The Grid – Those trying to loosen the stranglehold of government and Those who never were on the grid
It is interesting to me that with our struggle with energy, (too expensive, pollutes too much, need to lower our needs, etc) our government laws and codes often prevent us from getting off the grid.
The Bullitt Center being built on Capitol Hill is being hailed as inspiration as it will provide all its own water, process all is own sewage, balance out a net zero on electricity, etc. But as Denis Hayes commented “This building was illegal to build in Seattle three years ago.” He was still trying to persuade health officials to allow the building’s drinking fountains, sinks and showers to use treated rainwater collect on the roof. The health department wants a level of chlorine that contradicts the Living Building Challenge’s prohibitions on toxins so the center will currently be built with a hook up to city water. The city granted several code exceptions for this building, specifically height restrictions that prevented the use of higher ceilings to maximize the use of natural light.
THEN there are the monks in Cambodia. One hour from Cambodia’s capital is a village with eight monks and 10 orphans who have electricity in the first time in their lives – from solar panels. The solar panels were donated and installed by a NGO (non government organization.) There is a good chance these monks will never be on the grid, and it is increasingly clear that some societies can jump frog the grid entirely as well as jump frog the accompanying government regulations.
Somehow, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Keep Green, Christine