At a recent panel
discussion on smart homes held at
Workshop, three of the four
panelists had been on TreeHugger before:
Paul Dowsett and
Ted Kesik. Both Ted and Paul showed
this image of what they considered to be
a really smart house: a wigwam, as built
by the Algonquin and Chippewa. And it is
It has an inner structure lined with birchbark
It has six inches of swamp moss insulation
It has an outer frame covered in elm, cedar of basswood bark.
This is more sophisticated than about 99% of modern houses, where the insulation is between the studs which act as a thermal bridge. It is more like the staggered studs or double walls used in Passive houses.
Then there is the heating system:
It has piles of rocks with a clay cap for passive thermal storage after the fire goes out, which acts as a radiant floor.
It has a birch bark earth tube to provide combustion air for the fire.
This again is more sophisticated than many heating systems that don't have a provision for makeup air. It even has a fire suppression system: a long cedar pole for swatting out sparks on the roof.