Indigenous cultures from around the world have worked in a close symbiosis with the earth's natural elements--from the blistering hot deserts of Africa to the subzero temperatures of the arctic. Over thousands of years, our ancestors have honed their craft of building efficient structures out of native materials. These structures were not dependent on fossil fuels to keep a comfortable living environment. In most cases, these homes perform better than their modern day counterpart without relying on fossil fuels.
The problems with conventional housing are immense. Homes are currently built with limited consideration of the natural elements. Direction and elevation of the sun, wind direction, and sustainable local building materials have all but been forgotten by modern architecture. What we are left with is a home that needs large amounts of energy to keep a stable temperature. In many climates, a simple interruption in the supply of gas, water, or power would render the home uninhabitable.
Looking forward, we have developed the technology to bridge the gap between the common sense of the past and the technology of our future. The technology now exists to create sustainable homes that require no inputs from a centralized grid. Furthermore, these homes can keep a comfortable temperature year round in any climate, collect their own rain water, produce their own power, treat their own sewage, and grow their own food. Living examples of theses homes are in the thousands and have proven to work all over the world.