Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Energy News .




ENERGY NEWS
Real-life hobbit village channels eco-values
by Staff Writers
Stockholm (AFP) Oct 07, 2013


A real-life hobbit village will soon be nestled in the lush forests of a Swedish island, a whimsical housing scheme billed as the first of its kind -- but behind the fantasy gimmick lies a genuine interest for sustainable development.

The hobbits, small characters with hairy feet in novelist J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy classics, are a model of environmentally friendly living, said British hobbit-house architect Simon Dale.

"Hobbits portray people living a peaceful life in harmony with nature," Dale, 35, told AFP on a recent visit to Stockholm.

He was in town to plan for the cluster of 30 houses on Muskoe, an island located some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the city centre as the crow flies amid Stockholm's picturesque archipelago.

The island's first hobbit house is scheduled to be ready in mid-2014, with the village completed within a few years.

At first sight, the huts resemble Bilbo Baggins's dwellings in the Shire in Tolkien's 1937 novel "The Hobbit".

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit," begins Tolkien's tale. "It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle."

In Tolkien's idyllic agrarian setting, the hobbits live in tune with nature -- in stark contrast to the author's era of mature industrialisation.

The Swedish hobbit village will keep the notion of natural materials and soft, round shapes: the windows, doors and walls will all be curved.

Yet the houses will be slightly more up-to-date, built for modern city-dwellers longing to retreat to nature on weekends and holidays.

An induction hob, beside a wood-burning range, will be the "most high-tech thing integrated," said Dale, whose design promises airy ceilings up to 3.5 metres (11.5 feet) high.

Energy efficiency will be a primary goal, so heating will come from solar power and wood-burning.

Natural building materials from the area will also be used, such as timber, stone, sand, clay and grass.

Dale himself has lived in a hobbit house for the past decade with his wife and two kids.

The family now resides in the West Wales community of Lammas, the first British low-impact eco-village of its kind. Building the earth houses has become a passion, said Dale, originally a photographer.

The village isn't targeted at fans of Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" -- rather, it's intended to appeal to those who care about the environment and want to live close to nature.

"It's a transition in lifestyle and values," said Dale, who bears a faint resemblance to Bilbo as played by Martin Freeman in the new "Hobbit" blockbuster film trilogy.

'Hobbit-holes' and a Dream Farm

Sweden, like other countries taking the lead in sustainable development, has in recent years seen a boom in eco-friendly urban renewal projects.

But Dale noted a key difference between those projects and his.

They "aim to maximise the efficiency of resource consumption, while we aim to minimise resource consumption," he said, adding that sustainability doesn't require fancy new gadgets but can instead be attained by living more simply.

He said Muskoe was the perfect location for his project.

Home to a naval base decommissioned nine years ago, the island has a natural forest and farming landscape, yet is conveniently equipped with well-developed infrastructure, including a grocery store, restaurant, pharmacy, public transport and a three-kilometre (two-mile) tunnel connecting it to the mainland.

The island is also home to an eco-project called Droemgaarden, or The Dream Farm, which is building an environmentally sustainable community and which invited Dale to collaborate.

Apart from his "hobbit-holes", the village will feature 350 eco-friendly homes.

Local farmers and residents are intrigued to see the old agricultural estate being brought back to life, providing jobs and atmosphere, said Dale.

Yet for the moment the entire project remains in the realm of Tolkien's fantasy pending real-world bureaucratic clearance.

"It's up to the municipality to give us the green light, but we're optimistic," said project organiser Marie Eriksson.

.


Related Links







Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ENERGY NEWS
IEA: Southeast Asia's energy demand to increase 80 percent
Bangkok (UPI) Oct 2, 2013
Southeast Asia's energy demand is expected to soar by more than 80 percent through 2035, says a new report from the International Energy Agency. IEA, in its Southeast Asia Energy Outlook report released Wednesday, estimates that the region's oil imports will rise from the current 1.9 million barrels a day to slightly more than 5 million barrels a day by 2035, making it the world's fourt ... read more


ENERGY NEWS
Real-life hobbit village channels eco-values

IEA: Southeast Asia's energy demand to increase 80 percent

Nigeria signs $1.3 bn power plant deal with China

Myanmar's energy sector boosted by World Bank investment

ENERGY NEWS
AEA's tactic: If you can't win, delay

Study to look at British Columbia's 'clean' LNG

No Keystone XL pipeline approval this year: company

Mideast oil power wanes as U.S., others boost production

ENERGY NEWS
Installation of the first AREVA turbines at Trianel Windpark Borkum and Global Tech 1

Trump's suit to halt wind farm project to be heard in November

Ireland connects first community-owned wind farm to grid

Moventas significantly expands wind footprint

ENERGY NEWS
DEK Solar Helps Break New Barriers for Low-Cost, High-Efficiency Solar Cells

Solar power's future brawl

Another 1MW of Community-Owned Solar Comes Online in Colorado

Solid UK performance signals strong future for Trina Solar

ENERGY NEWS
Japan nuclear regulator berates Fukushima operator

New leak at crippled Fukushima nuclear plant: TEPCO

Bangladesh breaks ground for first nuclear power plant

Four tonnes of radioactive water spilled in Fukushima

ENERGY NEWS
UCLA engineers develop new metabolic pathway to more efficiently convert sugars into biofuels

KAIST announced a novel technology to produce gasoline by a metabolically engineered microorganism

Solving ethanol's corrosion problem may help speed the biofuel to market

First look at complete sorghum genome may usher in new uses for food and fuel

ENERGY NEWS
Onward and upward as China marks 10 years of manned spaceflight

Chinese VP stresses peaceful use of space

China's space station to open for foreign peers

Last Days for Tiangong

ENERGY NEWS
Climate change: Fast out of the gate, slow to the finish the gate

Climate Models Show Potential 21st Century Temperature and Precipitation Changes

Reconstruction for the eastern Mediterranean temps based on tree rings

Greater desertification control using sand trap simulations




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement