Permaculture & Natural Building
June 11, 2012 by
Healthy Building, Permaculture, Sustainable Farm, Transition Towns, Uncategorized
Bill Mollison’s, seminal work, Permaculture, a Designer Manual , published in 1998, began the Permaculture movement, based on the core tenents of;
- Care of the Earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply.
- Care of People: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence.
- Setting Limits to Population and Consumption: By governing our own needs, we can set resources aside to further the above principles
[From Mollison, Bill (1988). Permaculture: A Designers' Manual. Tagari Publications. p. 2. ISBN 0-908228-01-5.]
Permaculture focuses on the relationship created among elements in how they are place together. Emphasizing the whole project is greater than the sum of it’s parts. It seeks to minimize waste, human labour and energy input of building systems. Through maximizing the design elements of the parts, it aims to achieve a high level of synergy. Permaculture works with elements such as agroforestry, natural building, rainwater harvesting and/or sheet mulching as much as possible.
The following are the 12 Basic Design Principles of Permacultures;
The 12 permaculture design principles
Permaculturists generally regard the following as its 12 design principles (From “Permaculture – Peak Oil – The Source of Permaculture Vision and Innovation”. Holmgren.com.au. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
- Observe and interact: By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
- Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.
- Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.
- Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
- Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
- Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
- Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
- Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
- Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
10. Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
11. Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
12. Creatively use and respond to change: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.