweden also exports their product to Europe and the U.S. because housing starts have declined dramatically in Europe (43). Manufacturing technology offers some potential for providing lower cost housing, insofar as building cost is a factor in total housing cost. The most likely application is in larger multiple housing projects where economies can be gained from standardized dimensions and labour reductions. In terms of the human fit, these are less participatory systems which rely on capital and machinery less than labour. As such they are less appropriate to local self reliance movements. In terms of ecological impact, the pre-manufactured systems have the potential to improve resource efficiency by applying precise engineering and waste reduction design strategies. However increased transportation energy, and the use of high technology gluing and foamed insulation systems which are often energy intensive and produce hazardous waste may offset these gains.  II D. The Late Industrial Type  Though there has been a building boom in Canada and the U.S for about one hundred years, the technology of house construction has not changed rapidly. The slow movement from the I 9th century into the late 20th century is therefore unlike many other industries, in that methods and materials are still recognizable and labor has not been dramatically displaced. This is only true of the construction methods, however, it is not the same case for services and environmental control technology, conveniences and communications, Though it is still too early to suggest that there is a recognizable “late industrial trend”, it is clear that built-in conveniences and communications are a growing emphasis in housing. As has been discussed in the previous section, the beginning of the 20th century marked the introduction of plumbing and power technology into housing, most of which had never existed before, These technologies were primarily a response to increases in wealth and demand for a more comfortable and convenient home. They were primarily environmental control technologies. Homes which had been heated erratically by stoves and fireplaces and lit by dangerous gas lamps now could have central heat with thermostatic control, and safe elecric lighting. Electric refrigeration was the next important step making food storage more convenient and sanitary. It is not difficult to see the purpose behind these  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY-  Chapter II  technologies. Their acceptance was also never in doubt, as nearly all “modern people” wished to have “modern conveniences”. But in the late 20th century the idea of comfort seems to be in a state of transformation into something more like information based convenience and luxury. The garage door opens by radio control, supper is cooked by timed programs, ice and boiling water are on tap, and the soft chair in the automatically climate controlled room is waiting, accompanied by the TV remote control, the cordless phone and the electronically dimmed lights. The question is raised as to what lasting influence the information age, and its associated information technology, will have on housing. One obvious path is to wire the home with electronic devices to automate and monitor as many aspects as possible. The result is video, audio, closed circuit TV, security monitors, heating, lighting and appliance controls integrated throughout. Exactly such an approach has been envisioned since the late 1 970’s, and some proprietary hardware and control software is now being marketed. The systems are called variously “smart home control systems’, “total home automation” or other ambitious names. Though individual parts of this technology are now found in many new homes, it is not at all clear that the sort of total management offered by integrated control systems is the wave of the thture in homes. Housing automation features do not seem to have the same clear purpose of providing primary comfort and convenience which labor saving technology did in the industrial period. They do not appear to fill an identified “convenience gap” very clearly, nor do they add particularly to free time, quality of life, or provide any similar promise that one might expect. [11 our society we already have abundant technical means for providing safety, security, comfort and convenience. Functions such as automated lighting control, remote appliance control and distributed entertainment wiring are primarily luxuries or perhaps “gratuitous gadgetry”. A disturbing aspect of the entertainment and security emphasis of home control systems is that they may be an indication that home automation is a stage in the progression of the home towards a fortress in which the illusion of security (and even comfort) can be maintained. As our communities degenerate, and the streets become less safe, the home as an individual expression and place of reftige may become more prominent, at the further  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  expense of community. This is an example of a technological solution to a social problem which engenders fIwther social problems. Because the significant values of high technology controls in the home are not readily apparent, one may ask if it is a technology which exists only to justify itself, or to serve a marketing interest alone. In terms of information theory, control technologies depend on a feedback loop which receives signals and controls responses. It also provides information to the user. In a total home cotrol system, a video monitor gives access to information Such as the position of the blinds in the living room, the temperature in the bedroom, when the doorbell was last rung, what cycle the dishwasher is on and if the laundry room door is open. For most people this is a source of noise (i.e. random or erratic information), not valuable information. Almost all of this information is readily available to the senses, if needed, by simply moving through the home. Neil Postman refers to such technologies as creating a problem not of “information overload” but of “information trivia” (44). Home automation may also be an example of a “neurotic technology” as described by Wailer (45). A technology which is adapted to a people who “must go on enjoying life when in fact they are miserable”. Housing control technology can be called neurotic because it is an effort to use technological means to bring control into lives which are characterized by feelings of loss of control. “The process (technical .specializaiion and isolation,) works fairly well in situations where there is no (‘overt) conflict with human purposes—for example in space rocketry or the construction qf a sewer system. It works less well in situatIo,is ii ‘here technical requirements may conflict with human purposes, as in med,ciie or architecture. “(45)  These systems and their potential for meeting housing performance goals, particularly energy management, are discussed further in Chapter V.  Information technology is probably more significant in another field which is not housing technology per-se, but is certainly related to the home. This field is telecommunications and the development of the so-called “information highway”. The relevance for housing is that people can be connected to information networks cheaply and conveniently from home. This can now he done through new fiber-optic telephone services and existing television cable systems. This will allow many kinds of research, consulting, publishing  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  and data management jobs to be done from in-home offices. It may also revolutionize personal mail, marketing and entertainment. Another important possibility is access to information and the ability to work which can be provided to the physically disabled through these systems. Unlike home control systems, these technologies are only loosely related to housing technologies. They would be as likely in an old timber barn as a new high-tech concrete apartment. Also unlike home control systems, they have been well accepted and are growing rapidly. Network information systems  will be discussed further in Chapter 5, particularly with  regard to their potential for meeting an ecological agenda.  CH ii Conclusions. What is the Value of Progress?  A summary of the changes in housing construction technology, services and control technology, and information technology over the past century helps to clarify the value  emphasis which is chosen, consciously or unconsciously, throughout the period. The discussion following is drawn from Table IT-i, Changes in Residential Services and Construction Technology, 1900-1990, found in Appendix I. The discussion focuses on the important changes in ra/ue emphasis indicated by the trends in technologies.  Industrialized Construction Industrialized building materials and practices were introduced continuously throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. The value emphasis of these changes was  Discussion:  clearly on expedience and reduction in labour and cost. These changes had a modest effect on the form of the house and the quality. They had a dramatic effect on the speed and quaililly of production. These changes were closely linked to economic and social changes of the period which made home ownership possible for many.  the iechno/og,t’  of expedience.  This may be called  Since about 1920 the value emphasis has been somewhat different. Though changes which enhance expedience are still occurring in a slow and steady manner, such as the introduction of construction panels and prefabricated panel systems, a new emphasis on  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  performance also appeared. Plywood, for example, is more expedient than solid lumber, but it also produces stronger construction which is more draft free. Insulation was introduced to improve comfort and energy efficiency, as were high performance glazing systems. This may be called the technology ofperformance. Very recently, a new value emphasis has appeared which is a part of the ecological agenda. In addition to energy efficiency, engineered construction products and those made from low value or waste materials may be called resource efficient. Structural strand board, for example, is made from fast growing aspen and other species which have been undervalued in the past. Celulose insulation and a family of fiber underlayments and cement bonded claddings are made with post-consumer newsprint. This may be called the technology of resource efficiency.  Services and Comfort Technology Discus.vion. Services and climate control technologies have been incorporated steadily into housing over the past century. The value emphasis of these changes was clearly on convenience and public health. The most significant steps were taken early in this century when electricity and indoor plumbing were widely adopted. These changes were closely linked to urbanization, and the increased safety and convenience expected by a wealthier population. More recently, ventilation standards are an example of health and comfort values. This may be called the technology of health and convenience. Between about 1 920 and 1960 the value emphasis shifted slightly. Most of the basic conveniences were consolidated by 1920, but automation and comfort could still be ftirther addressed. Air conditioning is an example of a technology which exceeds basic convenience and provides enhanced comfort. Frost free refrigeration is another technological enhancement of a basic convenience. This may be called the technology of enhanced con i’enience or comfort. By the 1970’s another subtle shift in value emphasis appeared. Comfort and convenience were well established in wealthy societies, but luxury could still be pursued. New consumer items such as spas and saunas and specialized kitchen devices are examples. This may be called the technology of luxuiy.  53  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter II  The most recent value shift, which is just beginning to appear, is a part of the ecological agenda. It is an emphasis on energy and resource efficiency, and ecological responsibility. Examples are energy efficient heating and ventilating equipment, lighting and appliances, water conserving fixtures and CFC free refrigeration. These developments usually increase capital cost, and in some cases reduce convenience. For example the most energy efficient refrigerators are not frost free. This may be called the technology of efficiency and ecological responsibility.  Control  and  Communications Technologies  Control and communications technologies are quite a new phenomenon in housing. Their value emphasis has never been on providing expedience or basic comforts  Discussion:  because these are already well established; they have been almost exclusively focused on security and luxury. Demand for security and luxury are closely linked to urban and demographic trends of the 1980’s and 1990’s. The most cost effective control technologies have probably been smoke alarms and programmable thermostats. These are direct extensions of the basic technologies of safety and comfort discussed previously. Some advanced control technologies may also serve an energy efficiency agenda to some degree. Examples are lighting and heating controls. These are a form of technology of efficiency and ecological re.sponsibihty. However most such technologies are luxuries or novelties.  Control is a constant theme throughout the past century in housing. Control over indoor climate, control over security, and more recently, control over energy use and resource consumption have been prominent. Some measures of control are personal, such as comfort and convenience. Others are more social, such as security and control over personal contact. Yet others are more global and ecological, such as control over energy and resource use. Providing control through technological means requires explicit understanding of the personal, social and global values which can be met by technology. If these are poorly identified or incorrectly placed, then the technological choices are unlikely to produce housing which fits.  54  55  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter III  CHAPTER III Ecological values and technology. The emerging agenda.  Ecological Values “Technology  1882)  discloses man s mode of dealing with nature” (Karl Marx 1 8 18—  James Lovelock (Gaia, 1979) has proposed the science of ecology as a basis for understanding human activity in nature at the global and local level (1). Ecology literally means “the study of the home”. The strictest definition of ecology means the study of the relationships between living organisms, their habitats, and other organisms. Lovelock’s describes “ai,imals, plants, microorganisms, and inanimate substances as linked through a complex ieh of inleidependencies in ‘o/wng the exchange of matter and energy in continual c)’cles” Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis suggests that ecological systems can be identified at the microscopic level, the macroscopic level and even at the planetary level. These systems are proposed as models for human activity, the implication being that human activity should also be a part of “continual cycles’, respecting other species and inanimate substances. However the term ecological seems to be much abused today, and is rarely used in its strictest sense, It is applied to anything which might have an environmental preservation ethic or claim associated with it. “Ecological consumer products”, “ecological buildings” and “ecological land use” are common examples. Andrew McLaughlin (ç,grding Nature: industrialism and deep ecology, 1993) has traced the adoption and co-option of ecological terms by industry and advertising (2). Clearly there are numerous problems with applying a term drawn from biology to industry and marketing, not the least of which is the degree of committment to ecological preservation responsibility indicated by the term. The same can be said of applying the term to buildings. For this reason, varying degrees of ecological responsibility in action have been proposed. The extremes are often called shallow ecology and deep ecology. Shallow ecology, or shallow environmentalism, is an attitude towards the world which places the human species at it’s centre. It reflects the Cartesian division between mind and matter with nature “out there” to be exploited to meet human expectations. It is only  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY-  Chapter HI  ecological to the degree that skills are applied in the management and control of the environment so that it can be more sustainably or effectively exploited. Other species, resources and habitats are still sacrificed for human ends, but it is done with more care than was done previou sly when ecosystems were less well understood. In short it is a “business as usual” approach with a green emphasis. A common example is the end-ofpipe pollution control program for an industry which reduces toxic waste without fundamentally addressing the nature of production or the social value of the product. Shallow ecology in building design is exemplified by many green building products. Carpets, for example, may have recycled content, or release less indoor air pollutants, but they still go to a landfill after about seven years of use. Recycling them is still not a practical reality. Another example is energy management controls applied to inefficient or inappropriate technology. For example a programmed thermostat is put on a 60% efficient furnace in a poorly insulated building. In both cases the technology is adjusted to reduce the ecological cost, without fundamentally challenging the need for the product or service, or the pattern of human consumption and appropriation of the biosphere that it represents. Shallow ecology is probably a starting point at best. It is an opportunity for people and organizations to take small steps to begin the process of rethinking which will be ultimately necessary I’or sustainability.  Deep ecology, according to Lovelock, collapses the division between humans and nature. Human interests are subsumed as apart of/he living .sys/em itse’f The notion of deep ecology is based on the biological principle of ecosystems in which humans are not the dominant species, and in which other species are given a voice. These are ecocentric, not anthropocen/ric systems. One of the fundamental principles of deep ecology is the recognition of the irrefutable fact that pholo.synthesis is the only true means ofproduction on the ear/h. All other uses of the term “productivity” describe processes which are ultimately based on photosynthesis. The influences of this type of approach in practice are various, hut they are all quite radical and certainly not “business as usual”. If a forest has inherent value (and an assumed voice) then perhaps it should not be cut at all. The economic arguments about wood going to waste because it is “overmature and  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY-’  Chapter III  rotting” are seen from a new perspective. In terms of forest ecology, rotting wood is not waste, It is a habitat for many species, it provides nutrition and soil conditioning, it offers  preservation of complexity and diversity. Cutting the tree to build a house must then be seen as a use for resources which competes with other species and with the inherent values in nature. As such, it must be justified as meeting human shelter needs or other important cultural values at an “acceptable cost” to ecosystems. The fact that someone can make money from cutting the tree and building a house with it is only one of many values to be considered. Following this reasoning, the realization of deep ecology in housing would certainly mean a radically transformed mode of dwelling, probably barely recognizable as housing through the eyes of affluent people. It would necessarily allow only a fair share of resource allocation to humans. It might have more in common, in principle if not in appearance, with nomadic and survival shelter. With shelter such as a tent, a found cave, a squatters shack or a cardboard packing crate under a highway overpass. These are prospects which have not even been faced yet, much less acted upon, except by those who live marginally out of necessity. As an example of the scale of adjustment required, Canadians use energy at more than twenty times the rate of people in India, and at more than six times the per-capita rate globally (3). If internationally posed CO 2 emissions reductions of 50% are to be met equitably (the minimum amount probably required to balance global carbon cycles), then Canadians would have to live with about one tenth of the fossil energy now consumed. The impact of this on transportation and housing, two of the largest fossil energy users, is difficult to imagine. The recognition of photosynthesis as the only truly productive process on earth implies a concept of sustainability in which all human enterprise mustfunction within the boundaries of/he solar productivity of the hio.sphere. This concept of sustainability is called the ‘appropriated land area” model and is discussed later in the chapter. The dilemma of ecological practice is simply this: remaining within the bounds of natural cycles and natural limits is contrary to the philosophy and trends of several centuries of human activity. Human activity has been directed towards population growth, increasing wealth and harvesting more from nature for a very long time. The ecological cost has  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter III  hardly been a part of the discussion. The source of many environmental and social problems today is simply that humanity’s technical capability is being misapplied and is destroying other species and habitats, including our own. This is largely an unconscious result of the premises and values of an entire way of life. According to architectural historian Bill Riseboro, ecological thinking in architecture, in its modern context, probably began in the 1970’s with the crisis in the world’s economies caused by the sudden shortages of fossil fuel. This was the first widespread realization, during the modern age, of the limits of global resources. The two responses in the short term were to either take scarcity seriously, and begin to rethink our daily assumptions, or to look for further sources of supply to fuel the machines of production and consumption of which housing is one (4). The conservation camp, perhaps most inspired by E.F. Schumacher, produced a substantial following and the first appearance of a semi-coherent “ecologial architecture” in the mid- 1970’s. The built efforts to demonstrate this approach generally expressed autonomy and self-sufficiency as far as possible in terms of energy, water, food and waste. Typical examples are the Cambridge Autonomous house in the U.K., the Integral Urban House in Berkeley, the Ark in Nova Scotia and John Todd’s New Alchemy houses in New England (5,6,7). These examples emphasized modest scale and environmental preservation through energy conservation, materials and water conservation, and waste reduction. The autonomous food and energy production features were not only demonstrations of living within natural cycles, but were also intended to challenge the global networks of food and energy extraction, and their associated political and social agendas. These houses did not emphasize time saving convenience but, on the contrary, stressed more participation in dwelling through operating the solar features of the house, the gardening, the recycling etc. These examples often abandoned most conventional power technology (they were “off the grid”) in favor of passive or active solar systems, daylighting, wind turbines etc. They used low to moderate technologies, with an emphasis on simple, home-made, low cost and accessible solutions. This may be called the formative period of ecological values in housing.  59  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter III  as the seventies passed and the eighties arrived, the energy crisis was temporarily forgotten, the global environmental problems denied, and a new burst of economic and  But  physical expansion pursued. The “we will find new sources” camp has always been the mainstream, and the conservers were now relegated to a footnote. It wasn’t until the widespread discussion of ozone depletion, global warming, deforestation, overfishing, soil loss, regional air pollution etc. of the late 98O’s that the “conserver ethic” resurfaced. But conservation and ecological responsibility can have many different technological manifestations, each with their own value basis. High technology household equipment, such as 95% efficient spa heaters, tend to be “luxury with conservation” approaches. Similarly, using resource efficient materials to build a 3500 sq.ft. suburban home suggests that we can be more ecologically responsible, through the right technology, without questioning fundamental consumption patterns. According to J,F.C.Turner, housing technology which does not simplify, improve affordability and accessibility and decrease socio-economic polarity can be called inappropriate technology in social terms. In ecological terms, housing technology which does not fit within natural cycles and conserve energy and materials is inappropriate. The question of what housing features and qualities, comforts and conveniences are to be provided, or are considered important, is obviously the difficult problem. Addding technology to reduce energy use and waste, while attempting to deliver the same house size and features that the market seems to demand, also costs a great deal of money and tends to cut off a larger sector from access to housing. An extreme case, such as the high technology “advanced houses” sponsored by Energy Mines and Resoures Canada and the Canadian Home Builders Assn., may cost up to twice what a standard “speculative builder” house of similar size does (8). One example is the Waterloo Green Home, a suburban example of about 2800 sq.ft. which acheives an operating energy budget of about 25% of a typical house built to code minimums. It does so by the use of high performance insulation features, high technology glazing, and high technology heating and ventilation systems. It has all the features of its neighbours without the large utility bill. Ironically it is still in an automobile oriented suburb, which suggest that its occupants will still be making no savings on the one third, or more, of their total energy use which goes for transportation. The Advanced Houses Program is discussed further in Chapter V.  -60  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter III  Technology has become our language of conversation. Because the housing we make is convenience and luxury oriented, it is as difficult to imagine giving up some of what is expected as it is to escape our language. And so efforts are placed on designing ways of having the forest and the plywood too, or of having the spa and still being conservers. One illustration of this dilemma is the fact that as energy and materials efficiency advances, land use effectiveness continues to decline and house size and features continue to increase. According to CMHC, the result is increasing per-capita consumption in spite of increased efficiency (9). An example of this phenomenon is the increasing residential electrical energy consumption patterns in Vancouver. Though the electrical efficiency of refrigeration, cooking, lighting, heating and ventilation equipment has increased steadily over the past three decades, the per-household consumption has actually increased, and the per-capita consumption has increased  sharply.  There are three primary factors explaning this. First the average home  size has increased by about 20% during this period, and larger homes obviously have higher lighting, heating and ventilation loads. Second, and most important, the number of electrical devices per household has increased sharply. Consumer electronics, cordless rechargeable de’v’ices and computers are just a few examples of new loads which may be continuous. Other devices such as spas, hair dryers, curling irons and hobby machinery add high periodic loads. And third, household population is shrinking. More 1 and 2 person households means more energy is used per capita (10). Western society is laboring under a form of deception with regard to ecological responsibility. Under these circumstances, moderate and low technology solutions offer an appealing philosophical antidote to the circle of expectation and consumption in which we are bound by our language and concepts. Morally and ethically, low technology solutions seem, at face value, to be more ecologicallly responsible, possibly only because they are more traditional. An excellent example of the appeal of anti-technology” is expressed by Anton Schneider, the originator of the Baubiologie (biology of building) program in Germany: ioclay ii’e .vee a b/ally techiio/ogized eco—hoiise, a normal house in which only new appara f/is, like heci/ exchangers, sun collectors, wind generators and heat  pit/lips (1/C ms/al/ed. Isn’t ciii ecological house something more than a COii/itiiiuuioii 0/ fCChllOlOg}’ 1)1/i with other methods? Shouldn’t it be a coni’ersa/ioii  iiiih  nature,  in harmony with her, gentle and passive?” (11)  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter Iii  The “alternative system” proposed by baubiologie proponents is one based on 19th century values of manual technology and craft. In this system the “natural” is preferable to the “manufactured”, the “passive” preferable to the “active”, the “simple” preferable to the “complex”. This approach encompasses siting, landscape and building design issues, environmental control, lighting, electrical and materials selection. This approach has been popularized as the “natural house’ (12). Its appeal is clearly in opposition to many of the contemporary trends in housing technology, particularly the advance of high technology solutions. This movement will be discussed further in Chapter IV. And there is an added dimension to this technology and nature debate: the inescapable relationship between ecology and social factors such as housing rights and gender. Housing rights and ecological preservation are visibly connected in the majority of the world where squatters dominate the major settlements. In these regions the conflict is between occupation of land by poor people and the agricultural uses, industrial uses and urban development uses which others envision. The squatters are villified as polluters because their precincts are unserviced and dirty, and their homes made from salvaged materials. Ironically these are people living on the very margins of society and absorbing very few resources in already resource poor countries. They live by barter instead of cash, and by resourcefulness instead of material goods. They occupy a niche, in terms of human ecology, which is that of a scavenger living off the waste of others. People in this condition are not reliant on capital and complex technology for their housing. In the wealthier part of the world the connection between ecology and social factors is more complex, largely due to the intervention of a money economy and more complex technology. The clean streets and neat and comfortable homes mask a machine of consumption which requires vast “appropriated land areas” to supply transportation, food, water, energy, housing and other material goods. The appropriated land area model is one which offers an “equivalent land area” or “footprint” which is indirectly occupied by a human settlement, based on the productive land necessary to supply food, fiber and energy through entirely photosynthetic (and therefore sustainable) means. According to these calculations, the footprint of the population (about 1.75 million) of the Lower Fraser Valley actually exceeds its regional land area by about twenty times. If all six billion people in the world were to live at a standard set by the wealthy northern hemisphere, the global photosynthetic capacity would be exceeded by three times (13).  62  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY-•  Chapter III  The real effects of the way of life practiced in wealthy nations is less visible than in poorer nations. The clearcut forests, strip mines, lost topsoil, and overfished oceans which bring  wealth are often far away And the local detritus is placed out of sight; it accumulates in landfills and polluted waterways. In this context, the major land use tension is between housing developers and those who wish to preserve land for recreation, animal habitats, agriculture and silviculture. Some argue that housing cannot be supplied to those in need if the available urban land is protected for ecological reasons. But the real problems in wealthy society are not the lack of resources and means, they are the inequitable distribution of those resources. The enormous material wealth and consumption of those at the top is always countered by a group who are at the bottom, excluded from basic comforts. According to Rees and Wackernagel, a wealthy family in Canada appropriates about six fimç.s the ecological productivity of a poor family (14).  Another important factor in the ecology, technology and housing dialogue is gender. With regard to household labour saving technology, it has been argued in a previous chapter that the introduction of new devices such as laundry and cleaning equipment, kitchen equipment and information technology have not liberated the homemaker from housework (15). The major gains in conveniences in North American households were made early in the century with the introduction of indoor plumbing and electricity. In fact, some have argued, more complex technology has increased the dependence of women who stay at home on the patriarchy which keeps them there (16). Furthermore it is likely that women construct space differently from men and conceive of household function, convenience and comfort differently (17,18). Gwendolyn Wright, in her article The N/lode! Domestic Environment: Icon or Option argues that men have dominated the design professions throughout history and that women have had to conform to expectations. Examples of alternative housing types designed by women who have worked outside these expectations emphasize simplicity and collectivism. It is probable that the technological determinants in house design and the current emphasis on high technology environmental control and convenience is also a peculiarly male approach. These may he called not only an!hropoceii/ric but technocentric i.e., they emphasize domination of nature for the benefit of people through advanced technique.  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECNOLOGY-64  Chapter III  It may very well occur that emergent feminism in urban planning and architecture is one of the main forces which will seriously alter the dominant relationship of our dwelling patterns over natural systems. And from this a new relationship with technology will also grow. Over twenty years ago Lewis Mumford wrote: “...Ihe scientist exchided himself and with himself a good part of his organic poieiiftalities a,icl his historic affiliations, from the world picture he constructed. hould these postulates remain unchallenged and the institutional procedures remain unchanged, inai’i himself wi/i be ciii offfrom any meaningful relationship with any part of the natural environment or his own historical milieu” (19).  CII Ill Conclusions. Deep ecology raises some very difficult and seemingly unsolvable questions about housing. Part of the problem is one of fundamental assumptions and expectations. In an economic system based on growth and consumption, social values tend to move toward elaborate and complex housing. Furthermore the “housing development model” places little value on other species, ecosystem stability and recognition of unsupportable patterns of consumption. In terms of technology, the western philosophical tradition of seeking technological solutions to social and ecological problems is also no longer workable, at least in conventional terms. Though the expectations raised by emergent ecological models are very high, and difficult to meet in housing, there does seem to be progress in revising attitudes about what is expected from technology. It may be possible now to distinguish at least two types of technological responses to the ecological agenda which are special classes of technology due to their fundamentally different philosophical foundations. This has been done to a degree by writers such as David Wann (Biologic, 1990), Bill McKibben (The End of Nature, 1989), and David Suzuki (Inventing the Future, 1989) (20,21,22).  Biotechnic Responses  These are generally technologies allowing a more sensitive mastery of nature. They still emphasize the special role of humans at the center, but with better knowledge of ecology,  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter III  (i.e., shallow ecology), This leads to technologies which are somewhat more ecologically appropriate than many which preceded them. Some principles are: • Improved engineering through emulating or harnessing natural cycles. • Improved management of habitats for sustained human benefit. • Pursuing new harvesting and processing efficiencies to yield more from resources. • Genetic engineering and plant materials for producing goods. Some examples are: • Industrial ecology i.e., locating compatible industries so that one uses the waste of the other. • Wind energy. Logic controlled energy management. • Selective logging. • Engineered wood products for construction. • Plastics made from vegetable oils. Biologic Responses  These are generally based on philosophies of belonging in nature in which human activity is not separate from that of other species (i.e., deep ecology). It leads typically to the “softest” technological approaches. Some principles are: • Learning from, and working within natural cycles, e.g., water cycles, renewable energy and material cycles. • Preserving and restoring habitats for the benefit of other species. • “Human ecology” and “urban ecology” as design principles, i.e., design for community, social equity and harmony with nature. • Using the labour of microorganisms and plants to convert waste and produce goods rather than fossil energy and synthesis chemistry. Some examples are: • • • •  Passive use of solar energy. Wetlands protection. The green city movement. Biological waste treatment; composting, solar aquatics and artificial marshes.  These shifts, though they are often subtle, suggest that it is possible to create new responses which are more ecologically appropriate by redefining the models and the values on which technological systems are designed.  -65  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter IV  CHAPTER IV Scientific paradigms and housing. Building science and the “house as a system”. Alternative models.  IV A. Building Science and Housing Technology  Housing technology in industrialized society is largely determined by codes and practices based on a branch of science called building science. Building science is really not a distinct science, but rather an amalgam of segments of classical physics. According to Thomas Kuhn (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962) science is concerned with “The determination of signficant facts, the matching offacts with theory and the articulation of theory” (1). Any problem outside this range is “extraordinary science”. When Kuhn refers to facts he means properties observed in nature. What is perhaps more significant is the question of how science proceeds. Again according to Kuhn “Scientists work from models acquired through education, and through. subsequent exposure to the literature, often without knowing or needing to know what characteristics have given these models the status of community paradigms. And because they do so they need no full set of rules” (2). It is the nature and status of the paradigm which is the key here. It is both the strength and weakness of normal science. A paradigm can be defined as: “a criterion Jbr choosing problems that, while the paradigm is taken for granted, can be assumed to have solutions... Other problems, including many that had previously been standard, are rejected as metaphysical, as the concern of another (iSCpiifle, or sometimes just too problematic to be worth the time” (3). The paradigm provides the framework for scientific inquiry; the direction and limits for research. Without a paradigm most research would be difficult if not impossible; the range of possibilities and the rules for investigation would be too vague to allow rigorous results. But at the same time, by defining the limits of inquiry, the paradigm also rules out a vast territory of possibility for which there is no accepted language or theory. It tends to produce common interpretations for the same observed phenomenon when alternatives might also be plausible.  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter IV  But fortunately for science, the paradigm is a loosely defined entity itself which can be stretched if needed. In fact, according to Kuhn, the paradigm is not really a set of rules at all, but a sort of unexpressed agreement between practitioners of science in any particular field. It is possible for individuals to exceed the boundaries of a contemporary paradigm, and it is possible for the paradigm to change. As paradigms change with time, the interpretations of science change. Building science is the application of classical physics, particularly the fields of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics to buildings, building components and systems. Specifically with regard to moisture and thermal control for building in the north, the Canadian team of Hutcheon and Handegord have perhaps done more to establish building science in the past three decades than any others. In their introduction to Building Science for a Cold Climate they distinguish the passive and active roles of buildings as modifiers of climate: “The shfi towards an active role for buildings involves the deliberate adjustment oft/ic building and its equipment so that certain features qf the indoor envjronment can he kept constant or held within required limits. It has long been common practice to incorporate means of manual adjustment of natural lighting levels and ventilation, and to provide supplementary lighting and heating. Today, these and other adjustments are usually carried out automatically with the aid Qf electrical and mechanical equipment using electricity and other source of energy or heating, lighting and air conditioning, and the movement and distribution of air and water” (4). The problem with building science is that the design and operation of buildings has always been, and still is to a large extent, based on precedent and practice. Furthermore it involves the complexities of human response and behaviour which are ill defined as science, particularly in comparisdon to physics. Hutcheon and Handegord take a modest position on the rigour of building science:  “The growth of scientific knowledge has led to great advances in the analysis and rational destgn of the purely structural functions of a building. There has also been a great deal of development in individual materials and components. As yet there have been relatively small advances in dealing adequately with all of the combinations of elements and with the complex interrelationships of phenomena involved in the petformance qf the entire building. The reasons are not hard to find. It is sufficient to note that, even now, contemporary building design draws on the knowledge and experience of almost every branch of engineering science.” (4).  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter IV  The chapter titles of Building Science for a Cold Climate are a good indication of the topics deemed appropriate for the application of physics to buildings. They are  basically about quantifiable factors, with some attention also to human parameters. It is important to note that the human dimension has also been acknowledged. As the observers of conditions and users of buildings, Hutcheon and Handegord acknowledge people as an important part of their considerations, in spite of the difficulty with quantifying the hu man role. Some of the key topics of building science in Hutcheon and Handegord’s work are dealt with in the following way: coifort is discussed as a function of convective and radiant energy, and humidity. Meeting human comfort expectations is the goal. The roles of weather, building fabric, mechanical equipment and human occupants are covered.  • Thermal air flow  • Ventilation is discussed as a function of building air exchange due to pressure differences from thermal buoyancy, wind, and mechanical equipment. Meeting human needs for oxygen, dilution of carbon dioxide and odor prevention is the goal. • Building durability is discussed with regard to thermal and moisture exchange through materials. Energy movement through insulation and moisture transport via both air exchange and diffusion are emphasized. The protection of materials from adverse moisture and temperature conditions is the goal. The entire discussion is informed by the necessity to provide safe and comfortable indoor conditions, and durable buildings, while minimizing operating energy. Some of the important conclusions of this discussion, well substantiated by sample calculations, are that: • Thermal conditions in buildings in a cold climate must be rigorously controlled to maintain acceptable comfort conditions under the adverse weather conditions experienced. This is best done by first providing a well designed and thermally efficient building envelope, and then applying mechanical controls as needed. (through opening windows and envelope leakage) is not reliable because it is weather dependent and inconsistent with comfort and energy efficiency in a cold climate. Mechanical assistance is necessary (5).  • Natural ventilation  • An airtight and vapor retardant thermal envelope is necessary to providing both comfort conditions and durable buildings. The envelope must be predictable to allow efficient thermal control, and the risk of building damage from air leakage leading to concealed condensation in cold climates is high,  •  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter IV  particularly with exterior finishes which are less permeable and will retard drying of materials (6). • Materials must be protected from extremes of vapor pressure, bulk moisture, and rapid temperature swings. Water damage, expansion and contraction damage, and frost damage are prevalent risks in a cold climate. Fig. 1V-l Air Leakage, Moisture and Heat Flows In Conventional Construction  Exfiltration Air leakage carries moisture into wall  Heat and moisture Flow  Circulation carries heat and wall  Infiltration  Another significant contributor to establishing building science is Joseph Lstiburek, a Canadian engineer based in Ontario. His work is summarized in a self published book entitled simply Building Science, and a series of professional courses of the same name. Lstiburek’s work is less theoretically thorough than Hutcheon and Handegord’s, but is based on case studies of building design and problem evaluation and remediation.  en  HOUSENG, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter IV  In addition to the practical methods, an important addition to building science provided by Lstiburek is the concept of the “forgiving envelope” (7). The concept is to provide paths for escape of accumulated moisture from insulated cavities which exceed the paths for the inmigration of moisture (This approach was recognized in the National Building Code of Canada, 1977 sec. 9.26, by allowing less rigorous moisture control in wall sections with permeable cladding). The point made is that it is impossible to completely eliminate moisture entry into insulated cavities, therefore it is important to allow a path for it to escape. Lstiburek ofers a solution for cold climates using an air and vapor barrier located close to the inside which allows cavities to “dry to the outside” through permeable claddings. For a hot climate where cooling takes place, the sections have the air and vapour barriers closer to the outside to allow them to “dry to the inside”. Lstiburek’s work in practical observation and application is more closely allied with the empirical and pracfice traditions of the building industry than with Hutcheon and Handegord’s theoretical work. The “forgiving envelope” and “drying to the inside” concepts will become important later in the chapter when alternative building systems based on Baubiologie are discussed.  Applying the Building Science Model Neil Postman has argued that technology is seif engendering and seif augmenting. This seems to be borne out by an analysis of a rigorous building science approach to housing for a cold climate. Following a logical sequence of reasoning, based on the “systems principles” of building science for a cold climate, this type of housing technology results:  Thermal, moisture and air movement conditions in houses are interrelated. The factot influencing them are weather, the home’s occupants, the mechanical systems, and the house envelope. Their interactions will qifect the home ‘s rhemial peiformance, comfort, indoor air quality and durability. When designing and buiidin a home ii is necessary to understand these relationships or serious problems can result. )  To reduce energy use, increase comfort, and reduce interior moisture problems (such as condensation on cold suifaces in a cold climate, insulation levels in exterior components are increased beyond traditional minimum amounts.  70  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY-  Chapter IV  Higher insulation levels increase the likelihood qf moisture problems inside insulated cavities because lower temperatures now occur there, and airborne moisture reaching there can condense. This moisture can lead to rot, mold growth and reduced insulation peiformance, all of which are detrimental to indoor conditions and building durability. It can also damage exterior finishes. With higher insulation levels and better windows, heat losses by conduction through. the envelope are reduced, and air leakage now accounts for a larger portion Qf total heat loss. Typically it increases from 30 percent for a conventional house to 50 percent for a well insulated one. To protect insulated cavities from condensation, reduce heat losses by air leakage and improve comfort, a continuous air barrier is incorporated in the insulated walls, floors, and ceilings. This has the added benefit of reducing the enity f outdoor air pollution (such as dust) and air pollutants from inside the structural cavities. Incorporating a continuous air barrier reduces air leakage which alows moisture and pollutants generated in the home to remain there, potentially leading to poor indoor air quality and damage from high humidity levels. Though come indoor pollutants can be regulated at source, those which cannot will have to be exhausted and the remainder diluted by a reliable means of ventilation. Due to the fact that natural ventilation is random and driven largely by weather conditjons, continuously operated, distributed, mechanical ventilation is considered the most reliable option. The con tinuous operation of a mechanical ventilation system increases energy consumption, largely due to the requirement for heating and cooling of ventilation air. To improve efficiency, and for increased comfort, a heat reco veiy ventilator is recommended. The premises of physics and the emphasis on energy efficiency and comfort lead directly to the mechanically controlled house. This line of reasoning is now embedded in codes and practice. There is little doubt that the results can be comfortable conditions and durable, energy efficient buildings, but is the fit with people and their housing values appropriate? Are the results reliable, forgiving and cost effective? And is this the only way to acheive these ends? Strict interpretation of the contemporary paradigm of building science and modern codes leave little room to explore other alternatives. One of the primary purposes of science is to predict the outcome of an action. The application of building science therefore produces a controlled building which will behave predictably, at least insofar as the complex variables and interactions can be  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter IV  adequately understood. But the further housing moves toward mechanical control, the more questions are raised about the human factors. There is evidence that the mechanically controlled house may not be a particularly good fit with the current traditions and understanding of a good deal of the public, as well as many builders. Both anecdotal and research evidence of this mismatch is beginning to emerge in the 1980’s and 1990’s:  • Fewer than 50% of Canadians use their kitchen exhaust systems while cooking. These are provided for health and safety reasons, but are found to be objectionably noisy, to create drafts, or are suspected of being ineffective (8). •  the early passive solar housing of the 1970’s there were often solar control and night-insulating shutters incorporated in the design. Many occupants were resistant to using these because they were not understood or considered a nuisance and an eyesore. Consuequently they were left in one position or discarded, rendering the solar features less effective.  •  Energy efficiency and automated climate control features of new housing are routinely defeated, not used by homeowners as intended, or not maintained. Ventilators are switched off, humidity controllers disconnected, solar control devices not used and thermostats are de-programmed. Many devices are allowed to fall into disrepair and abandonment.  In  • Some builders and owners who don’t trust the reasoning behind code requirements for continuous air-vapour barriers have been known to slash them with a knife after inspection to “let the house breathe”. This is still found occasionally by inspectors and home warranty agents. The problem is probably a combination of lack of understanding, and the poor fit with housing traditions. Shutters are traditionally understood as devices for privacy and security in temperate climates. Only in warmer regions have they been used for solar control. Extending the use of shutters in a temperate region to include insulation and solar control functions is a novelty for which there is little precedent. Furthermore automatic control of heating has become an expected feature in housing in the industrialized world over the past eighty years. Consequently there is now a good deal of resistance to  active participation  in thermal control. Technological capabilities have  altered standards and expectations. Exhaust fans are a relatively new phenomenon in housing and have only become common in the past 20 years. The problem here is that the purpose of fans is to improve moisture and air contaminant removal in well insulated and draft-sealed homes. Before homes were draft-sealed, this function was a good deal less critical and  72  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter IV  was left to chance. However most people do not understand the difference between the slack and leaky homes of the 1960’s, and the well insulated and draft-free homes of today. Most cannot perceive the need for exhaust fans because, apart from burning food, the buildup of indoor air pollutants and excess moisture is relatively subtle. Even when visible moisture damage occurs, it is often thought to be from some other cause, such as a leaky pipe or damaged roof. Housing technology has changed far in advance  of peoples’ understanding of their homes. Slashing of the air/vapour barrier is very likely to be a case of misdirected blame for moisture problems, and of mistrust of the changes in building technology and codes. For example, builders will notice condensation in the insulated cavities of a new home before the wallboard is put up. If they do not understand that it is probably excess moisture evaporating froiii fresh wood and concrete, and that it will escape to the outside in most cases, they may believe that it must be “vented to the inside where it can be dried by the heat”. Though this is precisely the reverse of what is likely to happen, it seems eminently sensible to many. The mistrust of code changes is often supported by arguments from builders such as “we never had moisture problems until we started adding all of this extra insulation”. It is true of course that a very leaky and poorly insulated house will not have moisture problems. But neither will it ever meet the growing expectations for comfort and energy performance. Once new building technologies are adopted, it seems necessary to follow through to their logical conclusion.  IV B. Baubiologie The philosophical debates between reason and emotion and between the machine and organic metaphors have been discussed in chapter 1. This confrontation has been prominent for three centuries, and is today the source of several new manifestations of “romantic natural philosophy”. These can best be seen as reactions to the Baconian view and are perhaps most closely allied with the philosophy of Goethe and the writings of other philosophers including the Americans Thoreau and Emerson. This group has been called the “natural philosophers” because their concepts are closely allied with observance of nature’s patterns and of learning from, and accomodating them, as far as possible.  -73  74  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter IV  From this “natural philosophy” tradition a “natural building” movement has recently emerged which raises challenges to contemporary building practice and building science. Jacques Ellul in his challenge of technology has expressed the philosophy of building in nature this way:  “Man was made to do his daily work with his muscles, but see him now, like a fly on flypaper, seared for eight hours motionless at a desk. Fifteen minutes of exercise cannot make tip for eight hours qf absence. The human being was made to breathe the good air of nature, but what he breathes is an obscure compound of acids and coal tars. He was created for a living environment, but he dwells in a lunar world of stone, cement, asphalt, glass, cast iron and steel. The trees ‘wi/i and blanch among sterile and blind stone facades.. Man was created to have rooms to move about in, to gaze into far distances, to live in rooms which, even when [hey were tiny, opened out onto fields” (9). . .  Baubiologie (literally “building biology”) is intended as a comprehensive program to place the design of communities, houses and the spaces inside them on an “ecological” or “natural” footing. Baubiologie is a teaching program and series of consultancies in Europe and the U.S. which have been active for several years. The published materials are a set of principles which have many of the hallmarks of a science, but are clearly intended as an allernative to classical physics as applied to buildings. Comparison of the topics in the Baubiologie texts with that of building science texts indicates that the range of topics included certainly exceeds that of any building science system; it also exceeds the boundaries of normal science as defined by Kuhn. The general character of the course material is philosophical rather than reductionist, intuitive rather than empirical, and assertive rather than deductive. One might easily say that it is, at times, dogmatic. It relies heavily on metaphors such as “the building is a third skin for its occupants”. Baubiologie was chosen for this discussion because it is presented as an alternative science, and because it is a philosophically attractive alternative to contemporary practice. Though it can be shown that there are serious problems with the quality and consistency of the texts, and the challenge to conventional science does not stand up well to scrutiny, it is none-the-less persuasive to many. There are several thousand graduates claimed for the Baubiologie program in Europe who practice professionally and have a clientele, and the program is spreading to North America. Most are architects, allied design professionals, and builders. Though its proponents do not enjoy wide acceptance among mainstream building scientists, environmental scientists  75  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter IV  and health scientists, some of the questions raised about current practice are legitimate and significant.  The range of material presented in the course guide is very large, too large to discuss in detail in this context, but it is instructive to note its emphasis on comprehensive scope as opposed to significant depth. Some of the unusual topics included are: • Relations between humans, house and environment • Geobiology (earth related energies) • Electrobiology • DC fields • Low frequency fields • High frequency fields • Microwave radiation • Field exposure consequences • Prevention of electromagnetic disturbances • Ecological construction • Furniture • Furniture and materials • Furniture and physiology • Color and design • Space, form and dimension •  Physiology of living  • •  Monotony Variety  • Mental aspects of living • Noise stress  • • • •  Housing development and town building History and townscape Greenscapes Traffic  Because the Baubiologie materials challenge conventional building science on philosophical grounds, it is instructive to critique of some of the 11 scientific” claims made in the course materials using the premises of building science. For this discussion only the chapters on thermal conditions, moisture and ventilation will be reviewed. The purpose is to contrast them with the mainstream building science positions on these issues.  “1100 to 2100 ctthic/et offresh air per hour is required.. this is not being aeheived because walls, roof, floors, doors and windows are sealed or made airtight”... (10,). .  It  would  be more accurate to say that the  outdoor air rate is inadequate,  ventilation  which is intended to provide that  or not operating correctly.  This could be mechanical  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter IV  ventilation, operable windows or a combination of the two. The question then becomes “should we rely on that mechanical system?”; a fair question. It is not because the building is sealed that the ventilation is inadequate. Ventilation rates caused by envelope leakage alone are sometimes very low, even in loose construction. “Natural ventilation (‘breathing function of the skin, diffusion, ventilation) of walls and floors/ceilings (in particular qf external wails, ceilings and roofs which ares upposed to function as the “THIRD SKiN”) (sic). Natural ventilation. alone should provide an air change figure of 1-2 changes / hour, which equals a continuous airflow. In new buildings consisting of “dead” wails, ceiltngs and roofc, only figures of 0.2 are being acheived, which, according to DIN 4108, can he expected” 1).  It is the ventilation that prevents condensation by keeping the indoor relative humidity low. Moisture diffusing through a material can actually cause condensation, and eventual damage if it exceeds the drying ability of the material. The draft free home has controlled envelope conditions which allow mechanical ventilation to provide the required ventilation effectively and with energy recovery. It has already become a general habit to incorporate (vapor barriers) in the structure of ceilings, floors, waiL and roofs. No one seems to consider whether they are necessary (it all or whether they may have any significance in relation to health. The vapor harrier (also the air barrier) functions to prevent warm air movement ifltQ insulated cavities where, in winter, it would encounter a dew point surface and condense. This is the primary defense for prevention of moisture damage. with a wail which has not dried out sufficiently in a new building and which has absorbed rain or condensation; if water vapour diffision is prevented by the application of vapour proof paInts, plasters, or synthetic substances, it will remain clamp, with all the consequences. There will be even more condensation (also in the insulation nwterial.c), considerably reduced thermal insulation, condensation on the interior wail surfaces, development of mould, fungi in and on the walls, in fhcr building damages of all kinds. This process may be prevented by two methods: either by avoidance of vapour barriers and /hrthe ring the drying out process, or by the prevention of condensation in the building material with the air and vapour barriers. The first method is the original, natural and time tested one which is advocated by Building-Biology; the.econd method has been adopted by modern building technology since the advent of synthetic (as a rule vapour pro Qf3 building materials (12). “  -7  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter IV  This is perhaps a fair criticism and description of construction moisture problems in buildings, except for the apparent assumption that buildings dry to the inside in a cold climate. They generally dry to the outside because outdoor humidity is usually lower. The use of the term vapour barrier seems confused here. Typically an intentional vapour barrier is only applied on the warm side of the insulation. It is correct to point  out that vapor impermeable material must be avoided on the cold side.  What follows in the Baubiologie manuals is a somewhat confused discussion of diffusion due to partial pressure differences based on Fick’s Law. The example given indicates that a 5% difference in oxygen concentration between inside and  outside (15% and 20% respectively) will cause 90 litres of oxygen to diffuse through a 40 cm. thick brick wall into a 20 m2 room in one hour (13). This is equated in the example with the effect of a 4m2 open window with no wind. Nowhere in the building science literature can any reference be found to the importance of oxygen concentration dependent on diffusion through materials. There are serious problems with this on several counts. First, the human senses are just not very responsive to changes in oxygen concentration. They ij sensitive to five or ten fold increases in C02 which tend to signal “poor air quality”. Second, control of C02 (and replenishment of oxygen for that matter) is almost entirely a function of ventilation, not  of gas diffusion through building elements. C02 and 02 diffusion is a miniscule factor in almost any type of construction short of, perhaps, a tent. Third, it is water vapor transport which is the main concern and should be the topic of a diffusion calculation. And fourth, the figure of a 4rn2 window in a room with only 20 m2 of walls and ceiling is absurd. An opening of this size would change the air in the room several times per hour, even with a minimal wind or thermal driving force. That is, it would  bring in several kg.of oxygen, not the 90 grams in the example. This seems like a classic case of an overextended biological metaphor.  (On vapour harriers) “Even according to conventional calculations (with a condensate quantity of 1.5 kg / ni2 in three winter months) it would be impossible to saturate buildings which have been constructed qfdffi1sible materials; much ies so, as f/ic actual condensate quantity only amounts to 0.21 kg /m2” (/4). It probably can be shown that this is correct, so long as the wall or roof section in question does not contain a vapor resistant material such as stucco, stone or brick on its cold side. Since vapor transport in a wall or ceiling section is primarily due to  77  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter IV  diffusion, and not to air leakage (15,16), it is very unlikely that moisture would accumulate in a section composed of permeable materials (such as wood, gypsum, open celled insulation etc.) due to diffusion alone. And if there was condensation, it would occur where moisture could be readily evaporated to the outdoor air. This has been recognized in National Building Code of Canada requirements (17).  “Exterior skins of vapor proof materlals e.g. dense brick, natural stone, glass ought to he ventilated, particularly when they have a low proportion ofjoints. This is particularly recoinn’ien1ed as a protection against rain on the weather side... (18). “  This is a basic argument for rain screen construction, well known in residential construction in Europe and in commercial building systems in Canada. The reference to masonry with a low proportion of joints highlights the very large role played by mortar joints in the overall permeability of masonry systems. Another controversial topic is UV and JR radiation. The argument is proposed that light spectra outside the visible range should be important considerations when choosing glazing and lighting:  “JR and UV radiation as well as the ionization of the air stimulate the thermoregulatory screm and the metabolism Qf the body, it intensifies the respiration and [he gas exchange; it helps to activate the blood circulation, stImulates the nerl’e and gland systems and increases the immune reaction. UV radiation is in(lispen.vahIe in the fhrmation process of vitamin D necessary for balancing calcium and phosphorous for utilization” (1 9).  Actually any form of heat stimulates the thermoregulatory system and these effects. This can be conductive heat or radiant heat (JR radiation) from any source. It is obvious that glazing systems have some effect on the visible and invisible spectrum; it is not at all clear what the effects are. The importance of the invisible spectrum is particularly poorly understood. There is a tendency to claim that because low emissivity coated glass alters the daylight spectrum it must have detrimental effects on health. But its effects are primarily in the longwave (IR) region which has no known health effects, except the perception of radiant heat. Nothing more of consequence is known about the effects of subtle changes to the daylight spectrum. On the topic of UV light, it is necessary for vitamin D production, but the effects of different glazing types on UV are probably inconsequential since plain glass transmits so little UV. Adding coatings to the glass can only reduce what is already miniscule. Only some plastics can effectively transmit UV. Because there is so little UV indoors in winter, a  -78  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter IV  exposure to occasional and moderate amounts of sunlight outdoors is considered the only reliable source of necessary UV in winter (though some also promote “health lights” which produce UV). The necessity among some people for exposure to bright light to prevent winter depression (SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder) is not mentioned. This is surprising -  because it is a well known condition which can be treated with bright light from either daylight or electric lamps. It would seem that the Baubiologie arguments would be more productively focused on the importance of bright spaces in buildings, not on the subtleties of the spectral properties of the light.  The building principles expressed in Baubiologie are a result of a strong philosophic model which differs from the prevalent models which inform mainstream practice today. The emergence of Baubiologie is an expression of a “new paradigm”, at least in philosophic terms. It is a model in which the importance of “nature” prevails and the power of metaphor is given greater credence than the power of rational systems like physics. This is evident in the adherence to ideas like “the lungs of the house” and “the third skin”, in spite of the fact that the absolute interpretation of the metaphors lead to some principles which seem to violate physics. The odd dilemma with the Baubiologie material is that it is both a strong alternative philosophical system and an effort to use accepted science to support alternative practices. Because accepted science already consistently supports mainstream practice, it does not serve very well to also support alternatives which seem to contradict it. The Baubiologie authors therefore resort to inaccurate interpretations of science which are somewhat out of context. To attempt to answer the question of whether a “breathing house” will work in a cold climate is very difficult using building science principles. It is difficult enough to predict the complex variables in a highly controlled house. If air is allowed to slowly migrate through walls and roofs, and vapour diffusion is largely unchecked, the unknowns are much more complex. What vapour pressure gradients would occur across insulation? What air exfiltration rates would occur? Would there be moist air meeting a dew point temperature inside a cavity? Would the breathable exterior cladding allow adequate drying of any trapped moisture?  79  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY-  Chapter IV  Though a strict building science analysis suggests that this type of construction will suffer from moisture damage, there are three important building science considerations which suggest that it may not. First, the Baubiologie wall is only vapor dfJiisible. If it is well built and the panels are tightly fitted, it will not allow unusual air leakage into insulated spaces. It is well known that only about 10% or less of moisture transport takes place through d/fusion in cold climates. The bulk takes place through air leakage which is not likely to be excessive in this type of construction. Second, the concept of  neutral pressure plane in a house suggests that any air leakage which does occur in lower parts of the house will be inward from outside. This tends to dry the materials in winter. The problem area is likely to be the roof where outward leakage is likely to occur. Third, Lstiburek’s concept of “forgiving envelope” applies to this type of construction because exterior sheathing  and cladding materials are all highly permeable,  thereby allowing any accumulated moisture to escape. The roof cavities are also well ventilated above the insulation for the same reason. Fig. IV-2 A “Breathing Wall” Concept (After B.Berge)  Slates  Asphalt paper (permeable)  Timber and plank frame 250mm “wood wool” low density fibreboard 25mm varnished ceiling panel  19mm cementiwood siding 20mm porous low density fibreboard 150mm “wood wool” low density fibreboard 35mm varnished cementlwood panels  Oiled wood floors Timber floor frame  Lime cement plaster Lightweight concrete block Wood wool board Porous brick Sodium silicate sealer  50 mm. sand floor fill Paper 35mm “wood wool” board Lime plaster BATH ROOM  Qfl  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY-  Chapter IV  Without substantial experience with this type of construction there is little evidence to support either case. There are claims from European practitioners of success in cold climates such as Norway and Scotland (20), but these are probably not adequate to allay the concerns of code authorities in Canada. On the other hand there are enough unknowns about application of building science models to this type of construction that it may be plausible.  IV C. Is Batibiologie an Alternative Science? “It becomes rat/icr ohv,ous that in the process of analyzing the area of building and life, not only natural science should be used but also borderline sciences (science which is located on the border of several other sciences with regard to subject and methodology) and the humanities. This will ensure a balanced process and result” (21). According to Kuhn, any problem outside the range of normal science can be considered “extraordinary science”, but it must still have the hallmarks of a science (22). One of these hallmarks is to reliably predict the results of actions, i.e., to stand up to experimental verification. The alternatives proposed in the Baubiologie material hardly qualify as “extraordinary science” because they are not engaged in determining significant facts, matching of facts with theory and the articulation of theory. Nor will they apparently help to predict the outcome of actions. The Baubiologie materials primarily attack current applications of building science using scientific terms and methods inappropriately, without providing a coherent alternative structure. The language of the materials is the language of assertion and dogma, not of alternative science. Baubiologie sacrifices the predictability of a rigorous science for ideological reasons. Baubiologie does not seem to he an adequate substitute for building science, but it j. a moral and philosophical approach to science and technology as it applies to buildings. The strength of Bauhiologie is not in the same terms in which conventional building science is set, In terms of classical physics it appears very weak and lacking in rigour. However as an alternative philosophy, or rather as an effort to imbue building practice with a “culture” which has long been lost, it has a great deal of persuasive power. The terms in which it stands up well are historical, moral and ideological. It may actually be more accurate to say that Baubiologie proponents are attempting to forge an alternative “culture of building” rather than an alternative science. And the  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter IV  value of this should not he underestimated. By substituting a strong philosophical position for reliance on science, it may serve a very important role in the contemporary debate about science, humanity and nature. Perhaps it is not science which is in question at all, but fundamental values for which science, any science, is only a tool for expression. These are metaphysical, not scientific debates. The question of whether modern, technologically determied values are appropriate to housing, or if more traditional, low-technology solutions are a better fit is being taken seriously by Swedish housing researchers. In Sweden, Elisabeth Lillman proposes development of housing systems which start from a traditional base of somewhat leaky construction, and attempts to reach a safe and energy efficient solution without resort to a totally technologically controlled environment. The product is proposed as unified and harmonious with nature and architecture. It must be robust and capable of coping with technological breakdown. Though very little detail about this project is yet available, the approach has some philosophical similarity to Baubiologie. It may, however, be placed on a firmer foundation of research expertise and experimentation without the reliance on assertion and dogma (23). This Swedish work also appears to rely on the concept of the “fhrgiving envelope” as described by Joseph Lstiburek.  CH IV Conclusions. Building science is a comprehensive system for applying thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and other aspects of classical physics to buildings. Though buildings are complex systems, applications of building science principles can produce a predictable outcome. Physical parameters can be controlled within a defined range, and comfort and durability can be provided. Contemporary practice has, however, tended to emphasize increasingly rigorous and mechanical measures and standards for acheiving control in housing. Examples are high insulation values, exacting draft-sealing  measures, and fan operated ventilation. However this approach may be contrary to some human values an(l cultural expectations in housing. It also may be proceeding in advance of the understanding and education necessary to acheive broad acceptance. An alternative philosophy is Baithiologie, a system which seems to respond to the ideological framework of the ecological movement. It is a strongly metaphorical and  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY-  Chapter IV  somewhat dogmatic system which contains some elements of science. However as a science it does not stand up well to scrutiny. It’s merits are as an alternative philosophy and ideology which challenge some of the premises of contemporary building science and practice. Using Baubiologie principles may be likely to result in buildings which are more passively adapted, and simple to understand and operate, but uncertainties are raised about basic thermal and moisture control.  It may be necessary to forge an entirely alternate system which will perhaps begin from the uncertainties of contemporary building science. The “forgiving envelope” and greater reliance on passive and intermediate technologies are some of the possible clues on which an alternative to current practice might be based. These are only the early formative days of a new paradigm, and it is not an adequate substitute yet for the model we rely on. The philosophical challenge is, however, a healthy sign.  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter V  CHAPTER V  House or housing? New technology, the limits of technology, and new settlement patterns and community models.  V A. The Single Family House. Social, economic and technologic ideology. The single family suburban home is the dominant North American house type of the 20th century. Since the first streetcar suburbs of 1910, this individualistic model of urban housing has prevailed, both in popular imagery and practice. In Canada this type of housing has accounted for over 65% of all housing built in this century. The only notable exceptions are a few areas such as Montreal where multiple housing has predominated. Though current trends are toward more compact multiple housing, particularly as the population ages, it is still too early to say that a more collective or community based housing trend has taken hold. The contemporary single family home is a direct descendant of the post World War II suburban home with all of it’s imagery of family stability, comfort, convenience and consumption. It is intended as a place for a working man and a housewife to raise a wholesome family. She will be a cook, cleaner, homemaker and child care service while he commutes to work. This home is profoundly influenced by the automobile, the two or three child nuclear family, and the explosion of household gadgets and personal possessions which characterized postwar society. The interior is large and plain in comparison to urban homes of the turn of the century, both due to modern esthetics, and because it is a vessel for possessions. In it’s more extreme form, visible in high income suburbs today, the single family home represents agressive accumulation of capital and prestige to the elimination of communal goals: individualism becomes loneliness (1,2). In terms of public resources, this house is also a machine for consuming vast amounts of land, transportation energy, and public utilities. Consequently many cities are finding it very difficult to maintain roads and transportation, water, sewers, energy supplies, schools, fire protection and policing in their suburbs. The costs of servicing the dispersed suburb is simply increasing faster than the taxation revenue which can be supported in many cities.  84  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter V  According to many critiques today, the single family suburban home is an anachronism. It no longer fits the social or economic patterns which prevail, and it is becoming a burden, both to its owners and to the municipal authorities which are responsible for servicing it. The house is no longer as likely to be kept by a homemaker because she is likely to have a job outside the home. She may also be a single parent, reliant on childcare services and fast food. The cost of the home may absorb over 50% of household income (CMHC recommended a 25% figure until the mid- 1980’s), and the children may live at home until they are nearly 30. Furthermore, as the population ages, there are more childless households which are overhoused if they wish to remain in the suburbs. The continued popularity of the single family home raises the question; “what is a sustainable suburban home?” This question can be asked both in terms of the ecological fit and the social match for prevailing conditions. The problem with attempting to reduce the impact on the environment of the single family home is that the consumption patterns are built into the type, and are difficult to extricate. Though energy efficiency, water conservation and recycling can be improved in a single family home, it is still a model of dispersed land use, extensive transportation and servicing, large amounts of building materials, and extensive luxuries. At best it can be an “efficient machine for wasteful consumption”. Architect Paul Okamoto has asked (rhetorically): “What is an ecological suburb?” and answered, “It is oxymoron” (3). His discussion of the recent neo-traditionalist suburbs and the transit oriented developments concludes that, unless the role of the automobile in determining land use is challenged (and it is not, even in the new transit oriented development), and passive solar design, other appropriate technologies and more compact  house forms are seriously incorporated, the subdivision is still a model for  excessive consumption.  the social fit, the suburban home is designed for people during the most mobile period of their lives, when they are capable and willing to drive to services and  In  terms of  work. In suburban isolation, the young, old and physically disabled are dependent on those who are mobile. But those who are mobile may also already be overburdened. For  empty  nesters, singles, and couples without families  of the population), the family home is  often too large,  (the fastest growing segments  difficult and expensive to keep.  85  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter V  It also lacks the intimacy and contact with neighbours, and access to services, recreational and cultural facilities which many in these groups find important. There are, however, new trends slowly emerging which suggest more affordable, sustainable and socially relevant models for housing. In the mainstream market, for example, townhouses and condominium apartments in three and four storey buildings have become the fastest growing housing type in the past five years. Even in firmly established areas of large single family homes like Surrey B.C., there are new zoning provisions which will allow lot sizes of about 4,000 sq.ft. This is about half the size of typical subdivision lots today and is reminiscent of the streetcar subdivisions of the 1920’s. According to developers, the economic unit on the smaller lot is a simple, 2 or 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 baths, single garage home of about 1600 sq.ft. This is a substantial departure in both size and features from the typical new home in Surrey today. In addition to the slow changes taking place in single family housing, there is also a trend towards more urban housing forms such as inner city apartments and townhouses. Toronto’s lakefront developments and Vancouver’s north shore of False Creek are examples. At the fringe of market housing there are also new collective visions such as co-housing, as well as extremely simple affordable housing concepts such as “shell housing” and “grow housing’. These are discussed later in the chapter with regard to their role in providing a more ecological model for housing. While new trends slowly emerge for multiple housing, there is also a parallel effort to deal with the consumption patterns associated with the single family suburban home.  V B. Advanced Houses and Smart Houses  The Advanced House Probably the most cogent effort to reduce the environmental impact of the single family home using new technology is the Canadian Advanced Houses Program. The program sponsored the construction of ten demonstration houses across the country in 1992 and 1993. Qualification for program support required that the design meet energy budgets of about half that o an R-2000 house (about 25% of a conventional house), that water  -86  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY Chapter V  conservation and material efficiency be incorporated, and that new technology which is either available, or soon-to-be available be showcased (4). One example Advanced House is the Waterloo Green Home in a bedroom community in Ontario. It is worthwhile examining the uses of technology in this project because it represents a strong emphasis on “ecological responsibility through efficient high technology”. This is a contemporary suburban home, but one which is designed with an advanced airtight envelope, passive solar energy features and no ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) in the materials. The plumbing fixtures use less than half the water of conventional ones, and the appliances operate with about half the energy. The lot is large allowing orientation to the sun and private garden space. Short of an automated home control system, which this house does have, it has the most highly engineered and efficient envelope and mechanical / electrical systems found in houses today (5).  The design is a simple two storey rectangle of 2500 sq.ft. with a gable roof. The lower storey, actually a walk-out basement, is earth bermed on the north side, and open to a garden-patio to the south. The entry on the east has a deep porch reminsicent of bungalows, but unlike the bungalow, there is an actual foyer inside (a functional airlock entry). The kitchen! dining room is informal and linked to the main living area. There is a recycling area built in to the kitchen. The family room is in the basement, though the dining area would double as family room for those with small children. The garage is as prominent in the plan as other suburban examples, but less visible from the street because it is inside the simple rectangular form and not expressed by a separate roof.  The master bedroom suite is less formal than most, without a separate ensuite bath but sharing the main bathroom with the living area. The basement contains the other bedrooms (n.b. this is problematic for families with young children), a large family  The architectural features or style of this home is understated. The image is of a solid, well-engineered suburban home which hides it’s differences under room and office.  the skin. This home is a technological showcase without show. The landscaping is unlike its neighbours in that the lot has almost no concrete or asphalt surfacing. The driveway is made from “turf stone”, a hollow concrete paver filled with soil which allows grass to grow and stormwater to permeate. The only lawn is buffalo  grass, a very hardy, drought-resistant prairie grass which doesn’t require fertilizer or  87  SING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter V  mowing. There is also hardy white clover, serviceberry and cranberry for ground cover. There are a few deciduous shade trees to the south and west, and a prominent vegetable garden and compost area. This is very unusual landscaping for suburbia. It represents a concern with utility and passive function over show. It will conserve water, reduce drainage problems, minimize maintenance, recycle waste and produce food. It will also provide shade, color, interest and seasonal variability, though not as dramatically as exotic species. A compromise has been struck between nature and style.  Fig. V-i The Waterloo Green Home  tPOut..a P  88  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter V  The building technology is also unusual. The foundation is precast, cellular concrete which was delivered and erected by a crane. It is moisture proofed by a textured plastic membrane which improves drainage (a drain screen system). Both the walls and floors are framed with engineered “I’ joists made from strand board, a pressed wood product. The insulation is blown cellulose batt made from recycled newsprint, with a vapour barrier of polyethylene, caulked with a modified polyurethane caulking. The sub-floor and roof sheathing are engineered wood (strand board) while the wall sheathing is an insulating board made with urethane foam and wood shavings. The siding is a pressed hardhoard product with a woodgrain texture. The roof framing is manufactured trusses with stamped, galvanized steel roofing in a tile pattern. The interior finishes are of fiber-gypsum, a drywall replacement made with recycled paper and perlite (a volcanic sand). The windows are wood sash ‘superwindows” with triple glazing, inert gas filling, and a selective (low E) coating. The high dormer in the living room is glazed with a therrnochromatic film which will darken when the sun is very strong. The miliwork is primarily birch and birch plywood, a local, fast-growing species. The exterior doors are fiberglass with a foam core; the interior are hardboard. A good deal of the floor is covered with polyester carpet made from recycled soft drink bottles. This house emphasizes natural gas usage and has both a gas furnace and a sealed gas  fireplace. The furnace is unique, combining a mid efficiency burner with a rock storage medium for very high overall efficiency. It is exhausted and supplied with air through the ventilation and heat recovery system which is also unique. Even the gas clothes dryer is connected to a heat recovery unit. There are at least 4 fans operating continuousy and several pumps to operate the water system and cooling cycle (discussed below). There are two automatically-timed, motorized dampers which cycle air through the heat recovery rockbeds. Another automatic damper closes the gas fireplace vent when not in use. Both the range and the clothes dryer are experimental, sealed-combustion, gas burning units, only a few of which are in existence. There is also a gas barbeque and a water heater. The water heater is connected to a solar unit on the roof which is expected to supply about half of the hot water demand. There is a large underground cistern which collects both rainwater from the roof (through a filter) and foundation drainage water from the perimeter drains (through a sump pump). Stored non-potable water is pumped to the washer, toilets and outdoor  -89  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter V  taps. It is also used to cool the house in summer by circulation through a coil in the  furnace ducts. All-plastic plumbing serves eight low-flow fixtures of stamped steel or polyester. The lighting is entirely fluorescent, indoors and out, with some photovoltaic outdoor lights on the garden path. The communications wiring is simple, incorporating only telephone and cable TV systems. Though this is not a “Smart House”, it has an extraordinary number of electronic controls for the conservation measures. The values expressed here are convenience with conservation; ecology through efficient technology. This home has transcended, to some extent, the prominence and features of the suburban home. It is reserved in appearance, does not offer luxuries or sales features (with the possible exception of the gas barbeque and fireplace) and is a typical size for the 1990’s family oriented home (though it is twice the size of the prewar family home). But it j a highly technological house with a great deal of complex machinery, albeit energy conserving machinery. To design and build this house required several energy specialists, ventilation specialists, and controls specialists. The premanufactured foundation and blown insulation also required special equipment. The occupant must now either be trained in control systems or rely heavily on outside technicians. There are an enormous number of things to go wrong, some of which could be dangerous, such as failure of any of the powered gas venting mechanisms. The advanced technology in this home is also very costly; approximately doubling the cost over conventional construction. This is justified for a “one of a kind” demonstration home, hut “value for cost” questions will have to be faced before the mainstream adopts any of these features. It is said that “environmental life-cycle costing” was factored into the design of this house (6). This type of costing includes the impacts of materials production, the maintenance and replacement of materials and the cost of saving energy in the home. But considering the suburban setting, it may be asked if the life cycle costing should include the energy and environmental cost of transporting the people who will live here? Should it include the multiple visits and future service calls by several technical specialists? Should it include the energy, material and environmental cost of making and maintaining the complex machinery it depends on? These considerations might have generated a very different result.  -90  -  I-loUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY-•  Chapter V  Almost all of the chosen Advanced House projects are new, detached single family houses in suburban areas. Drawing on this prevalent model for the “Canadian family home”, the program is clearly a well intended effort to marry the image of suburban living with efficiency. It is an effort to offer a “business as usual” image, with a lot of hidden efficiencies. It does not attempt to explore a more socially and ecologically appropriate housing type.  The Smart House The Smart House is a concept of the mid-l980’s. As individual control technologies in housing became more sophisticated, it was an obvious step to invent an integrated system of controls operated by microprocessors. This is done through a system of network wiring, sensors and actuators throughout the house. These are operated by software through a standardized communications protocol. But what can integrated controls offer in housing? According to Langreth (7), and Smith (8), the current list of features and functions offered by manufacturers of integrated control systems is quite long. The following discussion describes what each integrated control can do and, following, in italics, what is currently available with discrete, non-integrated equipment: Lighting control Automated control systems can switch lighting based on room occupancy,  daylight levels or a programmed sequence used when the home is empty to deter burglars. (Most of these basic functions can also be provided by simple photosensitive or timed switches, without the electronic network.) Home security system  Security features are a large selling point for home automation. Since many  homes already have security systems, what the network can do is to provide more sophisticated monitoring, as well as remote monitoring of the system through telephone lines. (The basic features are already available in many home  security systems without a control network. The integrated systems simply make simultaneous use of the occupancy sensors, and window and door switches already used for lighting, heating control etc.)  -  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter V  Temperature control The automated system can provide programmed temperature control, and remote control if this is a system feature. (Programmed temperature control is now quite common without the control network. The only difference offered by some systems is remote control.) HVAC equipment control Ventilation equipment can also be controlled through an automated network. For example C02 sensors, humidity, volatile compound sensors or occupancy sensors can be used to regulate ventilation based on demand. (Some of these functions have been acheived experimentally in homes without automated home wiring, and some “demand controlled” equipment is now marketed. However, to control ventilation on a zoned basis requires a substantial amount of hardware such as motorized dampers, variable supply and exhaust grilles etc. These systems would benefit from the network wiring used for automated home systems, but are generally considered too complex to be acceptable in housing.) Audio/video distribution New homes already typically have cable TV outlets in at least three rooms. More recently, many homes are being prewired for audio systems which are centrally located hut have speakers in several rooms. Home theater is also a new luxury feature which is beginning to appear in a few homes. Home theater  is defined as very large screen television, usually operated by digital video, and with high quality, multiple-channel sound. (Home automation networks may simplify distribution and control of home entertainment systems of this kind, but more modest, dedicated wiring systems are presently adequate for most systems. Interestingly a few “home automation” systems actually provide Qfliy this feature of distributed audio and video, without any of the other expected  features such as heating, lighting and appliance control. It is difficult to understand how these systems can be called home automation at all when they provide on I y entertainment features.) Appliance control Large appliances, such as ovens, laundry machines and dishwashers, can be controlled by programs, by remote within the home, or by telephone link if the system has the capability. The actual usefulness of this control, above and beyond what is already available in programmable appliances, is not clear. Remote control seems to be the main selling point, and the value of even this is  -2  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOOGY-93  Chapter V  not entirely clear. Presumably a busy houseparent can plan a meal, put it in the oven, and turn it on by remote before coming home. (However timed autocook capabililty has been available in ovens for over thirty years. The only difference is that now it can be remote controlled.) Access to persona I coml)uter Some automated systems are linked to a home PC. These use special PC software for home control rather than having dedicated microprocessors for the home. One result of this connection is that the PC can be contacted, by remote, through telephone lines and data exchange can be done if the systems has this capability. (This capability already exists with modem hardware and software for PC’s, but automated home software can extend and simplify the remote access to home monitoring data. The question is “what is this information useful for?”)  Electrical safety features A feature of the controlled electrical outlet is it’s “ground fault electrical interruption” capability. Any device connected to the outlet is protected, so that  if an electrical fault is detected, the power is interrupted within a few microseconds. This is typically rapid enough to prevent any electrical shock at all. (Individual ground fault devices are already used in homes, under current  codes, for outlets in wet locations such as bathrooms. The difference with automated systems is that ll outlets can be protected this way.) Automated Utility Management Though home automation generally is focused on providing more automated control wit/i/n the home for the (questionable) benefit of the resident, a further option (one with more community emphasis) is to use automated controls for utility demand management. In this scenario, the control system is connected to a neighbourhood or regional demand management centre which has some control over domestic hot water heating, some appliances, and possibly space heating in the home. The purpose is to distribute electrical and gas loads over  the day so that the minimal amount of coincidence occurrs, thereby reducing utility sizing requirements. Clearly it is only possible to do this without interrupting service to customers for those few demands with a large storage potential (i.e. hot water and some types of space heating) or low priority appliances such as laundry and dishwashing.  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY-  Chapter V  (The role of automated home systems in demand management is an interesting one because it is one of the few uses which have been proposed which really could acheive a regional environmental benefit, and for which there are not known alternatives which are as effective. Though individually timed storage heaters are widely used in Europe, they are not controlled by outside signals. The only existing dedicated hardware which can respond to outside control is the air-conditioner cycling switch used by some electric utilities in the U.S. midwest. These reduce the cycling of air conditioners when a signal is sent by the utility during peak demand periods.) Consumer response indicates that there is very little interest in home automation systems, and very little willingness to pay the high cost. While consumers with high incomes are buying many of the individual features, such as security systems and audio/video distribution, they are  buying  them as individual items, not as part of a full  automation package (9). With the possible exception of utility demand management, it is difficult to justify control systems in ecological terms. Their ability to save energy is marginal compared to important life style choices, effective passive measures, and efficient appliances. The fact that an individual can monitor their energy consumption on a regular basis, instead of waiting until their utility bill arrives, is questionable as a motivator towards life style change. Their implied social value has already been questioned in Chapter II. It is likely that high technology home control systems will not stand the test of time, but will become mechanical curiosities and a footnote to housing history.  V C. The Technological Possibilities for Change; Meeting an Ecological Agenda The ecological agenda in housing can be broadly defined as: “minimizing the impact of housing on regional and global habitats including terres[rja/ and aquatic ecosystems, soils and air quality”  The obvious technical means of achieving this are: •  Minimizing the extraction of raw materials for construction which have a high impact on ecosystems. The method of extraction is also often as important as  quantity.  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter V  • Minimizing materials processing which entails toxic agents and high impact solid, liquid and gaseous wastes. • Minimizing the use of non-renewable energy in materials processing, transportation and construction. • Minimizing materials use and waste by optimizing building design and engineering efficiency. • Minimizing non-renewable operating energy use and water use by optimizing building design. • Minimizing building maintenance and component replacement requirements by designing for durability. But what is the actual potential for meeting these ends through technology, and what are the limitations of technology? Materials extraction methods Technological change can assist in resource preservation through several means: In/bimation based management. Information systems can provide a better  understanding of ecosystems than was previously possible. Examples are satellite scanning of forests, geological and biological information databases,  atmospheric and water quality sampling, and computer models which help to predict impact on ecosystems. These tools, if appropriately applied, can lead to better resource management that what is possible using more empirical and manual methods. • Recycled content. Advances in recycling can reduce the demand for virgin  raw materials. Examples are insulation and fiberboard made from post consumer paper, construction panels made from agricultural waste, fly ash concrete, and textiles and lumber substitutes made from post-consumer plastics. • Substitution. Advances in chemistry and engineering can relieve pressure on  threatened ecosystems to a degree by providing alternatives to raw materials which are scarce or have a high impact. Examples are plastics made from  -95  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY-’  Chapter V  vegetable oils, and engineered wood products made from “undervalued” species or reconstituted woods.  Efficient extraction. Advances in forestry and mining practice can improve the recovery ol useable materials and the protection of those not harvested. Materials processing and waste While some construction materials such as wood require modest amounts of manufacturing, others such as metals and plastics require a great deal. Technological change can improve the conversion of raw material into useable building products and reduce the waste stream. The key concepts here are: Conversion efficiency. Production technology can increase the conversion  rate of raw material to product. An example is the computerized sawmill which calculates log dimensions before cutting. •  Production which leave a useable waste can be located with another process which can use that waste. Examples are a Co-product development.  sawmill which sends chips to an adjacent fiberboard mill, and a mineral concentration plant which sends it’s slag to a mineral wool insulation plant. This is sometimes called “industrial ecology”. • Process energy  efficiency.  Process redesign, process heat recovery and plant  insulation are some of the steps which can reduce plant energy use. Examples are dry process cement kilns, kiln flue gas precalciners, and enclosed (insulated) steelmaking furnaces. In some cases, excess energy is generated by a process and can be used for adjacent steam heating, or sent to an electrical utility for sale.  • Solid, liquid and gaseous waste. In some processes, waste is actually lost product. These are the most amenable to waste recovery technology. An example is the recovery of dust from cement grinding or metal scraps from machining for return to the process. In other cases, the waste is less useful, or possibly hazardous. Process redesign and emissions control technology in these cases is directed at minimizing the making and release of waste. An example is a solvent reduction and recovery program in a painting plant.  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOY-97  Chapter V  Non-renewable energy for transportation and construction. Transportation of construction goods can be a large energy consumer. Obviously using local sources as much as possible is a primary strategy for reducing transportation. In addition, shipping via water and rail is far more energy efficient than by road and air. Also some products can be shipped in a ‘knocked down” state, or in a concentrated form to reduce shipping energy. Energy use during actual construction is a relatively small factor, though temporary heating can be significant (Cole and Rink, 1993). Obviously seasonal timing and scheduling is a primary strategy for reducing construction energy, but moveable insulation and other technologies are also used. Materials use  and w’aste in construction.  This is largely a matter of design and detailed dimensioning, though choice of technology is also important. For example a material efficient floor or roof design in wood or steel should provide adequate depth for lighter weight, trussed elements. In terms of dimensioning, wood products are usually sold in 24” increments, while steel is shipped precisely made to length. The wood scrap is only partly reuseable while the steel scrap is fully recyclable. It total, the potential for reducing waste by construction design and technology choices is relatively small, often due to other design constraints. For example the extra building height produced by using deeper floor sections may exceed zoning limits.  Non-renewable operating energy use and water use. Considering a lifecycle of 50 years or more, the operating utilities used by a household are the overwhelming direct factors in environmental impact. Experience with the Canadian R2000 program suggests that primarily passive design strategies, using available technologies such as high performance windows and insulation, can practically reduce energy consumption by about 50% over conventional construction. The active technologies required to meet this goal are high efficiency heating equipment, heat recovery ventilation equipment and efficient lighting. These are not highly sophisticated technologies, and the payback on investment may be from five to ten years, depending on climatic region and utility rates (Kadulski et al, 1993). The water conservation measures are also quite simple. They usually entail modified landscaping and low flow fixtures.  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter V  The Advanced House program, on the other hand, aims to reduce consumption to 25% of a conventional household, within the single family housing model. This next increment of conservation is much more difficult to acheive. Many more active measures and more control technology is required. Logical control of power driven features may add to energy efficiency of the home, but most of the consumption is inherent in the nature of the system and its use, not in its programmed control.  Reducing maintenance a 11(1 replacement requirements Over the lifespan of a home, the cycle of maintenance and material replacement is also a large environmental factor because new material is consumed and old material discarded. Detailed design and material selection is a primary strategy, but material technologies can also he an important factor. For example, high-pressure laminates provide very durable surfaces using small amounts of common raw materials. Another example is semi-permanent resin coating  for  flooring which dramatically reduces  maintenance and improves wearability.  But all of these measures can only reduce impact, they do not eliminate it. They are steps which stretch the utilization of resources by 10%, 30% or even 80%, and reduce waste. But if growth in demand continues, this only delays the inevitable approach of the limits of ecological carrying capacity (Rees, 1992). For example the conservation goals of a program like Advanced Houses are met by using high technology conservation steps, without comprimising luxury features. But these goals could probably have been met, or exceeded, with a compact design, offering very modest housing, with basic features, and without the need for the high technology conservation equipment.  This  option is discussed in  the next  section.  In the final analysis, all technical measures can only deal with the house as a material artifact. They can only help to reduce the impact of making and maintaining housing. But housing exists  within a context which is  much  larger than its material dimension.  There are very important larger questions about the assumptions and concepts behind housing which also have a major influence on ecological and social impact: • Who is the housing for? • How much housing is needed per person?  -  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY--  Chapter V  • What features, amenities and luxuries are appropriate? • What are appropriate social and community structures for housing the changing population? • How much land is to be allocated for housing? • What type of settlement patterns can best alleviate growing urban problems of infrastructure, services and transportation? These are questions which have only been marginally faced by conscious individual decisions and public policy in Western society, and which can only be answered to a small degree by techiio/ogical chotce. They are typically left to the market to determine. Thus the income available and the ability to borrow determines what sort of housing a person receives, and what features and technologies it will have. Where housing development and urban settlement patterns are primarily determined by urban  land economics, and not by policy, ecological and social values are lost. Because markets are notoriously insensitive to ecological costs, social costs, and even to fiscal costs in the long term, the mainstream market model is failing to provide housing forms and settlement patterns which are appropriate for the future. Particularly for meeting the sort of social and ecological agendas which are beginning to emerge. It does appear that convcioiiv ‘ffi)rts to alter these trends are necessary. One example of  conscious change is the voluntary simplicity’ movement. V D. The Urban, Social and Collective Possibilities for Change. Density, Grow Houses and Co-housing.  Ecology and Density The density of human settlements has been a prominent concern of planners and theorists, particularly since the industrial revolution. Though the subject will not be explored in detail, it is important to note that there is a prevalent belief in North America that high density dwelling patterns are pathological and produce social and individual stress and crime. This is one of several reasons why low density development has prevailed. This belief persists in spite of the many examples of very healthy communities at urban densities, and the many pathological communities at suburban densities. In terms of ecological impact, it may be argued simply that the more land that is altered by development, the more ecosystems are upset. This may be  -hOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter V  called a “containment” model of ecological responsibility. It suggests that minimizing excavation, paving, planting of lawns and ornarnentals, roadbuilding, powerline, water, and sewer construction and other development steps is more ecologically responsible. A more sophisticated evaluation using the appropriated land area model suggests that there are ecological benefits at both extremes of density, but that these are dependent on life style choice. In the detached single family home on acreage, it is possible to acheive a substantial degree of local energy, food and water self-sufficiency as has been shown by the autonomous house experience of the 1970’s. Some argue that a minimum of about two hectares of land are required for a household if the residents are to garden, provide water, disposal and pasturage for domestic animals, and to heat with wood with any degree of self-sufficiency. This possibility is, of course, dependent on the serious life-style choice to live by one’s own direct labour. This postulate matches well with the conditions of mainly self-sufficient agrarian people in many parts of the world today who require a minimum of about 1/4 hectare per person (or about 1 .5 hectares er household) for food sustainability on relatively productive land. (Note: the land area required for wood fuel energy often extends well beyond that.) These self-sufficient situations are only sustainable if a very modest amount of convenience, mobility and other modern expectations are assumed. At the other extreme of density, in urban settings where there are upwards of about 20 dwellings per hectare, the possibilities for individual self-sufficiency are somewhat limited. A small amout of intensive food production can be done on small allotments, and a limited amount of rainwater collection and solar collection can be done. But the actual contribution of this production is likely to be small, due to urban constraints. At moderate to high densities, garden space is limited, solar access is limited, rainwater may be contaminated and space for composting and wastewater disposal is severely restricted, The possibilities for individual energy self-sufficiency are practically limited to a modest amount of solar heating and possibly some photovoltaic electricity. However, at urban densities, the possibility for collective production and collective economies are far better than at suburban and rural densities. Neighbourhood food production on commons, regional water collection and treatment, regional wastewater treatment, and regional energy production are practical and economic if there are enough participants in the immediate vicinity (13). Transportation systems can work  -100  •1°1  HoUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter V  effectively and housing that is closely packed, particularly where there are common walls and roofs, also has substantial energy performance and structural efficiency advantages.  TABLE V. Densification of Residential Neighbourboods (Site ales- 206.3 Ac., Park area- 11.9 Ac.) I______ EXISTING USE Sttve(sas%ofS,te: r SitedwelliagslAc.:  30% 5.0 7.6  • Lots dwellings / Ac.  I  UNIT MIX 2376 488 2880 143 3600 341 4320 54 1026 Total units  (.o.6rsR) so.ft  na.ft  sa.ft sa.ft at App.  I  [  Lots dwellings I Ac.  j  ( 0.75 FSRt 538 sq.ft so.ft 542 sa 538 aq.ft 1712 l43Iapp.350 nq.ft. 3473 Total units at App. 1.9 6599 POPULATION LAND PER PEgS STREET PER PERS UNIT MIX over 2000 app. 1500 app. 1050 app. 750  Annual effiuentAinit  216,000 Litres  -  Annual gas use/unit  112,500 i Annual water usefanit 90,000  UNIT MIX 538 over 20(8) 1500 848 1050 614 1788 app. 750 2t9I. 350  Full size family unit Modest family unit 2bedtoonit,  .  ,.  I  persons I unit-  (@ 052 FuR) sq.ft. aqit. 2 bedroómi p1. aq.ft. StudinS. sq.ft.  ITntal units  I  I  PULAT1ON  IB9din,om!ut  •1 A  I  -.  Annual effluent/unit  1.832  KWH  [  79,764  Litres  ‘L’!!!L  63,811  Litres  maintain a net decrease ofresourcei New retnstntct,on such as coachouses must meet best current standards. Street tnflhls must exceed best c Boffi smaller usst size and nflkiencv measures are considered in conservation esrimarex -  -  3.22 0,1.5  606  war  -  I  ESTIMATED ECONOMIES  ,rn Itulu  270,000 Tjttes  17% 19.1 24.8  Stsas%ofSite SitedwellingslAc.: Lots dwellings I Ac.  30% 16.8 25.5  iStreetsas%ofSite:  ESTIMATED EXISTING RESOU ICE USE PER PERSON 854 2,050 M3 Annual gas useAmit  I  WITH STREET INFILL, PHASE II  WITH INFILL., PHASE I  Sinnlefa1tr_________ SineIefpIiy_______ Sjg(1ilJ SJgti1y 2.4 persons / unit-  4nnual water use/unit  s_  (3 storey, ground oriented opt  69.i2OILiIsUs ,103  55,296ILitres  ,j  0.16  Tonnes  ng older homes. ear stundanta by ustngáeniIve eseegy water recyding oaq7oang toilets etc.  I  I-  I  I—  The existing housing emphasizes very large units for small families. The first phase infill increases the population by 2.7 times and reduces the land and street area per person accordingly. With energy and water conservation measures the per-capita consumption drops to less than half. The second phase infill increases the population by another 14% reducing the land use and street area again. The energy and water use per capita drop further through alternative energy, water,and waste treatment requirements.  in  83e  I:58WW*  Table V-i Densllication of Residential Neighbourhoods  This potential is largely untapped  EEl NFILL PLR PERSON 276 —  North American settlements due to the emphasis  on the individual, the lack of participatory culture, and the lack of ecological awareness. There (ire two emerging housing movements, however, which suggest a slow progression of change. These are the voluntary simplicity movements, perhaps best expresed by the grow house and shell house’ phenomena, and by the co  .  I  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter V  housing collectives. Though both are primarily social and political ideologies, they have a strong association with ecological awareness and appropriate technology.  The selected site is a low density, older Vancouver neighbourhood. The phase I infill assumes full use of the existing allowable developed area, including additions and divisions of existing large houses and coach houses. The phase II infill assumes that the street pattern is modified to create new residential lots. With each densification there are energy efficiency and water conservation measures assumed (as requirements) which actually reduce gross consumption and utility requirements for the neighbourhood. All housing is ground oriented, maximum three storeys, with garden space for each unit.  Fig. V-2 Neighbourhood Densification  102  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter V  -103  Grow houses and shell housing The “grow house” or “urban starter” concept was developed at the McGill University Centre for Minimum Cost Housing. It is one of several incentives to promote very compact, modest housing which occurred in the mid 1980’s. Since then there have been several low cost housing competitions and demonstrations projects, all emphasizing houses with basic features and simple construction details which could be built for about $40,000 to $50,000 CDN. The grow house is a 2 or 2-1/2 storey unit which was conceived to fit a 20 to 25 ft. wide urban lot in Montreal. It is a simple box with a steep gable roof which can contain several different floor plans. The plan is designed to begin from a minimum finished space, and “grow” with household needs. For example the bathroom, kitchen and a few dividing walls would be all the interior finishing provided for the first stage. Then, if household needs and income dictate, further finishing could be done to make another bedroom upstairs, add an office or another small bath etc. (14,15). The major point of the grow house is that simple needs are met affordably and incrementally, and the user is a major participant in making and changing the house. The strict emphasis on simplicity and low first-time cost has not led to a great deal of energy efficiency measures in this project, but it i very modest in terms of consumption of land and resources. There are few conveniences and high technology approaches in the concept, except perhaps some resource efficient engineered wood products. This is a concept which promotes social ecology, economy and simplicity. Though it is highly compatible with the con’iinunity scale ecological responses discussed above, these are not necessarily reflected within the homes. Though the grow home does not have an “ecological emphasis” by strict definition, it is quite compatible with a  community interested in low ecological impact, participation and simplicity, because these values are closely allied. The grow house is an example of a larger phenomenon often called “shell housing”, “serviced core” housing or other terms (16,17). It is made in quite a different way from the usual housing in wealthier societies, in that the house is not a finished “consumer item” but a process of participation. The lack of emphasis on finished features appeals to those who live simply, whether by choice or necessity, and living simply is a key to reducing ones impact on ecosystems.  >.. C  z C-))  C-) Zi rj)  D  IE  I .  0  Lu C,,  x  0 LU  cC 0 ci  z 0 0  z  I  0  0  Lu I—  z  I  m cC  0)-  0) C  a,  C >  0)  0  0) 0  -  -  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND  Chapter V  TECHNOLOGY  Co-housing Another emerging model is a more collective housing form called co-housing. It is really not a new idea, but an interpretation of ancient village concepts with a strong emphasis on common areas and communal activities, especially dining. It is not a “commune” in the sense of a community focused on a religious belief system, or a charismatic leader, nor does it particularly attract people with intense “communitarian spirit”. For most, co-housing is a practical solution to living a busy life in a neighbourhood with affordable housing under local control, and where common areas  and facilities are managed by cooperative arrangements. According to Catherine McCamant and Charles Durrett, authors of the recent book  Cohousing, “Cohousing.  Qf/ers a new approach to housing rather than a new way of life. Based on (leniocranc principles, cohousing developments espouse no ideology other than the desire/or a more practical and social home environment” (18). Though .  .  the social advantages of cohousing are emphasized, there are many land use, transportation, resource efficiency and community scale economic advantages of  cohousing. For example: • •  Many cohousing communities use compact cluster planning thereby reserving  common land in a more natural state.  Many cohousing communities emphasize work at home, public transportation use, carpooling and other trip reduction strategies.  • All cohousing communities have shared kitchen facilities thereby reducing the space allocation in the home and the use of many individual kitchens. •  Many cohousing communities have energy efficiency, resource conservation and recycling programs which are exemplary.  •  Most cohousing communities have shared laundry, workshop, gardening and recreation facilities thereby dramatically reducing the individual space allocated to these things and the individual ownership of equipment.  An intentional community is more likely to include ecological considerations because  “community minded” people are more likely to be aware of their relationship with the environment. An intentional community also has the potential to incorporate ecological considerations on a neighbourhood scale, and this is just what some cohousing communities have done. One of the pioneering Danish cohousing examples, Sun and  Wind completed in 1980, is a good example:  -105  -110 USING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter V  • The houses are two storey to minimize land coverage and maximize solar access to the roofs. • The entire cluster is pedestrain access only. Autos are confined to the periphery. • The buildings are highly insulated and have shutters and high performance windows. All have water conserving fixtures. • There are solar collectors for space heating and domestic hot water on the common buildings and houses. These supply 30% of the total energy needs through a district storage and heating system. A wood fired boiler and gas fired booster supplements the central heat supply. • The group owns a 55 kw. wind turbine located on a nearby hill. This provides 10% of the total energy needs. The power is sold to the local utility and then purchased back, a far more effective method than attempting to have local storage and distribution for self-generated electricity.  CH V Conclusions. The single family home is increasingly inappropriate to the social needs and emerging ecological agenda in industrial society today. Yet it is still an important model in the marketplace and in the public imagination. It is a model which is difficult to amend to make it more socially and ecologically responsive, particularly using technological means. A high technology approach to conservation in the single family home is represented by the “advanced houses” program and by “smart home” control system. Both have serious flaws in that they fail to challenge the limitations of the single family home model, and the real value ol more complex electronic conveniences in the home. Furthermore they increase dependency on devices which may fail, and which will require technical support because they are not accessible to the resident.  There are “known and available” technical means of reducing the ecological impact of making and operating housing, and many of these are being slowly taken up by the manufacturing industries, design professions and the building industry. However, only  recently has a comprehensive conservation agenda begun to emerge in demonstration projects. But the actual potential of these strategies for reducing ecological impact is limited to their usefulness in improving how housing is designed and made. The larger framework in which housing is set is one of social, ethical and economic issues which raise questions of why housing is made, how it is distributed among people, and what  -106  -  [lOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter V  sort of settlement patterns occur. Furthermore there are growth limits set by ecological carrying capacity. These are not so amenable to technological change. However there are both social and ecological advantages in higher densities and more participatory and collective approaches to housing. Densification has merit in providing for community economies in utilities, local food and energy production, local waste management and transportation. Two examples of participatory and collective housing are “shell housing” and “cohousing”. Though primarily economic and social models, these housing forms demonstrate that ecological consciousness and community values are inti mate! y connected.  -107  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter VI  CH Vi. Conclusions. Technology and ecology in new housing concepts. The limitations of technological change. The broader agenda of changes in values and community. In 856 Henry Thoreau wrote: “And i/il is asserlecl I/ia! civilization is a real advance in the condition of man,— and! think that i/is, Ihough only the wise improve their advantages-, it must be shown that /1 has produced helter dwellings without making them more costly, and the cos! of a thing is the amount of iihat I will call life which is required to be exchaiiged/r if, immediately or in the long rim” (1).  The major physical changes in housing over the past century have been technological change in the way housing is produced and in the utilities and climate control systems. In terms of mechanical conveniences such as refrigeration and appliances, almost all were introduced between 191 0 and 1960. Manufacturing trends, mechanical climate control trends and incorporation of mechanical conveniences are expressions of the scientific materialist paradigm and the value of efficiency and market forces in the housing industry. As such they are not adequately connected to the social and culturalaspects of housing. Furthermore there are unexpected, detrimental results of the pursuit of mechanization and efficiency as a single purpose in houses, because the physical and cultural forces at play are far more complex than the oversimplified models which inform these decisions. In terms of the ecological agenda, there is some promise in new technology, particularly in the fields of energy efficiency and resource efficiency, but these technologies must be chosen as a means to carefully examined ends. If not, new technology is used to cover the failings of old paradigms. The potential for technological directions forward in the several aspects of home technology can perhaps be summarized this way:  Building technology. Technologies which improve material and energy conversion efficiency in manufacture can prove beneficial, as can those which allow substitution for rare or sensitive resources. Actual changes to construction technology are very limited given the expected home size and features. In all cases it is necessary to careftilly examine the ends which efficiencies are serving. How much is appropriate, for whom and why.  108  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter VI  Ser’ices  New technologies such as biological systems which provide utilities and waste processing can be beneficial. However utilities must also be controlled to gain the most community benefit, perhaps at the cost of technology.  individual convenience. •  Climate control technology. Technologies which enhance passive performance and which employ simple and transparent means to improve energy efficiency can be the most beneficial. However it is important to question the degree of control which is appropriate.  •  Convenience  technology. Technologies which displace heavy and tedious tasks  using simple and effective means have a liberating benefit. However it is important to justify the need, and to understand the social and economic consequences. •  / inlorination technology. Technologies which reduce commuter trips and provide meaningful information to assist important Comnn,nicaiions  decisions are the most beneficial. However it is important to question the need for trivial information and enhanced entertainment. The prospects for beneficial change through technology alone, however, are not very promising, particularly in view of the enormous inertia of consumer patterns and current directions in housing and technological development. And change moves particularly slowly in the residential sector. Counter to the very small “high-tech housing”, “community based housing” and “natural housing” movements in North America, there is a massive mainstream with immense resi stance to re-evaluation of economic, technological and socio-cultural priorities.  The potential for adaptation of the single-family, detached home to ecological concerns may be questioned, simply on the basis of house size and per-capita allotment:  109  -110  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter VI  Table Vl-I House Size Per Person (Canada) 1920 to 1992 Year  Typical New Dwelling Type  1920  “Urban cottage’ on compact lot or walkup apartment Compact bungalow (1-1/2 storey) on large suburban lot Modest split-level rancher on large suburban lot Large suburban home or concrete highrise apartment Large suburban home or concrete high rise apartment Very large suburban home, or wood frame townhouse or apartment  1950 1960 1970  1980 1992  Floor Area (Sg.Ft.) 1050  Floor Area Per Person (Sg.Ft.) 300  1000  313  1280  366  1500  536  1750  648  1900  826  (2,3,4) When average home size nearly doubles in less than two generations, at a time when  average household population has dropped from nearly four to less than three persons, the net increase in per capita housing consumption is nearly three fold. This trend does not stand up to ecological or social scrutiny. These increases in individual resource use add up to an ever growing demand on nature exceeding the point of maximum carrying capacity.  Given this, how is housing to adapt to changing times, and how is necessary innovation to occur if it does not have a direct cost advantage and expediency for the builder and consumer? Because the individuals concerns are often not consistent with innovation and response to social and environmental agendas, part of the answer is in public policy. This  is the reason that CMI-IC and other national and provincial agencies have supported housing research and demonstration programs to influence the industry. They have also sponsored many upgrading programs with a technical policy mandate such as the home  insulation programs, and the residential rehabilitation programs. There are also social policy programs such as co-op housing, low income housing, and housing for the handicapped. More recently there have been “green housing” programs added.  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter VI  The dilemma of public policy when promoting innovation is “under what system of priority and values and for whom’?”. Builders will argue that they already produce efficiently and don’t need innovation unless it saves them money, gives them a competitive edge, or reduces their liability. They are driven directly by market demand and consumer preference and resist bureaucracies. The housing consumer is looking for an affordable, quality house which they  CHfl  purchase with some measure of protection from gross  failures and hazards. The national code and building research programs have therefore had to determine a policy mandate by treading carefully through conflicting agendas. For example attempts to introduce higher insulation, air barrier and ventilation standards into codes have taken nearly 1 5 years, largely due to resistance from the builders lobby and consumer groups. Arguably a more successful approach is to introduce incentive programs such as the Canadian R-2000 program instead of codification of standards. Incentives are always better accepted than standards which appear to be prescriptive or punitive.  But almost all of the discussion is centered on how technical innovation in housing is to proceed. The assumption of this position is that it is possible to hnilda way out of our contemporary social and ecological dilemmas using more efficiency and better technology. However this is unlikely to occur unless socio-cultural and ethical problems become an admissible part of the currently limited “technical debate”. Is this possible within the scientific materialist paradigm? According to Thomas Kuhn the revolutions in science throughout history have had two important results:  b;cic’h produced a consL’cplen/ shifi in the problems available/or scientific scrutiny and in the standards by I1.hich the pro/’,ssioii determined what should count as an admissible problem or as a legitimate problem solution Each Irai,s/ormed the .scietiii/ic Imagination in ways that we shall ultimately need to describe u.s a transformation al/he world i’ithin which scienqfIc work was done  (5).  If there is to he a revolution in the terms described by Kuhn, it must be a revolution in which the uses made of’ science by society are fundamentally restructured using philosophical and ethical values. In which every technology is scrutinized to determine social value using some community standards and the ecological cost using some  111  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter VI  -1 12  ecological logic. In a sense this is a return to an ancient model because prior to the narrowly defined views of progress which prevail today, progress in art and science meant the result of successftil creative work on behalf ofa group or before god. It meant an addition to collective acheivement. But technologists who are imprisoned by a paradigm consider themselves as the sole possesors of the rules for evaluation; i.e. that only the experts, ‘the initiated” are qualified. Lay persons (the outsiders) should not, many scientists believe, participate in critiques of technology because they are not experts (6). But it is precisely because they are outsiders that the non-expert is qualified to comment on the relevance, ethics and social-historical context of scientific and technological work. It may be precisely because the proponents of building energy efficiency in the 1970’s and  high technology housing methods in the I 980’s did not anticipate the cycle of technological and human adjustment that would be required once the first steps were taken that we now have “natural house” proponents. This entire movement may be symptomatic of the cultural shock brought about by indequate understanding of the implications of change. Particularly in a field like housing with its deeply imbedded cultural values. And this is not a new phenomenon. At the turn of the century Tolstoy wrote:  “Atid lo and behold, the .vcien/isLc of our limes, instead of employing all of their strength to abolish whale ver hinders man from utilizing the good things prepared fur him, acknowledge the conditions under which man is deprived of these things as unalterable, and instead of arranging the life of a man so that he might work joyfully aiicf bef’dfiom the soil, the)) devise methodc which will cause him to become an artificial abortion. It is like not helping a man out of confinement into the fresh air, but dei’i.sing means, ms/cad, to pump into him the necessary quail/it)) 0/ oxygen anti arranging so that he may live in a stifling cellar instead of living at honie” (7). Today as the technologies of efficient production, climate control, luxury and information increase in housing, more questions are raised about the central shelter, culture and social requirements of housing in the broader sense. In fact many of these technological changes are rendering houses less affordable, less understandable and less flexible; trends which may counter some of the cherished expectations of housing and housing policy. It might be said that, though the convenience, luxury and information technologies are serving a market demand, they raise more questions about housing values than they serve to answer.  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter VI  -113  Jacques Ellul describes ours as “a civilization commuted to the quest/or continually improved means to carelessly examined ends” (8). We produce machines to enhance our material wealth and control over the physical world, but this leads to the need for more machines and information to control the machines. Each technology and each technological decision carries with it an agenda which is determined by the social, economic and political context in which it was engendered. This agenda may be lifeaffirming and may not add any significant value to human culture, or to life on earth. In his conclusion to TeCQpQ1y, Postman posits several characteristics of those who can  live in the modern age while resisting the cultural deterioration brough on by unrestrained technopoly (9). A few of these are: “those who re/usc’ to accept relaiion.s’;  e//!c/enc).’  ci.s the pre—emineni goal of human  • those who hare /i cccl fheniseli’esfroni the belief/n the magical powers of numbers, do iiot regard calculation as’ an adequate substitute for judgement, or precisioli ((5 ci .syiioiiyni /or truth;  • those who are at least suspicious of/he idea ofprogress, and who do not confuse in/brine I ion with unc ler.sIa,idinçr; • those 11110 luke the great nurrati’ees o/ religion seriously and who do not believe dial science /s the only system 0/ thought capable ofproducing truth; • those who ac/mire technological ingemii/y but do highest possible /brui o/humai, acheivement.  not  /hink it represents the  According to Mumford: “f/we are to prel’ent inegatechnics from further controlling and deforniing evety (?f hitinait culture, we .s’hali he able to do so only with the aid of a radically diffr’renl model deriecl directly, no/from machines, hut from living organisms (Hid from orgailic complexes (ecosystems) This new model will in time replace megatechmc’s with hioiechiiics; and Ihut is the /irst step toward passingfrom power /0 p/en/line. once an orgamc 1I’or/dpictilre is in the ascendant, the working aim of an economy will he, not to feed more human functions into the machine, but to c/eec/op /iirther man’s incalculable potentialities for self— actualization ((lid se!/—transcentleiice, taking hack into himself many of the actii’ities he has too supinely suri’endered to the mechanical .system” (10). a.spect  Thus far the examples provided of “ecological housing” are limited and somewhat disappointing. This is perhaps because the results will be contradictory until basic qestions of settlement patterns, social equity and community are included. The design professions  proceed by example, but the example  flOW  needed must resolve many conflicting and  -HOUSING, EC()L()GYANDTECHNOLOGY-114  Chapter VI  difficult questions. How much housing and for whom? Facing ecological imperatives will require a lot more than new technology. It will require a shift in fUndamental outlook: what we expect from our houses, what we are willing to put emphasis on, and what we are willing to do without, In short, a revolution in values. North American society is the most overhoused in the world in terms of per-capita floor area, the most excessively serviced in terms of bathrooms per capita and other features, the most excessive energy users for households and transportation, and one of the most affluent in terms of the material goods and accessories of the household. In terms of land use, residential densities are the lowest of industrialized countries and highways and utilities the most widespread. All of these conditions mitigate against more ecologically responsive housing simply because each of these consumption patterns has an associated ecological cost, and the cost cannot be eliminated by technological change, it can only be mitigated for a time. There is a strong connection between ecology and social justice because raising questions about consumption must necessarily also raise questions about human priorities and the distribution of wealth. In terms of housing type and urban settlements, there is also a prominent issue of gender bias which may be partly addressed within the ecological agenda. Feminists have argued that the single family home in a suburb is a physical and psychological trap fUr women which reinforces their isolation and traditional role. Many have argued that this is a housing form and settlement pattern conceived by men which is inappropriate for the needs of women. The alternatives proposed are more collective and more constructive of community, and inherently more resource efficient. New urban, participatory and collective housing models are beginning to provide a focus for adressing many social concerns at the same time as environmental preservation. For example: • Densification of suburban areas reduces pressure for land development, transportation and utilities requirements. It also promotes community services and aids local area communication. • Urban repair and restoration reduces the need for new construction, improves the social climate, and can provide more affordable and convenient housing.  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter VI  More collective housing types such as co-housing provide a supportive community which can also enhance the environmental responsibility of members and the public by education and example. • Energy efficiency improvements and other retrofit conservation measures create new employment while reducing public costs and new demands on overstressed utilities. • Public emphasis placed on modest housing promotes better affordability, thereby reducing family stiess It also promotes a community of voluntary simplicity instead of conspicuous consumption. Appropriate technology often means lowering expectations and using available methods and materials, similar to those accessible to poorer people, instead of developing more sophisticated ideas and technology. It is interesting that some of todays passive energy design and ‘green housing” emphasis in the industrialized world is essentially an appropriate technology movement similar to that applied in poorer nations. It can be asked, “what can be learned from poorer nations about our own housing conditions’? Appropriate housing models and technologies potentially have a good deal in common between rich and poor. Voluntary simplicity is perhaps not very different from necessary simplicity in ecological terms. One possibility of emerging post-industrial society is that we may use information more appropriately to discover technologies of”accomodation” with nature. These may be more consistent with the root meaning of the word “accomodate’ from the Latin commoclare,  to make fit. To fit with other species, with minimal disturbance to natures  production and cycles of water, energy and material flow, etc. But such an agenda must also accomodate concepts of social justice and community if it is to be constructive and widely applicable. Further isolation between those who have information and capital and those who do tiol is rapidly leading to social collapse and consequent environmental copllapse. But to do this, new paradigms must first be formed, and if these are to be appropriate, they will not be business’ us usual. They will reflect fundamentally different attitudes toward nature, and social and ecological responsibilities. These are being driven both by a “push” from anti-technology and alternative social movements, and by a “pull” from better understanding of ecosystems as models for all activity.  -115  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Chapter VI  More ecologically and socially responsive housing will not come about through technological change alone, but only by making conscious choices about the cultural, economic and social value of more ecologically sound concepts.  -116  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  References  REFERENCES INTRODUCTION 1. Wisernan, H. Introduction, to Nef, J., J. Vanderkop and H. Wiseman (Eds), Ethics and Technology, University of’ Guelph, Guelph, 1989, (p.viii). 2. Giedion, S., Mechanization Takes Command, Oxford University Press, N.Y., 1948, (Part VI, Mechanization Encounters the Household) ,  3. Rybczynski, W. Horne A Short History of an Idea, Viking Books, N.Y., 1986 4. Rubin, Nancy, The New Suburban Woman, Coward, McCann, New York, 1982, (Introduction) 5. Schneider, A. (H. Ziehe trans and ed.) The Baubiologie Course Guides. Institute for Baubiologie, Clearwater FL. 1990, (Introduction) 6. McDonald, NI. lthic.s Versu.s’ Ixper/ise: ihe Politics of Technology, in Nef, J., J.  Vanderkop and H. Wiseman (Eds), Ethics and Technology, op.cit., (pp. 1 19-120)  CR1 1. Postman, N., Technopolv. the Surrender of Culture to Technology, Random House, Vintage, New York, 1993 (p.123) 2. WaIler, Robert, Scietili/ic material/sin, ihe Strait Jacket of Western Cu/hire, The 9jgist V. 10 #6&7, pp.224-229, July-Sept, 1980 (p.224) 3. Ibid. (1)225) 4. Postman, N. 1993, op.cit. (p.23) 5. WaIler, R. 1980, op.cit. (p.229) 6. Grady, W. Green Home, Planning and Building the Environmentally Advanced House, Camden House, Camden East Ontario, 1993 (p.29) 7. Maclntyre, A., (l/iliic,,,ianism and (‘osI Benefit Analysis, Ch. 6, Sayre, K.(Ed.) Values in the Electric Power lndustry University of’ Notre Dame Press, 1977 (p. 22 I-223) 8. Kuhn, T. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Univ. of Chicago Phoenix Books, Chicago, 1962 (p. 1 69) 9. Giedion, S. 1 948, op.cit. (Part IV) 10. Nelson, G. and Wright, H. Tomorrows House, Simon and Schuster, N.Y. 1945 (p.2) 11, Wright, F.L., In the Cause of Architecture, McGraw Hill, New York, 1975  -117  -HoUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  References  12. Collins, P., Changing Ideals in Modern Architecture, (ch. 14, the Biological Analogy and ch. 15, the Mechanical Analogy), McGill Univ. Press, Montreal, 1967 (p.155-156) 13. Ibid. (p.lIO) 14. Ibid. (p.152) 15. Bender, T., Environmental Design Primer, Schocken Books, New York, 1973, (pp.114-125) 16. Collins, P.. 1967, op.cit. (p.157) 17. Guiton, J., The Ideas of LeCorbusier on Architecture and Urban Planning, G.Brazilier, New York, 1981 18. Glassie, H., Folk Housing in Middle Virginia, The University of Tennessee Press, 1974 19. Ibid. (p.130) 20. Mumford, L., The Pentagon of Power, The Myth of the Machine, Qh.4:5 The Failure of Mechanomorpho.sis, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, New York, 1 970 (p.95) 21. Gendron, B., Technology and the Human Condition, St.Martins Press, New York, 1977 (p.23) 22. Postman, N. 1993, op.cit.  CHIt 1. Thoreau, H., Walden or, Life in the Woods, Signet Books, New American Library, New York, I 942 2. Wright, Gwendolyn, The A/lode! i)omes/ie brI’/ronmenl: Icon or Option? in Women in  American Architecture, Susana Torre (ed), Whitney Library of Design, New York, 1977  3. Okarnoto, P., I)e,signing ihe ico/ogica! Suburb? The Neo—Traditionaiisis: Peter ca/thorpe andAiidres Duaiiy /Jdizabeth Plater-Zyberk, The Urban Ecologist, Fall, 1991, (pp. 7& 14) 4. Kelbaugh, D. The (‘osi of SpraiiI, Cascadia Forum, University of Washington College of Architecture, Seattle, 1993, VI #1, pp. 20-26 5. Turner, J,F.C., Housinghy People, Marion Boyars, London, U.K. 1976, (p.61) 6. Ibid. (p.52) 7. Eriksson, J., J)n’e/li,ig kalue,s, Swedish Council for Building Research Publication SB:54, Svensk Byggtjanst, Solna, Sweden. English summary in Synopses 3:93, Swedish Council for Building Research, I 993 8. Mumford, L., 1970, op.cit. (Ch. 6:3, Technical Liberation)  -118  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  References  9. Rudofsky, B., The Prodigious Builders, Notes Toward a Natural History of Architecture...Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, 1977 (p.14) 10. Glassie, 1-I., 1974, op.cit. 11. Schweitzer, R., and Davis, M.W.R., Americas Favorite Homes, Mail Order Catalogues as a Guide to Popular Early 20th Century Houses, Wayne State Univ. Press, Detroit, 1990, (p.S I) 12. Glassie, H., 1974, op.cit. 13. Vogel,Robert M., Building in ihe Age of$/eani, in Peterson, Charles E. (ed), Building Early Arneric Chilton Book Co., Radnor PA., 1976 (p.121) 14. Doucet,M.J., and Weaver,J.C., Housing the North American City, (Ch.5, Material Culture and the North American House: The Era of the Common Man, 1870’s to 1980’s) McGill-Queens University Press, Montreal, 1991 (p.221) 15. Doucet,M.J., and Weaver,J.C., 1991, op.cit. (p.202-203) 16. Glassie, H., 1974, op.cit. (p.138) 17. Ibid. (p.188) 18. Rybczynski, W., 1986 op.cit. (p.22) 19. Giedion, S., 1948, op.cit (p.262) 20. Ellul, Jacques, The Technological Society, Random House, Vintage, New York, 1964 (p.66-6’l) 21. Giedion, S., 1948, op.cit. (p.529) 22. Ibid. (Part VI) 23. Ellul, Jacques, 1964, op.cit. (p.66) 24. Giedion, S., 1948, op.cit. (p.510) 25. Ibid. (p.541) 26. Ibid. (p, ) 625 27. Ibid. (p.591) 28. Cowan, Ruth S., More Work for Mother, Basic Books, New York, 1983, (p.203) 29. Wright. G., 1977, op.cit. (p.72) 30. Bergrnann, B. R., The Economic Emergence of Women, Basic Books, New York, 1986 (p. 35 34 31. Cowan, Ruth S., 1983, op.cit., (p.63-6 ) 4  -119  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  References  32. ElIul, J. 1964, op.cit. (p. 114) 33. Schweitzer, R. and Davis, 1990, op.cit. (p.68-69) 34. Doucet,M,J., and Weaver,J.C., 1991, op.cit. 35. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., Housing in Canada, 1945 to 1986, CIvil-IC, Ottawa, 1988 36. Doucet,M.J., and Weaver,J.C., 1991, op.cit. (p.215) 37. Canada Mortgage and 1-lousing Corp., Qportunities for Manufactured Housing in Canada, CMHC, Ottawa. 1985, (p.20) 38. Nutt-Powell, Thomas E., Manufactured Homes : Making Sense of a Housing Opportunity, Auburn 1-louse, Boston, 1982, (p.92) 39. CM1-IC, 1985, op.cit. (p.viii) 40. Doucet,M.J., and Weaver,J.C., 1991, op.cit. (p. 224 & 241) 41. Turner, J.F.C., 1976, op.cit. (p.83) 42. McKelIar, James, Industrialized Housing, the Japanese Experience, CMI-IC, Ottawa, 1992, (p. 86 & 153-181) 43. Neubacher, F. The Swedish Factory Crafted Home, CJVLHC, Ottawa, 1992, (p.ii-vii) 44. Postman, N., 1993, op.cit, (p.136) 45. WaIler, R. 1980, op.cit. (p.228) 46. Postman, N., 1993, op,cit. (p.88) 47. Kadulski, R., Proposed Code (‘hunges, Solplan Review, The Drawing Room, North Vancouver, B.C. ,Oct. 1993, pp. 11-14  CH III 1. Lovelock, James Gala: a new look at life on earth. Oxford Univ. Press, New York, 1979 2. Mc Laughlin, Andrew, Regarding Nature: industrialism and deep ecology State University of New York Press, Albany, 1993 3. World Resources Institute, World Resources, 1992-93, (Part 111), Oxford, N.Y., 1993 4. Risebero, Bill, Modern Architecture and Design, and Alternative History, MIT Press, Boston 1983, (p.240) 5. Vale, Brenda and Robert, The Autonomous House, Thames and Hudson, London, 1975  -120  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  References  6. Farallones Institute, The Integral Urban House, Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1979 7. Bender, Torn, 1976, op.cit. 8. Grady, W., 1993, op.cit. 9. CIvil-IC, 188, op.cit. (p.9) 10. British Columbia Hydro, Electricity Conservation Potential Review. 1988-2010. Summary Report, B.C. 1-Jydro, Vancouver, Feb.1993 (personal communication with co-author) 11. Schneider, A. op.cit. (Sec. CC2I.8 p.36) 12. Pearson, D,, The Natural House Book, Fireside Books, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1989 13. Rees, XV., Ecological Too/prints and Appropriated Carrying Capacitj.’ What Urban Economics Leai’es Out, Environment and Urbanization, V.4 no.2, 1992, (pp.121-130) 14. Wackernagel, M. et al. How Rig is our Ecological Footprint?. Using the Concept of Appropriated Carrying Capaci/y/ir Measuring Suslainahility, Task Force on Planning Healthy and Sustainable Communities, UBC Centre for Human Settlements, 1993  15. Bergrnann, B. R., op.cit (p.34-35) 16. Rothschild, J., 7 ‘echnology, Hoi,,ceivork and Women’s Liberation: A Theoretical Analysis, in J. Rothschild (ccl.) Machina Ex Dea, Pergamon Press, NY and Toronto, 1983 (p.79) 17. Torre, S. The Pyramid ai’icl the Labyrinth, in Torre, S. (ed) Women in American Architecture, Whitney Library of Design, New York, 1977 (p.200) ,  18. Hayden, D., Challenging-/he America,, !)omestic Ideal, in Torre, S. (ed) Women in American Architecture, Whitney Library of Design, New York, 1977 (p.39) 19. Mumford, L., 1970, op.cit (p.66) 20. Wann, D., Biologic, Johnson Books, Boulder, Cob., 1990 21. McKibben, B., The End of Nature, Anchor Books, N.Y., 1990 22. Suzuki, D., Inventing the Future, Stoddart, Toronto, 1989 CHIV  1. Kuhn, T., op.cit. (p. ) 33 2. Ibid. (p.46) 3. Ibid. (p.37)  121  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY-  References  4. Handegord, G. and B.Hutcheon, Building Science for a Cold Climate, Wiley, Toronto, 1983 (i) 4. Ibid. (p.3) l) 9 5. Ibid. (p.287-2 6. Ibid. 9 (pp.2 2 . 306, 309-310) 7. Lstiburek, J., Building Science J.Lstiburek and Assoc., Downsview Ontario, 1992 (p.23) 8. Proskiw, G. Utilization of Residential Mechanical Ventilation Systems. The Flair Homes Demonstration Project, Canmet, Energy Mines and Resources Canada, Ottawa, May, 1992 9. Ellu!, J., 1964, Op.cit. (p.32!) 10. Schneider, A., 1986, op.cit. (Sec.I, p.13)  11. Ibid. (Sec. 3.3.3, p. ) 34 12. Ibid. (Sec. 4.3.4, p.27) 13. Ibid. (Sec. 4.3.4, P. ) 28 14. Ibid. (Sec. 4.3.4, p.39) 1 5. Rou sseau, M. (‘onliol o/Sur/cice and Concealed Condensation, Humidity, Condensation and Ventilation in Houses Building Science Insight ‘83, National Research Council of Canada, Division of Building Research, Ottawa, 1983 16. Hutcheon, NB., Researchers Break Through the Vapour Barrier, Moisture Control, Southam Business Publications, Don Mills, 1979 17. National Research Council of Canada, Associate Committee on the National Building Code, National ng Code, Seventh ed. 177 “Thermal Insulation and Vapor Barriers”— 1 977. (Sec. 9.26 )  18. Schneider, A. 1986, Op.cit. (Sec. 4.3.4, p.41) 19. Ibid. (Sec.CC 11/6, p.8) 20. Berge, B., ihe Metabolic I-louse: ihe House as Part of an Ecosystem, Healthy Buildings 1988, Stockholm, June 1988, Swedish Council for Building Research, V.2, pp.193-200 21. Schneider, 1986, Op.cit. (Sec.5.0, p.4)  22. Kuhn, T., 1962, Op. cit. (p.33) 23. Lillrnan, E. New, Single Family Timber Building Report #34, The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, 193  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  References  CH V. 1. Wright. G. 1977, op.cit. 2. Rubin, N. 1982, Op.Cit. 3. Okamoto, P., 1991, opcit. (p7) 4. Kadulski, R., Ad’aiic/ Concept Houses, Solpian Review, The Drawing Room, North Vancouver, B.C., April-May 1991 (pp. 12-13) 5. Grady, W., 1993, op.cit.  6. Ibid. (pp. 15 1-152) 7. Langreth, R., S/oii’ Co/iig I’or Sniarl Homes, Popular Science, Feb. 1993, (pp. 63 & 60 90) 8. Smith, R.L., Smart Housejhe Corning Revolution in Housing, GP Publishing, Columbia MD, 1988. 9. Langreth, R., 1993, op.cit. (p.62) 10. Cole, R. and Rink, K., Building Assemblies Construction Energy and Emissions, A Report for ‘Building Materials in the Context of Sustainable Development,” The Environmental Research Group, The University of British Columbia School of Architecture, Vancouver, I 993. 11. Kadulski, R., Mattock, C., Cooper, K. and Rousseau, D., Updating the R-2000 Technical Standards, Final Report, Canadian Home Builders Assn. and Energy Mines and Resources Canada, Ottawa, March 3], 1 993 12. Rees, W. 1992, op.cit. 13. Gaitanakis, J. and Rousseau, D., i)en.sification of the Single Family Neighbourhood, Submission to the Sustainable Communities Design Competition, American Institute of Architects, 1993 (Text available from the authors The School of Architecture, The University of British Columbia)  14. Rybczynski, W., i/ic’ Home o/the 90’s, /)e.signingf’r Affordability, The Canadian Architect, April 1990, (pp.26-3 I)  15. Freeman, A., The Hoine of the 90’s -2: Ai Urban Starter, The Canadian Architect, April 1990, (pp.32-33) 16. Kendall, S., Open Building/br Housing, Progressive Architecture, Nov. 1993, (pp.9598) 17. Habraken, NJ., London, 1 972  S. pprts An Alternative to  Mass Housing, The Architectural Press,  -123  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  References  18. McCarnant, C, and Durrett, C. Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves, Habitat Press, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, 1988 (p.13)  CHV1 1. Thoreau, H. op.cit. 2. World Resources Institute, 1993, op.cit. 3. Schweitzer, R., and Davis, M.W.R., 1990, op.cit.  4. CMI-TC, 1988, op.cit. 5. Kuhn, T., 1962, op.cit. (p.6) 6. McDonald, M., 1989, op.cit 7. Tolstoy, L., What is Art? (Chapter XX, Conclusion), Walter Scott Publishing, London, U.K. (p.208)  8. Ellul, J. 1962, op.cit. (p.64) 9. Postman, N. 1993, op.cit. (p.184) 10. Mumford, L. 1970, op,cit. (Ch. 14:3, p.395)  -124  HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Appendix I  TABLE 11-1: CHANGES IN RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION AND SERVICES TECHNOLOGY 1900-1990 CONSTRUCTION  Slick framing; Invented approx 1 835, widely adopted by approx. 1870. Platform framing was invented in the 1920’s and widely adopted by the 1940’s. Portable electric saws have been widely used since the 193 0’s. Mass’ produced nai/s, Cut nails were invented around 1830. Wire nails were invented around 1 880 and fully adopted very quickly. Little change then occurred until the late 1 970’s when pneumatic nailers were widely adopted. (‘a.v/ coticrefe; invented about 1890, not widely adopted until about 1910. Concrete blocks invented about 1895, widely used by about 1905, Site mixing of concrete was largely replaced by delivered ready-mix in the 1950’s. (.‘on.sirucfion pal/c/s, plywood was invented in the 1920’s, but not widely adopted until the late I 940’s. One non-structural pressed board (Beaverboard I-IDF) was invented in 1910 and slowly gained acceptance throughout the 20’s and 30’s. Other non-structural fiberboards (MDF’s) were invented in the 1940’s and 50’s but not widely adopted until 1 970. Structural strand board (OSB) was invented in the 1970’s and was widely adopted as a substitute for plywood sheathing by the late 1980’s,  (,,,c/ air i’apour barriers’, insulation materials such as sawdust and plant fibres have been used for a very long time. Manufactured mineral fibres were developed around 1900, but were not used in buildings until the 1930’s. Mineral fibre building insulation with a crude asphalt emulsion vapour barrier was in common use by the late 1940’s in colder regions. The current approach of higher insulation values and plastic sheet barriers was developed in the 1960’s, though it was not in codes in many regions until the 1 970’s. Plastic foam insulations were introduced in the 1960’s, and shredded recycled paper in the 1980’s. A completely sealed air/vapour barrier standard appeared in Canadian codes in 1990. Jn.su/alioii  an1 windows; manufactured wood sashwork appeared in the 1870’s and quickly replaced hand manufacturing. By 1920 larger glass sizes were available. Aluminum sashwork appeared in the 1 950’s and quickly became popular. Thermal glazing and plastic sashwork appeared in the late 1960’s but took about 10 years to be widely adopted. High performance glazing systems and selective coatings appeared in the I 980’s and are slowly being adopted. J)oors  P/aslei syc/em.v,’ paper faced gypsum lath was invented in 1898, marketed in 1909, but didn’t substantially replace wood and metal lath as a base for plaster until the 1 940’s. It, in turn, was almost entirely replaced by gypsum wallboard (drywall) without plaster by the early 1 950’s. Ingineered roof trusses,’ these were widely available by about 1960 and had nearly replaced site-framed roofs by about 1975.  125  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Appendix I  J’refahri ca/ed panel and wail systems; These have been around as  concepts since the 1930’s. Several have appeared in the 1970’s and 1980’s but still have a moderate share of the Canadian market by 1990. Their acceptance in the U.S. is much broader.  SERVICES AND COMFORT TECHNOLOGY  Central healing and hot wa/er; available about 1 880 and widely adopted by the late I 890’s. Hand fired units were then largely replaced by automatically fired units in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Forced air heating was available about 1940 and widely adopted by about 1955. Higher efficiency combustion equipment (> 70%) began to appear in the 1 970’s but has only been widely adopted in the late 1980’s. 1-leat pumps have also been available since the 1970’s but still are not common, even where gas is not widely available. (*Note: this is partly due to electric heating rate subsidies once provided by large hydro utilities in Quebec, Manitoba and B.C.) Air condilioning; invented in the 1030’s, it did not have practical application in housing until aler WWII. The widespread use of residential air conditioning in hot regions has largely occurred since the early 1 960’s. kei,l,lation A)vleIns, residential systems were developed in the late 1970’s in conjunction with energy conservation steps in housing. By the mid 1980’s there were many reliable central exhaust and heat recovery systems available, but by the 1990’s they are still used in only a small segment of housing. Basic mechanical exhaust is mandated by code, and complete systems may be included in the 1995 Canadian code (Cli. II reference 46).  available about 1890 and widely adopted by about 1910. Higher efficiency lamps (>25 lumens/w) such as fluorescents have been available since the 1 940’s but have not been widely accepted for residential use. A new generation of high elliciency lamps, such as compact fluorescents and halogens, has been available since the mid- 1 980’s. These are beginning to be adopted residentially. Liec/ric fig/il/ag;  Electric kitchen appliances; available by about 1930 and continuously adopted as developed. Mixers and automatic toasters were the first, followed by blenders, countertop ovens, kettles and can openers. Food processors and microwaves are the most recent additions as well as more specialized items such as popcorn, yogurt and ice cream makers. Cordless mixers and electric knives are also recent phenomena. Reside,,! lal c/cc/i/c rc’/rigerafion; available about 1930 and widely adopted by about 1940. Home freezers were commonplace by about 1955. Frost-free refrigeration was available by about 1 960 and was adopted quickly. More energy efficient refrigeration was developed in the I 980’s but has a small market share. CFC-free refIigeration is still under development. available by about 1910 and widely adopted in the 1920’s for buildings over 4 stories. However residential high-rise construction was not common until the late 1950’s.  Elevators;  -126  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY  Appendix I  Water supply; early municipal water systems were built in the 1860’s and water sterilization began in the 1920’s. Galvanized iron piping was available by about 1880 and replaced most lead pipe by the 1920’s. Copper was available by the 1940’s and replaced galvanized iron by the 1950’s. Polybutylene plastic was approved in the late 1980’s and has replaced about half of copper’s market share by the 1990’s. municipal sewers were built in the 1850’s, though sewage treatment was uncommon before 1 940. Cast iron drain pipe has been available since the mid 1 800’s, used in combination with lead and brass. Copper drains were available about I 945 and replaced some cast iron. ABS plastic was approved in the mid 1 960’s and rapidly replace most metals for residential use.  San,Iarj’ dmiii,v; early  Jlimhingfixiiiies. cast iron tubs were common by the 1860’s and the modern flush toilet by 1 880 in urban areas. The full bathroom suite and the shower became popular well after 1900. Fixtures were exclusively cast iron and ceramic until the introduction of cheaper enamelled steel in the 1940’s. The major changes since then have been the introduction of fiberglass, styrene and acrylic plastic in the 1970’s, A number of luxury devices such as packaged spas and saunas also appeared in the I 960’s and 70’s. Water conserving fixtures were widely available by the late 1 980’s, and even composting (waterless) toilets have gained a small market CONTROL AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY a basic mechanical clock form of this unit has been available for decades but has been very little used residentially. The fully electronic, programmable type has been available since the mid 1970’s but has still gained little acceptance. Recent marketing of low cost units and promotion by utilities promise to increase their use.  PrograinmalIe iheiiiios/ats,  basic, hard-wired systems have been available for decades, but have been little used residentially except in some security conscious neighbourhoods. Developments in infrared detectors and low-cost wireless systems have coincided with increases in urban crime, so that many new urban housing units have included these systems since the mid 1980’s.  Seeuri/j’ alarms;  have only been commonly available for residential use since the early 1 970’s. In the I 980’s the price dropped dramatically and reliability improved. By the late 1980’s they became commonplace in most new and older housing, and were mandated by codes in many circumstances.  1”iretsmoke a/aims;  local master antenna TV systems were common in the 1960’s in multiple housing. These simply provided broadcast signals received by one antenna. Cable companies began to provide direct service in the late 1960’s, and by 1980 very little urban housing in reach of cable did not have the service. Cable fe/ei’isioji;  Automatic ugh/lug couuluo/,c; these use occupancy sensors or timers to operate lights only as needed. They have only been readily available since the early 1980’s. Primarily intended as security devices, particularly when used outdoors, they also have a convenience and energy conservation value. They are becoming common for a few applications in housing.  -127  -HOUSING, ECOLOGY AND TCNOLOGY  Appendix I  Wired audio/video home enierfainmeni ‘ys!ems, these are a phenomenon of the late 1980’s and are sometimes linked to home control systems. They are not common in new construction, except in luxury oriented homes.  Home colIIro/sy.sIem.s; these also are a phenomenon of the late 1980’s. They primarily emphasize luxury conveniences and, to a smaller degree, energy conservation. They are seen only in a few demonstration homes.  -128  


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