Survivors of disaster will often express these priorities: Water, food, clothes, shelter. Where we live is right up there in our needs, and getting from where you are now, to a peaceful snooze at the new ranch, can be a long and stressful, as well as exciting journey.
You are about to build, and unless you are a Grand Designs participant you want to know with some accuracy what this whole adventure might cost.
There is a fabulous, but hard to find book ‘A Pattern Language’ that identifies and discusses 253 separate elements of habitable buildings and spaces. It’s a great read. On a less complicated front there are a few simple aspects of design that we at Leaderbuild instinctively look for. Missing some of these is not a deal breaker for a great house but they help.
Human waste. We don’t want to talk about it or engage with it, and in the realm of personal responsibility for most of us, what happens when you flush the toilet or empty the sink is somebody else’s problem. But if there isn’t a massive network of pipes and sewage treatment plants beyond your plughole then you will have to grapple with this issue, and that will mean your own disposal system.
Many of us have lost a lot in bushfires, or been encircled by flames, and so we have bushfire feelings. Few Australians are unaffected. Does that mean we should lurk only in the cities? Certainly not, but we need to plan, and to a degree the government that we, ‘the people’ have elected has set down some rules.
Every place you plan to build will have resources, regulations constraints and opportunities.An urban or township block is likely to have power, water, sewage, easy access, rubbish collection, NBN and possibly gas. A more rural block may have only some, or none of these. Having lived off the grid for more than 20 years I can assure you it is not ‘off the planet’ challenging to collect and store water, generate electricity, stoke a wood fire, oversee a septic system and maintain access tracks.