Being a green builder is a constant search for more ecological ways of doing things.

That’s why we listened when  Justin Hall-Tipping told us that in the future, all energy could be sustainable, green, and free.

Justin Hall-Tipping, CEO of Nanoholdings, gives a TED talk about the energy applications of carbon nanomaterials.  It’s worth a watch, if you have ten minutes.

A few key points:

  • Carbon nanotubes are 100 times more conductive than copper wire.
  • Transparent sheets of carbon nanomaterials, when paired with a polymer, can be applied to windows (or any surface, really) and convert light into energy.
  • Collected energy can be fed into systems of batteries that store it for later–or be turned back into light and beamed to the next house over.

Widespread applications of this model has mind-boggling implications: free sustainable energy, for everyone, for as long as the sun shines.

The downside is that we couldn’t harness the collaborative powers of the network until the model goes mainstream.  And why would the model go mainstream, when just about every house in a developed nation is already hooked up to a grid and paying into the existing system?  We have the technology to do this.  We also have the technology to make hovercars.  We could be zooming everywhere, but we wouldn’t, because we already have roads and cars that get the job done.  The prohibitive cost and arguably unnecessary risk of replacing entire infrastructures holds us back.

Consumption is already ingrained in our lifestyle to the degree that stepping away from it would take a massive amount of willpower.  Ec0 Br00klyn’s Zero Building method minimizes consumption by using 100% salvaged materials in our projects.  We install green roofs, solar panels, and water recycling systems that help homeowners wean themselves off the official lines.  We help one determined homeowner at a time move beyond consumption, toward a future of free energy.

It’s not easy.  Pushing against “normal” ways of doing things is a daily struggle against our own habits and those of the structures around us, but we can’t NOT fight it, so we forge on.

Justin Hall-Tipping’s research and ideas are very inspiring. We are keeping a keen eye on his developments since it would be a huge leap forward for green building.