Logic is Variable

an argument starts here

Housing - extreme environmental and climate conditions

Dr. Norbert Pintech 

This article appeared in monthly Techno Biz Magazine Sep-Oct 2010 issue

Underwater laboratories and Space Stations
Challenge for Planners and Scientists
Affects on materialistic thinking and the architecture
Changes in the technical centralized Infrastructure
Influences on social life
not:Either-Or, rather:Both-And....

It is probably due to upcoming jubilees, that the interest of the media is most visible on certain days of the year. The 50th anniversary of the manned space flight will be celebrated soon. Russian as well as US-american companies offer, at appropriate price, hotel stays in the space. The fantasy appears to move again in the direction of the moon occupancy. Also the research project Mars 500 in Moscow suggests a somewhat longer tour, and then again everything would be as usual, like Pool, Sun, Feasts, etc.

Events in the research project On the Earth take place outside of the earth. But this is of course theory, but the fact is, that future movements away from earth will nonetheless influence life on earth.

Our previous articles about housing were based upon a Cultural-Model, which would have seemed strange to engineers and technicians, but at the same time it must have made clear, how important it is to think and work in entirety (holistically), in order to achieve positive results in the long run. as cultural differences therefore play an important role in this regard in the form of philosophical and religious differences. The differences are quite open in the macro-area, in the micro-area they are obvious through disturbances in relationships, e.g. toilet usage, eating habits, work culture, food preferences etc.
Underwater Laboratories and Space Stations
The construction of Off-Shore Platforms has been an important development on earth. The relevant teams are required here to work and live effectively and optimally.

Sanitary problems had to be solved in military operations in the air, from which the Civil Aviation ultimately profited.

In life under water, for example in submarines, the crew sometimes spent months under water and daily life routines (sleeping, eating, cleaning etc.) were organized in a manner, that everything went smoothly. One was supposed to be autonomous.

This is also valid for Aircraft Carriers, where the crews are provided recreation possibilities along with their military tasks. The autonomy was only a lesser problem, as one could and can rely on regular supplies.
According to brochures of hotels in space (better said in space nearer to earth), it should definitely be more comfortable as compared to research stations established under water or in space (Spacelab).

This is an analogue to the above mentioned military solutions, which have comparable solutions in civil domain: Cruise ship cabins, Camping mobiles, Rolling Hotels, Capsule hotels in Tokyo, etc. Recalling these examples, on can probably realize, that there exist a number of permanent solutions in stark contrast to the wasteful solutions of city villas.

The possibilities discussed by NASA in the time of the boom, illustrated by the scientist, engineer and artist EHRICKE, further established visions of a biosphere near to the earth. This as a basic vision led to experiments in simulations on the earth, which however did not run successfully. In 1991 Biosphere 2 (1991-1993) was established with 8 participants on an area of over 10000 square metres and 200000 cubic metres in Arizona, in order to win experiences of a closed economic system. The steel concrete used in construction was not successful at all because it absorbed oxygen unexpectedly. In a second attempt, the six participants managed successfully to live autonomously, i.e. without the supply of help from outside.

In the area of research, we collected experiences on the south pole, -though with regular supplies from outside, but still one lived autonomously most of the time (e.g Research Laboratory Neumeier2).

The Mars500-Project ignores the eco-system and puts the emphasis on the social aspect (Work with the same colleagues on limited space, dealing with delayed news, which can be up to 20 minutes late due to the distance of 400 million km). This means in the practice, that in case of danger, one has to live and survive without outside help. A special problem of communication and information here is the time delay in the receipt of signals.

Problems arise in the general cultural area and are visible in the daily routine of city life, where people cannot get along with each other automatically (e.g. vegetarians and meat eaters, pork eaters and beef eaters, religious-cultural rites, which even on earth are sometimes difficult to manage, e.g fasting period in june or December in the higher north or south.

Challenge for Planners and Scientists
We have pointed out the problem area of construction materials, which hinder an exchange between the inner and the outer spheres. On earth, mud is more energy efficient and therefore healthier and cheaper from macro-economic point of view, because it is usable without any additional energy source. Unluckily steel concrete construction and burned bricks construction has taken place and is still taking place on a massive scale. In other words construction ruins of the time to come. The energy consumption in introduction of new construction materials may look large in the beginning, but is justified in efforts aimed at achieving Zero-energy-Houses.

It is a century-long task for planners and scientists to arrive at a value, which -based upon the population per square kilometer- relates to a degree value of extent of burden possible in connection with climate, vegetation and general cultural factors. If this hypthetical value is crossed, the urban picture of today becomes obsolete and without future.

The real productivity of the individual work place in the tax system must also be taken into consideration here. Services, including education and health services although income generating measures for the relevant group, are but unproductive and serve only the spreading of the taxation network.

Affects on materialistic thinking and architecture
The survival rate of a system is best shown in extreme situations. The economic system successful in limited sphere and taken over from the west has helped to promote globalization, which automatically also means its end as well as its unrepairability. That this fact is still not recognized does not change anything. The Europeans obtained stretches of land in Africa during the colonization period. The local rulers must have been pleased at the development. Appropriate drawings of the obtained land were not made by the foreigners because they did not understand the local way of thinking. They purchased, what was not salable in the traditional sense. In spite of that, the same principle is still applied worldwide, which shows -also here- an outdated concept is in use, which has long lost its limit of usefulness.

As a transition, the good old industrial production of goods, well based upon a piece of land, will take place more and more in integrated factories. This functions through the exchange of unusable products of one producer to value addition on the same product through another producer.

The architecture, let us call it for simplicity sake Dubai-Design, has not shown any real innovation up till now., whereas innovation does not mean that a building boasts of a helicopter landing place or a seawater-swimming pool or a luxurious entrance hall as big as a football-field or a heap of childish gold and marble items, an express transport system or a mega-skyscraper. These are all mixtures of technically possible and a need for admiration. They are based upon so called successful economic system, which had already reached its climax at the end of the 20th century.

Changes in the technical central infra-structure
If we consider supply systems developed for buildings and cities in the light technology development, we are bound to realize, that these systems are based upon economic considerations. The main purpose appears to be to earn: from lighting , from water supply, from waste disposal etc.Earning here is possible only if the number of customers is large. For this reason large units are created.This leads to two recognizable tendencies. The one is the enormous dependency, coupled with susceptibility. The other is the trend towards autonomous enterprise. Relevant to our topic of Housing, we already mentioned solutions in the High-Tech, as well as in the Low-Tech area. Autonomous systems already exist in the HighTech area, which make the need for a central technical infra-structure pointless. In the Low-Tech area, we may point out the experiences of the Sulabh-Academy in Delhi, which has delivered an interesting example waste disposal methods.

Influences in the social life
Six billion people on earth need space. Space, which is only usable with considerable input of energy., should be used carefully and cleverly. The expansion of the cities into the soft picture of the surrounding areas is an erroneous development, which creates new problems or only defers existing problems. Long distances and travel times, from home to the work place, point to the unsolvable problems in urban areas. The urban region is an organism, which needs time to develop. The factor time has long been forgotten. The different national technical solutions are just short-term concepts. Although sea water desalination plants make possible irrigation and provide water to households, but truly said, they belong to the general public at large. Indication of the problem between national interest and international considerations. Time is still not ripe, it appears, to point out the absurdity of intensive colonization of arid regions !

not:Either-Or, rather:Both-And....
Utopia is dedicated to the far away and unreachable. Should it suddenly be there, the supposed utopia, a society can sbe overwhelmed. The foot taken away from the brake, thanks to the power of Information Technology, the information is quickly distributed over the whole surface and it is absorbed without asking any questions. The danger of the global world lies actually in quick and extensive acceptance of Information and its spreading. An Either-Or situation is directed against the evolution process. The model of multiplicity has proved itself to be most efficient in the nature. Manipulations in available systems due to misunderstood scientific knowledge and not looking at things in totality is bound to have extreme and incomprehensible long -term consequences.


  1. International Space Lab
  2. Astronaut-suit
  3. View from Space-Hotel
  4. BiosphaereII, Arizona
  5. Research-Lab NeumeierIII, Antartica
  6. Sample for Integrated Production, Hanover, Shanghai
  7. Mobile Homes, England
  8. Zero-Energy-Plus-House, Germany
  9. WC-set from aircraft
  10. Pantry from cruiser
  11. Area 51, sample for subterranean settlement, Nevada
  12. Off-Shore-Platform, Mexico-Gulf
  13. Kapusem Hoteru, Japan
  14. Cruiser, Karibic Sea
  15. Sea-Lab, North Sea
  16. Diver-suit
  17. View from Underwater-Hotel, Florida

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:12 AM,


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