Houses need slaves

Stanislav Števo


The article deals with the energy aspect of modern houses – housing in the context of the overall life cycle assessment. It describes many misconceptions of energy and environmental assessments of buildings, which lead together with cheap fossil fuels – “energy slaves” to current unsustainable standard of living. In many examples the senseless spiral of wasting is demonstrated, which spins the requirements of our homes. The second part of the article is devoted to the basic principles of construction and use of the houses heading towards sustainability. Inevitably, the conceptual and operational principles of the oldest known sustainable system – nature should be applied. As the nature builds and lives from that “what is by hand”, the sustainable house will have to be an integral part of its surroundings which covers all necessary materials, energy and food requirements. The final part of the article discusses the principles of perma-culture design of sustainable human residences and challenges in housing, which we will have to face in the future.

Keywords: architecture, sustainability, future, energy, LCA