How Could The Housing Industry Create 10 Billion Billionaires?
For starters it would need to embrace technology. The building industry will need to start doing things differently; very differently.
At this moment I am reading Buckminster Fullers biography At Home In The Universe, by Alden Hatch and also listening to the hammering, sawing, grinding and concrete mixing noises emanating from the site next door where two small houses are being built.
The building works started on 20th February 2009. Can you believe that some work even requires carrying buckets of concrete by hand.
We are in the 21st Century. The house is certainly the major outlay of money for most people, whether they buy or rent, and yet building practices are the same or very similar to those of the early 20th Century.
What is perhaps alarming is that these houses are being built by the New South Wales government and in particular the ‘education department’.
They are built to ‘building codes and standards’ … nothing experimental or creative.
How would a passive solar home work out here? We are on the edge of the NSW desert with maximum temperatures in the high 40’s and low 50’s Celsius. Every new house built out here sould certainly included PV power generation to and also a grey-water system to complement the rain water tanks. But these two houses every other house in town doesn’t.It rarely rains here and many water tanks remain empty. It makes sense to install grey water systems as well.
Change and progress rarely ever comes from governments or education departments but from private enterprise and entrepreneurs and sometimes existing billionaires.
During the second world war the American factories that were building warplanes were suffering from massive staff ‘turnover’ (as soon as you could get a job out of the ‘war effort’ people were taking them because they knew when the war ended jobs would disappear overnight.
The staff turnover was slowing production and had a detrimental effect on the quality of the finished planes. The US Government called in Buckminster Fuller to see what he could come up with as a way to improve production.
‘Bucky’ had made a big impression all over the world with his innovative thinking.
See a video below of his “Pole Home” concept, developed well before the second world war.
The year was 1944, and for many years earlier ‘Bucky’ had conceived the idea of mass produced, high quality and low priced housing that was factory assembled and air delivered by helicopter. The cost of a two bedroom fully completed fire and flood proofed, hurricane and intruder proofed house was about the same as the cost of a Cadillac or luxury motor car at the time.
You can see more of Buckminster Fuller in the Free members area of Your Healthy Planet.com.
The real cost of automobiles has come down and is continuing to come down as technology continues to advance. The quality of the automobile and it’s safety has continued to rise.
The same scenario has happened in the electronics and computer industries, even to the point of the One Child One Computer program developing an advanced laptop computer for $100 each.
These industries have all worked within the design parameters of “doing more with less everyday”, or CANI … Continuing And Neverending Imporovement. This is also called ephemeralisation.
So Bucky recommended that some of the aircraft factories be transformed into factories suitable to produce his “Pole Home” to meet the high demand for affordable housing. The idea was accepted with open arms. It was amazing and gave the workers new hope and job turnover almost stopped.
The war ended and the new “Pole House” housing design received a lot of publicity. Within the next few months 37,000 unsolicited orders were received some with deposit cheques attached. The newly formed company’s stock price soared. However while the stockholders wanted to proceed at once, Fuller knew that the concept was only that, a conceptual mass produced house and that it needed 5 to 10 years to bring it into full scale production.
There were heated arguments as the workers (wanting their jobs to continue) and the shareholders (wanting to make money) disagreed with Fuller’s assessment of the house and it’s need to be fully tested. He did not want to deliver thousands of future problems.
He knew that the design and testing phase of the new houses was critical to a successful business venture. In addition his focus was on providing a solution to the housing crisis … not on making money from other people’s plight.
Buckminster Fuller wound up the company and the Dymaxion House never got off the ground.The demand for his very successful GEODESIC Dome structures soon took Bucky’s attention away as they became in great demand by the military first and then the US government as large exhibition halls that could be transported anywhere in the world and erected by unskilled labour.
The first large dome structure was delivered to Afghanistan and erected within 48 hours of it’s arrival. The same size dome delivered to a US location and erected by skilled US labourers took a total of six weeks to complete. There was a problem.
What has prevented new and more affordable housing technologies from being developed?
In his biography Fuller talks of the difficulty labour has accepting technology and the inevitable loss of JOBS that technology results in. This he believes is freeing human beings to do what is needed to be done, what they see needs to be done.
What could our billionaires do to transform the building industry?
If one ordinary man with no capital can produce a housing design so revolutionary that it was as affordable as a motor car and attracted 37,000 unsolicited orders, what could the leaders of industry do?
Will they do anything at all?
Perhaps they have, as Bucky said sold out or lost control to the Great Pirates as spoken of in GRUNCH.
The ‘profit at all cost’ ideology is still well and truly alive and so the transformation necessary to elevate everyone aboard planet earth to the lifestyle of a billionaire will come from individual integrity. It will come from you and I saying “yes, my house will be energy positive … it will give back more than it consumes and perhaps will even earn me a small part of my living”, and it will come from the synergy we produce when working together.
The town I live in is ideally located to become a positive energy producer from renewable solar and wind generation. One of the major employers in a gold mine by the name of New Gold. Perhaps SOLAR ENERGY is the true NEW GOLD of this part of Australia.
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