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Building with Nature — 3 Comments

  1. Yes we admire creatures do as you describe, in rural parts of the UK. The finches are forever removing the dried putty which bond the glass into the windows of my cottage, presumably to line their nests with ? Also the mason bees make homes in-between the soft sandstone of our walls. We deliberately repair larger crevices with soft sandy mixtures, to allow the bees to reinhabit the spaces – we have to repair larger gaps to keep the stones in place.

    It is frightening that there are services advertised in the UK to kill off the bees and wasps nesting in the outer structures of homes, no doubt using horrific chemicals, yet if humans left the creatures alone and didn’t fill their homes with refined sugar products, everyone would get along just fine. No wonder bees and wasps are declining in the UK !

    Thank you for a thought-provoking article !

  2. Kelly

    Very interesting points and well stated. I also hope you would consider re-purposing in this catagory. For example using what was once a petrol station and converting it to a home or taking a grain silo and converting it to a home. The embodied energy has already been spent to make it originally, to reuse or re-purpose requires very little new embodied energy and resources. Commercial buildings are built to a high standard. To re-purpose an old vacant school, church, or business can be very financial viable. I like Owen’s thinking what do you have that is local and available around you. For different people in different places this is different things. You need to think outside the box. And ask yourself what do I available to me locally. Someone in a rural area will have a totally different set of options from a person in a developed area. Think of as dumpster diving on a different level.

    • I totally agree with you about this. One example from nature of re-purposing is when a hermit crab uses an existing shell as a temporary home until it grows out of it.

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