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Solving Global Pollution, Poverty and their Consequences

European Space Agency's Spacehouse concept

Challenge


Now, take moment and imagine if we combined the best features of the  European Space Agency's
Spacehouse pictured right, with the Dymaxion House, with the SPACE house concept. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first thrival civilization. The need and demand for the solutions offered by the SPACE house will grow exponentially as the world becomes increasingly overpopulated. Everyone, from individuals to mega corporations, to national governments and everyone in between, are invited to design, build and distribute your very own SPACE Houses, making them as affordable as possible. Adopt this project, today!


Send your questions, comments and success stories to: thrivabilitysolutions@gmail.com
Please help to make this concept a reality by spreading the word about these ideas and this website!

Welcome! The purpose of this network is to find proven technologies and techniques which can be integrated into a house to reliably and responsibly self-produce all necessities for a family to thrive, including clean energy. Once mastered and mass-produced globally, this easy access to healthy basic necessities significantly reduces the worst forms of scarcity-based: Stress, illness, poverty, pollution, crimes, wars, etc.  The humongous amounts of time, energy and resources formerly allocated to fighting these preventable problems could then be refocused on remaining issues and opportunities.


Adopt-A-Project: The Automated Closed Ecosystem (ACE) House: The All-In-One Solution to Global Overpopulation, Pandemics, Pollution, Poverty, their associated Conflicts and all 17 Global Goals

Voted Idea of the Year 2017 - IdeaExplore.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction


What if a house could provide a family with more than just shelter? Proven technologies and techniques already exist to self-produce all of the necessities that a family needs to thrive. They just need to be adapted to integrate and interact with a house and its occupants. Would it surprise you to know that all basic necessities can be grown or recovered in a greenhouse? What if we could make this house the shining example of a controlled or closed ecological system (CES) where all family waste is completely transformed into: clean energy, soil for food and  flash graphene. Graphene  is a miracle material that was expensive to produce. The recently discovered flash process makes its production inexpensive. It can be produced from any material containing carbon, which includes most of our garbage and recycling materials. This pint-sized paradise will enable a family to thrive wherever the house is located: water-front, mid-desert, the South Pole, etc. Why wait until the far, distant future to create this house, now that we finally have the knowledge, technology and abilities to do build it? The ACE House is an ideal backbone for a  circular economy that guarantees basic necessities for everyone:

 

Abstract


The Automated Closed Ecosystem (ACE) House: 

What if we combined an energy efficient, passive solar house with an energy efficient, passive solar greenhouse, like this, with other existing tools and techniques, like the BioIntensive growing method, multi-use plants and flash graphene, to form a symbiotic, closed ecosystem? The house integrates municipal housing infrastructure systems like; clean power production, pollution control, food production, water works and sewage treatment; making the external and costly versions unnecessary and obsolete. The self-reliance it provides also facilitates thorough self-isolation needed during pandemics. Imagine replacing costly Band-Aid solutions like welfare cheques and Guaranteed Basic Income with automatically, self-produced Guaranteed Basic Necessities (GBNs). An economy without GBNs is broken. An ACE Housing Standard could resolve many of our worst problems and also be developed to upgrade all buildings, not just homes.


Statement of Problem


The COVID-19 Pandemic forced the world into lockdowns, where only essential workers remained employed. This necessitated the adoption of various flavors of Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI), globally. The leaders and citizens of many of these countries quickly realised that their minimum wages and social assistance programs, before the GBI were far from sufficient for the purchase of basic necessities. As vaccinations increased and restrictions were eased, many were understandably resistant to return to work two to three jobs just to make ends meet.

Solution


The ACE House is currently a mix of proven technologies and techniques which only need to be combined in a new way:​

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Automated Ecosystem of Necessities (AEON) Greenhouse


Engineers and other relevant specialists need to combine the inexpensive
Flash Graphene production process (which also generates significant amounts of hydrogen) using most of our landfill trash (compost, paper, plastics, rubbers, etc.);

with plant-based graphene aerogel to create transparent, durable, lightweight, conductive, portable and well-insulated greenhouses and planters for all climates and weather. The lightweight of an aerographene aeroponics greenhouse could replace the roofs of conventional houses without reinforcements needed;
with 
plasma arc gasification waste treatment plants, calibrated for flash graphene and clean hydrogen mass-production;
with a portable shelter, like the
Dymaxion House;
with a passive solar greenhouse, like the
Ceres Greenhouse Solutions High Yield Passive Solar Kit;
with
shipping container farms. The greenhouse plants benefit from house's thermal mass for stable temperatures and the family's daily pollution production for their food and water; thus ideal year-round growing conditions.

 

Automation

Automation is needed as self-production of all necessities is too time-consuming and labor-intensive for a family to handle. Engineers and other relevant specialists need to combine farmer robots that can do all of the planting, watering, weeding, harvesting, cleaning with robots that can prepare organic, whole foods, plant-based meals and medicines using proven recipes. The FarmBot web app allows you to "Graphically design your farm by dragging and dropping plants into the map. The game-like interface is learned in just a few minutes so you’ll have the whole growing season planned in no time." It includes useful details about each plant, provided by OpenFarm. Other bots can perform all house cleaning and minor repair duties. The level of automation for each system can be adjusted or completely disabled. The bots and systems can also be switched to teacher mode, so they can teach humans any basic skills to manually self-produce any necessity, step-by-step.

 

Food Production

Intensive gardening methods like BioIntensive, hydroponics, aeroponics, etc. are used to grow nutrient-dense plants, so as to abundantly feed a family, with nutritionally complete meals, in the smallest space possible.

Nutritional yeast can be grown to produce abundant vitamin B12 and other hard-to-find nutrients in plant-based foods.

Clean Meat systems could be included and tailored to keep all of the nutrition and flavor, but none of the carcinogens and other bad elements; thus eliminating slaughterhouses and their moral and ethical baggage.

 

Water Recycling

Engineers and other relevant specialists need to combine natural wastewater treatment solutions, including algae, different types of algae to help clean water and to produce more hydrogen and clean air;

with Hydraloop with the US Water Recyler on the International Space station;  with graphene water filters should provide us with very safe and clean water.

Production of Remaining Necessities

Engineers and other relevant specialists need to adapt/develop 3D graphene printers to print a variety of graphene types and also to combine flash graphene with different plants to form composites, to produce all other essentials, like clothing, furniture, cutlery, tools, water filters, solar panels, wind turbines, construction materials (safe for all environments, including underwater and even outer space), electric conductors and insulators, electronic parts, etc.

 

Clean Energy Production

 

Compost Reactor
Engineers and other relevant specialists need to combine the
Home Biogas System (including the Biotoilet);
with a
Compost to Hydrogen System for clean energy production;
with a
Compost Heat Recovery System (CHRS), like AgriLabTech's, for heat production;

with a Compost to Graphene System for very strong and versatile construction material.

Composting naturally produces humus, fertilizer and other plant foods.

 

Auxiliary Clean Energy Production

Flexible and transparent graphene solar cells can transform the entire building's surfaces (including the planters) into a clean energy generator, coupled with wind turbines to generate extra clean energy for storage:

 

Clean Energy Storage


Organic Microbial Batteries can take advantage of the billions of microbes involved in composting and store extra electricity generated by the wind and solar power generation systems. The composting process can be tweaked to produce ammonia and methanol, to be used as Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC) to load and unload hydrogen:  to transport it safely and easily.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells can also store extra hydrogen produced.

 

Automation of Mass Production

 

Engineers and other relevant specialists need to adapt/develop 3D construction printers;

to use with inexpensive graphene mass-production from almost any carbon source, like Flash Graphene;

to print all, or most, of the components above, quickly and inexpensively.

 

Circular Economy


The ACE Solution is an excellent foundation upon which to build a robust
circular economy. How? Most packaging waste for all products is made up of paper and plastic. Most paper is already compostable. Plastic composting bags and other compostable plastics are coming out on the market. Compostable plastic alternatives, like notpla.com and avanieco.com, could also be considered. If companies could be persuaded (perhaps with new laws) to make all packaging waste, for everything we buy, use only 100% compostable materials, then this system could:

  • eliminate pollution
  • generate virtually limitless humus and fertilizer to regrow our forests and
  • generate virtually limitless eco-friendly energy for additional things like; car(s), boat(s), etc. for a family
  • generate virtually limitless essential products via flash graphene.

 

Adaptability

AEON Greenhouses can be stand-alone or attached to the roofs and/or sun-side walls of conventional homes.  If there is a shortage of any one element, like energy for example, then another greenhouse module is simply added to achieve a general state of equilibrium. Developing hot-swapable, plug & play food and energy production modules, would add more precision to this state of equilibrium (and the ability to quickly adapt to unforeseen circumstances). An external tree module can be replaced with a wind turbine module and vice versa. A solar panel module can be replaced with a garden planter module and vice versa. Both electrical and  irrigation lines can be strategically placed in, on and around the greenhouse to guarantee an ample supply of plants and/or energy, regardless of the season.

 

How does the ACE House compare to other Closed Ecosystem solutions?

European Space Agency’s Melissa
https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Engineering_Technology/Melissa/Closed_Loop_Concept

Melissa uses a Closed Loop Concept:
“The driving element of MELiSSA is the recovering of food, water and oxygen from organic waste carbon dioxide and minerals, using light as source of energy to promote biological photosynthesis. It is an assembly of processes (mechanical grinding, bioreactors, filtration, wet oxidation, etc.) aiming at a total conversion of the organic wastes and CO2 to oxygen, water and food.
It is based on the principle of an "aquatic" lake ecosystem where waste products are processed using the metabolism of plants and algae which in return provide food, air revitalization and water purification.”

The ACE House includes a robust Closed Loop that can accept outside inputs. In addition to food, water and oxygen, the ACE House recovers clean energy, clean heat, biofuel (which can be cleanly converted into hydrogen), clothing, medicine and completely recycles human waste. It also renders expensive and ecologically destructive electricity grid and water works infrastructures useless and thus recyclable.

University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2
http://biosphere2.org/research/our-mission

Biosphere 2 uses the domed city approach:
“The University of Arizona Biosphere 2 consists of a unique large-scale experimental apparatus housing seven model ecosystems, a team of multidisciplinary scientists, a broad science education and public outreach program, and a modern conference center. The seven model ecosystems are: 1) a mature rain forest with over 90 tropical tree species, 2) a 2600 m3 ocean, 3) forested swamps dominated by mangrove trees, 4) a tropical savanna grassland, 5) a 1400 m2 coastal fog desert, 6) three desert hillslope grass-shrubland landscapes, and 7) Biosphere 2, its campus, and associated buildings and facilities serve as a 162,000 m2 model city and urban ecosystem. The Biosphere 2 Science Program addresses societal grand challenges related to water, environmental and energy management through design of large-scale experimentation in each of these model ecosystems. These experiments support the development of computer models that simulate the biological, physical and chemical processes to predict ecosystem response to environmental change. In return, these coupled-systems model simulations inform scientists about the next level of experimentation needed to advance understanding of these complex systems’ responses that can be tested against observations in natural systems.”

It is far easier and less expensive to design and build a dome for a city filled with ACE Houses instead of conventional houses. ACE Houses are already designed to be self-sufficient in completely eco-friendly ways. The only way they disturb the surrounding ecosystem is by their mere presence. Thus, they should be strategically placed to minimize ecological harm, while maximizing exposure to sun and wind. The ACE House could benefit from the many lessons learned from Biosphere 2, like incorporating the lung to regulate seasonal variations in atmospheric pressure and heat levels, not using concrete (at least not the type that absorbs oxygen), etc.

University of Guelph’s Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility (CESRF)
http://www.ces.uoguelph.ca/index.shtml

The CESRF explores plant growth in a large variety of highly controlled and precise growing environments and conditions:
“The Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility and its Space and Advanced Life Support Agriculture program are an essential part of Canada's contributions to plant research and development for space and closed environment related activities. The prospect of a higher priority for advanced life support research objectives in the Canadian Space Agency's Long Term Space Plan and the strong support of NASA's Advanced Life Support (ALS) community provide a clear incentive and opportunity to promote our capabilities in this area. In addition, our ongoing contract with the European Space Agency's MELiSSA Project promises to expand to include a broader scope of objectives in life support studies.”

The CESRF would be invaluable to help configure and calibrate the EON Greenhouse for any and all varieties of growing environments and conditions.

NASA’s Advanced Life Support
https://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/research/technology-onepagers/advanced-life-support.html

Ames Research Center’s ALS develops high tech replacements for nature’s processes:
“Role of Ames in Advanced Life Support
NASA Ames is providing ALS research and development of innovative technologies for use on the International Space Station, crewed transit vehicles, and surface habitats. The primary research and technology development emphasis is on air regeneration, water recovery, solid waste processing, and system integration, modeling and analysis tools.
Recent ALS Technologies Developed at ARC
Water Recovery – Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR)
VPCAR is a single-step water recovery system that requires no consumables or maintenance for three years. The Equivalent Systems Mass metric of VPCAR (the combination of total system mass, power, volume, etc.) is five times better than the current state-of-the-art ISS (International Space Station) water recovery system. At TRL 5-6, VPCAR is a key candidate life support subsystem technology baselined for missions beyond low Earth orbit.”

The complementary technologies of the ALS and the AEON Greenhouse could easily be integrated into the ACE House to back each other up as redundant Life Support systems. 

 

Mission: Desired Future History
 

The purpose of the Thrivability Solutions Network is to create and perfect a single, scalable solution which fulfills all seventeen of the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development for one family, the basic unit of any society. Then we can fully automate its mass production so that every family can have it for as Free as possible, globally:
 

  1. No Poverty: Guaranteed Basic Necessities empower family members to reliably thrive; individually and collectively.
  2. Zero Hunger: A primarily plant-based diet has been proven to be the best fuel for the human body's health and well-being.
  3. Good Health and Well-Being: In addition to the plant-based diet, the included, free membership to the INSTEAD Academy (described below) facilitates personalized, strengths-based: exercises + sports + career paths.
  4. Quality Education: ACE House families get free membership to the Individual Natural Strengths & Talents Exploration, Application and Development - the INSTEAD Academy helps individuals to find their passions, leading to purposeful and fulfilling lives.
  5. Gender Equality: Equal access to thrival necessities provided to both genders.
  6. Clean Water & Sanitation: Algae + ISS water recycler + aerographene filter for water. Plant-based antibacterial soaps and detergents for sanitization.
  7. Affordable & Clean Energy: Abundant heat and clean hydrogen extracted from the family’s daily compost production. Photovoltaic graphene can supply any additional clean energy needs.
  8. Decent Work & Economic Growth: Since all necessities are reliably self-produced by the houses, the economy becomes luxuries-only; thus, a middle-class lifestyle for poorest. Rapidly reuseable rockets are being developed by SpaceX and Blue Origin. They will make the cost of getting people, products and services into space very affordable and very popular, very soon. A shift to a space colonization economy guarantees economic growth forever. ACEs will play a significant part in this, so better to master them early.
  9. Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure: Since the Global Goals will be solved, we can focus on remaining global problems, while opening ourselves to the challenges and opportunities of space colonization and exploration.
  10. Reduced Inequalities: The only product and service inequalities that will remain will be for luxuries.
  11. Sustainable Cities & Communities: The Houses’ integrated municipal infrastructures and zero pollution make city upgrading and construction easier, cheaper and eco-friendly.
  12. Responsible Consumption & Production: Adopting the ACE Housing Standard globally and universally for all structures.
  13. Climate Action: Each house eliminates most forms of the worst pollution, including the transportation sector. A rapid-deployment, emergency-shelter version of the ACE House can be designed to indefinitely sustain a family of four following a disaster. This is needed for the growing number of natural disasters due to climate change.
  14. Life Below Water: Switching humanity to a primarily plant-based diet and the ACE Housing Standard is welcome news for life below water.
  15. Life on Land: Mass emigration to space colonies means that massive tracts of former city land and farmland can be reforested.
  16. Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions: Guaranteed Necessities will significantly reduce scarcity-based acts of desperation, crime, war, etc.
  17. Partnership for the Goals: Let’s join together to make the ACE Housing Standard a reality!


We could transform the catastrophe of the COVID-19 pandemic, into an opportunity for enthusiastic global peace and prosperity by transitioning our economies towards GBNs and their many benefits. Keeping the status quo, where preventable global poverty, pollution and their consequences are allowed to exist, only holds humanity back, hurts us. Creating a thrival civilization, will not only teach us how to heal our ecosystem and our civilization's worst problems, but will also provide us with the insights, tools and techniques needed for mastering the construction of a Dyson Swarm and Terraforming: Technologies that are necessary to open up the vast riches of space to humanity. If we can master how to thrive in harmony with the closed ecosystems of ACE Houses, then thriving in harmony with Earth's much larger and natural closed ecosystem will become very easy. The end goal is to develop portable, all-inclusive, and self-sufficient human habitats of all shapes and sizes where humans can responsibly thrive, here on Earth or, that we can pack up and bring with us to use off-planet.

 

Vision 
 

This climate crisis is showing us that temporary, short-term solutions are no longer enough. All environmental solutions are rendered temporary as long as our growing overpopulation problem is not addressed. Environmental solutions that worked when the global population was only 7 billion will no longer be sufficient when that number has risen to 10 billion or beyond. We need permanent, forever solutions. We need to start adapting the lifecycles for all of our current products, policies and practices to meet closed ecosystem standards, right now, for a bright future. The self-production of necessities, made possible by the ACE Housing Standard, is a logical step in that direction. The early mastery of building small, mobile, closed ecosystems will greatly simplify the design construction of future space colonies:

 

​Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, plans to colonize Mars. Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, plans to colonize space with O’Neill Cylinders. Perhaps both could collaborate to combine their dreams in stages of a plan: Build the O’Neill Cylinders first into a Dyson Swarm, to save Humanity and Earth, in the short term. Gravity control research would then be emphasized to make the colonization of Mars and the Moon safe.

 

Humans, like the rest of the natural world, don't want to merely survive or be sustained, we need to grow, to flourish, to thrive! We can build a civilization designed to ensure that our planet and our species will thrive together well into a future free of overpopulation pollution and poverty.

"Fundamentally thrivability is visionary - it is about co-evolving a future we want rather than avoiding a future that terrifies us. It is about acting with enthusiasm toward an opportunity rather than away from catastrophe. It is about becoming a good ancestor."
http://www.appropedia.org/Thrivability