The suburbs are not resilient places when it comes to disasters or having to quickly change to accommodate new realities. At Nautilus they have dedicated their recent issue to the concept of “home” and they looked at the monotony of the suburbs. The article explores how the suburbs serve to be a place for dwelling but lack the diversity of dwelling that nature once had. Nautilus asks the question: why don’t suburbs reflect the nature they are built in?
Nearly all of the houses in the Challenge feature solar panel roofs. But a dwelling from frosty Canada takes maximum advantage of Alberta’s sunny skies by also harnessing sunshine with a board comprised of forty glass tubes beside the house. Within each glass tube is a copper pipe filled with liquid heated from the sun. Water stored in a tank within the house circulates though the glass tubes, picking up heat from the pipes and returning to the tank where people can use it to shower—no furnace required.
Houses built in the Southeastern United States might be made of concrete with steel framing, says Rashkin. But rather than making them twister-proof, the steel would thwart wood-eating termites that lead typical homeowners to spend hundreds of dollars on toxic treatments every year. Shelters in humid locales would be made of materials that resist flood and moisture damage. Those near cities might include indoor “living walls” lined with plants that naturally filter the air inside.