Baubiologie

Floorplan

Because refrigerators produce a high amount of EMFs, we did not want our sleeping quarters located above the kitchen. Since Feng Shui principles located our kitchen in the east, we placed our bedroom in the west, which is also the most peaceful corner of the house (since it is directly above the library area of our living room and our study).

In an effort to shield ourselves from EMFs, we originally had no electricity in the bedroom, and all wiring was designed not to go above or below the bedroom. Our bedroom remained without power for the first 3—4 years, but eventually we tired of using candles and lamp oil to read at night, and we also grew more concerned about the toxicity of the lamp oil. Now we have a minimal amount of power in the bedroom, AC along the wall that is shared with the bathroom and one DC outlet that we use next to the bed to power low voltage halogen reading lights.  The alternating current of AC is more disruptive and harmful to human health than DC “direct current”, especially the particular form of AC used by American appliances.

Every room, including the bedroom, has a  “demand switch”, a power switch near the door that turns off power to the entire room. By turning off power to the entire room we not only reduce our exposure to EMFs, we also conserve energy, since many electronic devices, like our DVD player, stereo, and computer, have display lights and stand-by modes that consume energy even when the device itself is turned off.

We do not have electric clocks in the bedrooms. Instead we have battery-powered clocks, since DC ( direct current off of batteries) produces less EMFs than AC.

Many common home appliances—including our answering machine, low-voltage halogen desk lamps, and cordless telephones—have large cubes just above the plug. These cubes, serve as mini-inverters that convert AC power to DC power and are a major source of EMFs.  We use the 24 volts of DC power that comes into our home for our super efficient freezer, but we also step it down to 12 volts – the voltage which is commonly used for the “low voltage” appliances listed above.  When the power needed is 12 volts, we often cut off these cubes and install new plugs, which allow these devices to run directly on DC power, producing less EMFs and consuming less energy (with an off-the-grid system it is more efficient to use DC power).  Obviously only people living with DC power can “customize” their appliances in this way, but it is generally a good idea to keep away from the power cubes as much as possible, the EMFs coming from them are considerable.

To further protect ourselves from EMFs, we made sure that all wiring was “metal flex”, a commercial grade wire that helps shield EMFs. Residential wiring is normally covered with just a thin layer of PVC, a substance we try to avoid as much as possible.  While the wires inside the metal flex are most likely covered in PVC, at least they are encapsulated and not subject to UV deterioration which is the primary way in which PVC enters the environment.

  PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE DESIGN TECHNOLOGIES
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