How do we change building regulations so we can live more sustainable?

Convener: Marie Pulito

Participants: Lynne Bonnett, Marion Gehlker, Terry Halwes, Maria Tupper, Randy Domina, Bernard Brennan,Adam Wascholl

Discussion and Recommendations: There are national building regulations that states and towns adopt. In addition towns or neighborhoods or condo communities add "covenants" that are even more restrictive (minimum square footage, maximum occupancy, no clotheslines, etc.). States like Maine (WA, AR, LO, Ga) have no or more lax building regulations. Not CT!! We are concerned about values of our homes and properties. Building regulations "protect us".Discussed compost toilets. Aren't water toilets the holy grail of our western civilization? Composting toilets are used in rest stops, Hamonassette Beach, Cape Cod. We can learn from their practices. Like peak oil there is peak potash - this could come from human waste. In Seattle, "clean human waste" is bagged and sold as compost. In CT, sewage plants cannot bag and sell waste by law. Building with cobb or straw bales: cobb would need engineering approval stamp and then a variance, straw bale is used for isulating outside walls over wood framing so would be more permitable.

Plan: Research info from Germany where they are building truly passive houses that need no heat source because they are tight and highly insulated. Human bodies, hot water and stoves plus passive solar provide heat.

Look at Fine Homebuilding and Journal of Light Construction.

Work at change at town level where you own property. Or run for office for building and zoning with progressive ideas.

Straw bale for all!! It's renewable and local and non-petroleum based.

Add a building focus to Action Group. Skill sharing as individuals get variances for their own projects. Networking with other residents of your town.


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