The Greenhouse: a self-sustaining production space
Lack of housing and workspace is a big problem in Amsterdam. At the same time there are lots of land and water not used and unattended for years. The combination of some rural survival skills, creativity, belief in a healthier planet and new household scale technologies can tackle those two problems in one blow. With the present state of technology it is more efficient and ecological to expand local energy, water, food and sewage networks than increase the capacity of regional networks. We want to use the vacant lots in the city for experimenting in this kind of more autonomous and self-sufficient ways of living. The KasKantine is like a self-sustainable ship that can land anywhere with a surface of 10x30m2!
The architecture of the KasKantine depends on what building materials are available, as waste or on the second hand market, or as abundant local resource, like clay and sand.
The kaskantine will be equipped with enough solar panels to power the whole project. We try to install as much as possible applications directly linked to a solar panel to limit the amount of batteries. This concerns water circulation pumps, irrigation punps, air pumps and air ventilation. In the summer this mounts up to more than half of the energy use. The other half of the solar panels are connected to a 5 kW solar inverter and a battery pack of 500Ah.
We experiment with different types of rocket stoves. These stoves have insulated burning chambers so the temperature rises high enough to burn all smoke, making it into ecological and economical heat source. Our pizza oven is equipped with two rocket stoves. The large mass of clay and stones accumulate heat and radiate it out for up to two days after using the oven, helping keep the greenhouse warm in winter times. Furthermore we are working on an air scrubber, that will filter out fine dust from the smoke and cool it down so it can be used as CO2 fertiliser in the filter greenhouse.
Under normal circumstances, the container & greenhouse roofing catch enough water to meet our requirements. Sand and active coal filters purify the water. In times of drought, we pump groundwater from our well for the plants and we get drinking water from a connection in the neighborhood. We also use the filtered waste water from the kitchen for our plants. Filtered waste water from the toilets is used in a special greenhouse for the production of biomass.