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Dublin Opinion >>
End of the Cement House Age
Friday September 08, 2017 12:45 by Mac MacThomais
Cement houses are not the only houses available.
In the face of the worst housing crisis since rackrenting of the 19 th century why is Irish society so hung up on cement houses that resemble bunkers.There are numerous alternatives to cement and concrete and most western countries and developing world universities are exploring and investing in education for engineering and architectural studies called biotecture and geotecture knowledge transfer degrees
End of the Cement House Age
category national | housing | news report author Friday September 08, 2017 12:42author by Mac MacThomais
Cement houses are not the only houses available.
In the face of the worst housing crisis since rackrenting of the 19 th century why is Irish society so hung up on cement houses that resemble bunkers.There are numerous alternatives to cement and concrete and most western countries and developing world universities are exploring and investing in education for engineering and architectural studies called biotecture and geotecture knowledge transfer degrees.
Cement is one of the most environmentally hazardous materials in the world, adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than the entire weight of the global airline industry. According to the Sustainable Development Commission, 4% of Co2 is caused by aviation. Cement-based building materials, account for between 5% and 10% of all carbon dioxide emissions. Finding an alternative product to cement would, therefore, make excellent environmental sense, especially if we are to meet the government’s ambitious Kyoto agreement to limit the rise in our emissions to 13% above 1990 levels by 2012. Predictions are that Co2 will have increased by as much as 34% over 1990 levels
aced with spiralling fuel costs – more than 40% of the cost of cement comes from firing the kilns. Not only do modern plants consume as much energy as a small town; the kilns exhale clouds of toxic chemicals.
Most of us tend to think that cars are the source of our environmental problems and yes, they are a big source. But buildings are responsible for a larger percentage of most environmental impacts. Buildings consume about 40% of all the energy used in the U.S. All transportation including cars is only about 28%.
Their manufacture damages ecosystems and exploits non-renewable resources through pollution and quarrying, and a great deal of energy is required to convert raw materials to finished products. In order to protect the environment and our own health typical building practices must be changed.
If the negative impact of buildings and the building industry is to be reduced we must find ways of building that reduce pollution of the air, water and soil during the building process and materials manufacture. In addition, thought must be given to the building both during design and after it is constructed so that it is energy efficient and healthy to live in.
We need to think of buildings and their surroundings as a whole. Important issues in natural building include, orientation of buildings on site, design of the building, choice of building materials and technologies used to heat the building and treat the waste produced from the building.
There are a range of materials and products, which are environmentally friendly, which if used by architects and builders could result in buildings that are healthy, sustainable and comply with planning and building regulations.
From cob houses with thatched roofs to strawbale hybrids with hypercaust heating ,the Irish traditional way of building was suitable to the landscape we live upon. Hurricanes ,typhoon s and even earthquakes were easily accommodated with these buildings as they were built using materials local and structurally sound to withstand such forces. The building s were started small and added year by year as a family grew. Families are now getting smaller and houses getting bigger more costly and heating and cooling costs astromonical. The cement house is an economically non sustainable construction that has unfortunately became the norm in our society . The martial mentality of build cement bunkers is no longer appropriate in an EU state. Government are tied into the petrochemical industry which is a twin of the construction industry so globalisation will not allow alternative traditional yet modernised construction process s .
Scottish professor Alexander Tyler wrote in 1787 when the Penal laws and rack renting were in existence in Ireland
"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."
“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
◾From bondage to spiritual faith;
◾From spiritual faith to great courage;
◾From courage to liberty;
◾From liberty to abundance;
◾From abundance to complacency;
◾From complacency to apathy;
◾From apathy to dependence;
◾From dependence back into bondage
We need to avoid stages 5-8 however most of our citizens are at stage 7 and unable to empower themselves towards a basic end such as housing without government assistance and these people are all employed and in credit at the bank. Don't let government take away your basic fundamental right to house and feed yourself because they will and the terms they will expect may be unacceptable to decent upright citizens.
Defend your constitutional rights take back your stage from the politicos. Out with the new and back in with the old!