Sustainability is the latest buzz word in building and business, and for good reasons. Awareness that “the sky is the limit” might not be completely healthy in the long run is becoming mainstream.
Until now sustainability is mainly considered in regards to natural resources. Focus is on recycling and natural renewable energy. Another focus is to only take out as much out of the system as can be put back in within a reasonable time period.
Sustainability in regards to human energy is not much addressed when talking about building or designing houses. Aesthetics is an integral part of architecture, Feng Shui has its own place and yet, the impact of all things electric or electronic is hardly ever addressed in the green camp. Exceptions are the promotion of technology to save fossil energy. The impact of technology on human energy and functioning is the concern of this article.
The word scientist was not used (invented) before 1900 and electricity as we know it arbitrarily started in 1888 with the invention by Nicola Tesla of the AC power system. A brief timeline of electricity shows us that the transistor appeared in 1947 and wireless technology, though 200 years old, took off only a few years ago. All of this origi`nates from a Western perspective on both history and science of course.
So all things electrical and electronic are fairly new inventions, most of which have not been used by more than one or two generations of human beings. To determine whether or not this use of technology is really safe for humans or nature at large is still subject to controversy.
Concern for the environment and increase of Western diseases show more or less the same curve as the increase of use of electricity. Could it be that the decline of various parts of nature is linked to the increased use of electricity and electronics?
What are we talking about?
Human beings… Ask any scientist what a human being is and you either get a blank or a description that could be extracted from a religious scripture. Various models have been created. The mechanistic model, though still widely used, doesn’t fit contemporary understanding of a broader reality. Let’s start from “a soul in a body”. This excludes both ghosts and spirits and the dead (dead bodies) from our concern. The soul and all its qualities are subject to study by religious and spiritual people and a growing body of Western Scientists. For simplicities sake we will not embark on that trip. This leaves us with “a body”; an all too common yet extremely complex combination of matter and energy with all sorts of survival and self-healing systems in place.
How does it work?
The question “how does the body work” is a very tricky one, in general only satisfactory answered by highly spiritual people who use a language that doesn’t make much sense for mere mortals. The purely mechanistic model is outdated though still widely used and in case of a bone fracture with good reason. The model that describes various subtle bodies as used by new age adepts and both Eastern and Western Alternative medicine is gaining importance and recognition though “a bridge too far” for now. Dr Robert o. Becker describes it nicely in his ground breaking book “Cross Currents”.
Let’s look at robots… They use a more or less intelligent central command centre, mechanical parts, motors, sensors and wires to transfer the commands or data to the various parts and back. Interference of one data emitting device with another is becoming a major concern for both robotics and data transmission.
In the old days running a regular 2 or 4 strand data wire across fluorescent lamps proved to be detrimental for data speed up to the point where no useful speed was left. Pretty soon twisted and shielded data cables became common practise.
Computers and robots only function properly if the impact of non-relevant data transfer is cancelled out or shielded.
Could it be that the human body uses very subtle “data cables” that are not shielded enough for modern days electromagnetic soup?
The notion of energy lines within human bodies is at the basis of various Eastern healing modalities, with Acupuncture being the best known. Are these energy lines affected by electric currents or magnetic fields? Does the current that flows to the ceiling lamp on the ground floor affect the person sleeping above it on the first floor?
Is it possible that the signal going to the liver to perform one of its many functions gets disturbed by a WIFI modem or a mobile phone trying to contact a mast?
More and more people are concerned about the explosive use of Wireless devices and in its wake the high power consuming antennas. Wireless is being banned from schools in some countries in Europe. Signals are emerging that we, as a species, are not exactly “sustainable”. Mobile phones have not been designed for frequent and long-term usage, much as hamburgers have never been designed to replace healthy and varied food.
Sustainable human energy
WIFI and in general electro magnetic fields interfere with the normal functioning of the human body. In this light WIFI and EMF are detrimental to human functioning and thus in the long run not sustainable.
Both can peacefully coexist if precautions are taken and engineers or installers are aware of the needs of both electrical equipment and humans. In general it seems valid to say that if it messes up equipment it will mess up humans as well. Bodies have remarkable capacities to adapt to varying threats, but there are limits.
Twisted and shielded cables are quite common for data transfer. They are not common yet for power supplies or domestic and office wiring of outlets.
Once a house or office has been checked for the used wiring techniques and made free of Wireless devices, these spaces become more or less “natural” again and thus healthy and sustainable for human beings and nature alike.
The threats to our health, wealth and happiness are many nowadays. Sustainable building techniques helps in creating harmonious environments for all involved so that natural cycles are restored and the waste of both human and natural potential and energy is minimised. Freed from all external disturbing influences people tend to turn positive and supporting very quickly. The less energy we need to ward of threats to our equilibrium, the more energy is available to live the good life, in peace and harmony with others and nature.
Sustainability from a larger perspective includes various disciplines with food, sports, meditation and health care being the most obvious ones, though politics and economics prevail nowadays.
What can be done to build or rebuild houses with greater sustainability on the level of human energy?
A short list of obvious and simple measurements:
- Have the existing house checked for wiring errors and proper earth connections. Ask an electrician who is aware of stray magnetic fields.
- Use earthed outlets and extension cords.
- Replace all wireless and cordless with shielded and wired connection.
- Priorities are bedrooms, then offices, then the rest of the house.
- Inform your neighbours about your desire to minimise wireless; ask them to switch off wireless at least at night when asleep.
- Avoid dimmers, switching power supplies and “energy saving lamps”; use LED’s or incandescent lamps instead, or go for natural light.
- Unplug unused equipment.
- If having a choice sleep as far away as possible from the main switch board in all directions.
For new to build houses:
- Use twisted and shielded power supply cables, as deep inside the walls as possible, ideally inside metal tubing.
- Run CAT6E shielded cable to all places that need Internet connection.
- Keep the Main switch board and (Smart) meter as far away from living space (mainly bedrooms and office) as possible. If feasible put the (smart) meter in the garden.
- Run cables for wired telephones.
- Consider separate 12 or 24 Volt DC systems for lighting needs using LED’s and to power computers and gadgets.
- Use light tunnels where possible for in-house rooms.
- If dimmers are needed or desired, locate them in the switch board.
- Put relays in the main switch board to switch off all the outlets in certain parts of the house, mainly bedrooms, by means of a local switch or use the more expensive demand switches.
- Keep all sorts of transformers or power supplies away from bedrooms and bedroom walls.
A massive thank you to our Guest Blogger, Wim Minten from Lisbon, Portugal, for this post.