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Biodegradable Houses

Materials that are made by nature can be consumed by nature. Being as such, bio-degradation has been around since Earth’s beginnings. Yet, innovations continue to create ‘new’ biodegradable items.

This is essential for items like packaging where materials are otherwise artificial and non-biodegradable. However, some people are taking it a step further, using the barest of materials to create biodegradable houses.

In a way it is actually more like backtracking, only today’s biodegradable houses are built for modern lifestyles.

They are often constructed using raw materials like bare tree limbs and even the Earth itself, achieving a minimalistic design. Though there are still those that incorporate a woodland feel, if not appearing altogether as a modern day hobbit hole.

The advantages of biodegradable houses can include the possibility for lower mortgage rates and if using resources native to the site you’re building on, they may be less expensive to construct. However, some of the materials may need to be changed out every few years. Otherwise, you may find your sylvan walls settling permanently into the ground. Of course, such a thing wouldn’t happen over night.

The only thing to disrupt this back to nature vision is found in the electrical cords, outlets, and appliances that power these still contemporary homes. Certainly light sockets and washing machines aren’t going to submerge into the outer layers of the earth. Rather they will takes hundreds of years to decompose.

Still, assuming these homes are to be occupied for generations, this isn’t such a problem until today’s appliances become obsolete. However, this only brings about another point: While we want to use natural materials that can return to the earth peacefully, do we not also want materials that will last?

All houses need upkeep, and in that way the gradual restoration of wooded walls and green roofs is no more a stretch than the maintenance of a clapboard house. There is also to consider the amount of ‘conventional’ buildings that sit vacant – they decay just as well without upkeep, only they’ll become a permanent fixtures of ruin if left alone. Whereas buildings made with natural materials will vanish into nature if abandoned.

But we mustn’t forget for thousands of years natural buildings have been constructed that last for centuries without the need for constant maintenance. Many still stand today, as homes and monuments. Think of Ireland’s stone cottages, with the exception of re-thatching the roofs, or the Mesa Verde in Colorado, U.S.

Because we have access to a variety of natural materials, some quite durable through great passages of time, there is little to limit people of all lifestyles from creating their dream home using efficient and environmentally sound materials.

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