Because harmonizing the past, present, and future is what keeps an historic home relevant into the future.
On March 24th, 2011, British bank HSBC released an analyst report stating that there were perhaps 50 more years of usable oil to be extracted to utilized. 50 years. That’s for power plants, home heating, and cars. If we don’t plan for the end of oil, we do so at our peril.
Fortunately some people have the guts to do so…unfortunately, they’re only over in Europe and in the Middle East.
In March, a European Commission committee released a report recommending that all (not some, ALL) gasoline and diesel vehicles should be banned from EU roadways by 2050. Somebody has a pair. Perhaps those oil company-loving US politicians need to wake up and grow some.
Over in Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, they’ve been building Masdar City – the first zero carbon city to prepare for the inevitable future without oil. Using solar photovoltaics and passive architectural shading and airflow management techniques, combined with a walkable community and efficient electric personal transportation systems, Masdar City is an experiment in urban planning for our future.
So while we’re not likely to go car-free here in the US any time this century since we don’t have the luxury of building an optimized city and infrastructure from the ground up, we can make some moves in the right direction…and for historic homes, that means, at a minimum, solar energy, water re-use, and planning for a future with electric cars.