The Future Model of Eco-Villages

The Future Model of Eco-Villages

By Ac. Shambhushivananda Avt.
with Khun Krisada Kampanatsanyakorn and Khun Piriyathep Kanchanadul

It is common knowledge that the way we live our lives today is highly unsustainable. As the population of the world increases even further, the stress on the eco-system is leading us towards an even greater uncertain future. Ananda Marga Gurukula supports a progressive application of ecological principles in order to rebuild habitats in cooperation and in synergy with the natural environment.

This new approach towards eco-villages/master units makes renewable energy and free access to information as the cornerstone of an affluent sustainable future. We shall continue to live in insecurity as long as we steer away from the bounties of nature. The closer we align ourselves in harmony with nature, the greater is the likelihood of inviting abundance into our lives. The path to affluence is : Restraint and proper choice of sustainable lifestyles; Renewable Energy; Recycling of all waste streams , and Regeneration of life-forms.
Khun Krisada Kampanatsanyakorn, Chairman, Cellenium, and Khun Chaikiri Srifuengfung, Cellenium, (Bangkok, Thailand), have worked for years to establish a working model of a sustainable eco-village. They have now proven beyond doubt that aesthetics and innovation can be combined for an optimum and progressive utilization of scarce resources of the planet. The goal of an eco-village should be to create a viable, sustainable community that generates a surplus of food, fuel and fertiliser with the least water-footprint, says Khun Krisada Kampanatsanyakorn. Khun Krisada’s pioneering team at Cellenium has developed many alternative technologies needed to redesign habitats and to solve the key bottlenecks in moving towards a renewable energy age. The innovative technologies developed by the Thai team offer a practical solution to the problems of clean water; increased access to renewable energy; free access to information; soil enrichment ;organic farming; complete recycling of all waste-streams viz., solid, liquid and gas; use of regenerative life forms like algae; and use of dry construction methods for quick building of comfortable habitats. These capabilities would maximize the degrees of freedom for inhabitants of these master units or eco-village communities. The basic premise of this approach is that by designing for an increasing access to free renewable energy and information, productivity can be enhanced and wealth can be gained. Surplus and Sustainability go together. We cannot have sustainability without generating and harnessing surplus-energy.

At Horse-Shoe Point near Pattaya, Thailand, renewable energy technologies such as solar, bio-mass and electricity storage, among others, are all tangibly being applied. Very Small Power Producer (VSPP) projects at HSP aim to generate an excess supply of electricity for the occupants to sell back to the grid. Water in the HSP Eco-Village is being captured, cleaned, used, treated and recycled. Fertilizer, bio-char and carbon dioxide derived from solid waste generation and from bio-mass to power processes are captured to enhance the further growth of bio-mass. All of these taken together create powerful regenerative forces that can sustain and enhance our bio-sphere.

Some innovative technologies being applied to the HSP eco-village projects are:
1. Vanadium redox flow electrical storage and power conversion system
2. Energy saving design and simulation process for house construction
3. Pre-fabricated, insulated, panelized and dry construction
4. Solar PV systems
5. Solar-thermal; systems
6. Thermal storage
7. Bio-mass energy conversion- bio-gas, wood-gas, charcoal to electricity
8. Vertical algae bio-reactor for sequestering carbon and maximizing bio-mass production
9. Aerobic and microbial water purification system
10. Soil enrichment using high-value organic fertilizer
11. Etc.

The houses and buildings in HSP-EV (Horse Shoe-Point Eco-Village) are designed aesthetically for energy efficiency and comfort. Solutions have been created to remedy normal practices that result in poorly insulated building shells and excess electricity usage for domestic cooling, lighting and appliances and hot water heating. There is maximum use of energy saving architectural features, the right choice of materials for insulating the building shell, and the prudent integration of renewable energy and energy storage technologies.

Sustainable Living is the desired motto for many progressive organizations and governments today. This is also being propagated enthusiastically by all international agencies including ESCAP(United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific) , UNEP, UNESCO, World Bank etc. However, there are very few examples of an integrated approach towards building Sustainable Eco-Villages around the world. Khun Krisada and his team have shown that if sufficient resources are directed toward solutions proposed by them, renewable energy can be harnessed; carbon can be captured; complete recycling of all waste-streams is possible; and problems of nutrition can be tackled easily. In fact, the agricultural sector becomes one of the major beneficiaries of the distributed paradigm (i.e., electricity, water, and fertilizer). Recently Khun Krisada and his pioneering team also demonstrated use of Vanadium Redox Flow batteries for electric bicycles and other modes of transportation. Clean electricity lies at the hub of all such mobile applications. Sustainability becomes alive and real only when there are genuine attempts to make maximum utilization of all scarce resources and a rational distribution of accumulated wealth. This is one of the first models of futuristic eco-villages that puts Progressive Utilisation Theory (PROUT) key principles into action.

The demonstration units in Thailand have attracted the attention of His Royal Highness The King of Thailand and the Crown Prince HRH Frederik Andre Herik of Denmark, among all others who are also scouting for technologies to help us move towards a Renewable Energy and Information Age.

A special seminar on these technologies is being planned for the summer of 2011 in Thailand. Those who wish to attend this and wish to explore the purchase of these innovative systems may contact Dada Shambhushivananda at: kalupatigurukul.edu.

Ac. Shambhushivananda Avt. is Kulapati (Chancellor) of Ananda Marga Gurukula, received his PhD in Business and Applied Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He also serves as Shraman, ( CTS-Central Training Secretary) of The International School of Social Service -ISSS (aka Prashiksana Matha) in Ydrefors, Sweden; one of the seven original institutions set up under the direction of Shrii Prabhat Rainjan for training yogic monks and nuns.
What do people do to meet their growing needs for agricultural lands, for industries, etc.? They bring about large-scale deforestation, but no one bothers to think about the creatures that live in those forests. So the tigers and elephants haunt the villages, kill the people and demolish their houses. Why? Out of their instinct for self-preservation. We have destroyed their natural habitat, the forests, but we never bothered to consider any alternative arrangements for their shelter. We have recklessly destroyed large areas of forests without caring to think that thereby we are destroying the ecological balance among the human, plant and animal worlds. And we never realized – and still do not – that this wanton destruction of the animal and plant worlds will be of no benefit to human beings. Rather it will be a great loss for human society, because each and every living entity, whether plant or animal, has two types of value: one, its utility value, and the other, its existential value.

Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar
Pseudo-Humanism (Discourse 8), 22 March 1982, Calcutta published in: The Liberation of Intellect: Neohumanism
From the point of view of Neohumanism the arena of our service should be ever-increasing, ever-expanding, and should include both the animate and inanimate worlds.

What will our policy be in order to bring justice to the inanimate world? First, we should go beyond the human world, then beyond the animal world, then beyond the inanimate world. Plants are less developed, animals are more developed and human beings are still more developed. The Neohumanist approach includes everything – it includes both the animate and inanimate worlds within its jurisdiction.

Human beings have not taken proper care of the inanimate world. For example, human beings have damaged and destroyed many hills and mountains. You should not destroy the mountains and hills, otherwise the rainfall will be affected. You should not use subterranean water or encourage the use of deep or shallow tube wells, because too much reliance on these types of wells causes the level of the water table to go down, which in turn causes the soil to dry out, killing the plant life. It is best to use rain water, river water and reservoirs to collect rain water instead of subterranean water.

Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar
Prout and Neohumanism, 25 October 1989, Calcutta published in: Published in: Prout in a Nutshell Part 17