Tuesday, 10 June 2014

A Genius Invented This Thickness.

A cool head among this thickness.

Who is this genius? Well, the person who built our house all those years ago and I am guessing it is close to a century old ( There are no official records ). A hundred years ago there was no electricity or running water inside the house. Yet, in a way they were light years ahead of us. The first eco - warriors.

Think about living your life without having either the possibility or thought of electricity. When you take this out of the equation you tend to work with what you have and use it wisely. Wisely enough to make your life easier and efficient. Oh I know that is a strange idea for our electricity ( we have it so let's use as much as possible ) reared generation.

If your house is feeling warm inside, you buy an air conditioner and don't even consider the consequence of it. Remember it's not just you who does it but millions as well. Why do you think that electricity grids which are so temperamental ( such as South Africa ) tend to crash when it is extremely hot or cold? That is when most folk switch on their appliances at the same time.

It might sound strange, but when an economy or families are in a spot of financial bother, they start to use and work with what they have. Wastage is then out of the equation and I tend to think that is a bonus for our fight against Global Warming. When money is scarce, we make do with clothes that are not so fashionable any more ( who cares anyway ? ), we drive cars a little longer than advertisers want us to do and we use left over foods. Makes you think, doesn't it?

Anyway, back to the thickness. The internal and external walls in our house must be at least 60 cm thick. Windows were only placed on one side of the house. The ' backside ' of our house has two little windows...the loo windows! ( For our own comfort, we have made them a tad bit larger!!! ). In summer and winter, this is a huge advantage. When it is very hot, we only air our house in the early morning and late evening. In between, all windows are closed and curtains drawn. Let me tell you from my own experience that our house feels as if we do have an air conditioner running. Cool and comfortable despite the current heat wave.

In winter the opposite takes place. We still open all our windows early morning and late evening but only for about 10 min each time. The heat stays in, yet the fresh air makes sure the moisture content is correct. Not a place for fungus / mould. ( In case you are wondering, yes, the loo windows are an exception to the rule regarding opening times. )

Old houses are fantastic, useful and full of character. Maybe the modern designers should work along the lines of: " Back to the past & into the future. "


Our unbelievably thick walls.
You can just glimpse a bit of my work-station where I am surrounded by thickness....