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Natural Building & appropriate technology’s blog 01

Article One of Natural Bldg and Appropriate Tech Internship

Here we begin, day one of the first Autumn Internship, or the Appropriate Technology and Natural Building Internship! Ten fresh students who are going to spend 15 weeks at the Koanga Institute – situated on the land of the Kotare Village – to learn more about regenerative ways of living, gathering new hands-on skills based on the concepts of Appropriate Technology. Appropriate Technology? Here is an article from Tim Barker posted on the Koanga Institute web site that explains what appropriate technology is. Anyway here is a small taste of what it is based on the first day of the course.


Appropriate Technology:

–       is human centered and human scaled

–       is easily replicable and understandable

–       focuses on locally available resources

–       tends to be labour intensive but energy efficient


And what is better to begin with than a very practical situation? Tom, one of the interns, came up with a challenge for the group: how can we lift up his car, which was stuck in a pit, without using fossil fuel? Our solution, human power! And there we are, ten persons lifting and sweating to finally free the car without any major damage.

Our two teachers, Tim Barker and Bob Corker, spent the whole day teaching us about what technology is. Energy concepts like the three laws of thermodynamics, and how heat transmits through conduction, convection and radiation. The afternoon was about solar thermal energy and understanding the principles and patterns of the passive solar heating of houses.

And tomorrow we are going to have a solar oven building competition. We have been split into four teams and we are really keen to practice our understanding of energy flow to try to create the most energy efficient solar oven! Wish me luck…

~Oscar Morand, 18 February 2013, Natural Building and Appropriate Technology Intern

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