What is a Bioshelter?

Bioshelters defined, “The shoulders we stand on”…

Sean Wellesley-Miller and Day Chahroudi, coined the term and consider a bioshelter to be an indoor food-producing ecosystem (or specialized greenhouse) that contains soil, soil life, plants, insects, and fish ponds.

New Alchemy Institute: (bioshelter research goals): To grow food crops and edible fish year-round in northern climates without using harmful pesticides or heating with fossil fuel.

Cape Cod Ark: Built by the New Alchemy Institute in 1976, it is 90 foot long, insulated on the north, air-tight, glazed with double fiberglass, and has many fish ponds in it to absorb and store solar heat. The growing areas for plants are deep soil beds in the ground like an outdoor garden. Beneficial insects live inside to control pests. Vents are opened all summer, closed all winter, and manually adjusted spring and fall. In a climate where winter temperatures often dip below twenty degrees F., the interior climate was kept warm by the solar ponds inside and could grow crops all winter.

Earle Barnhart, early bioshelter pioneer and current resident of the Cape Cod Ark, says bioshelters are solar buildings that create a year-round growing environment in a temperate climate, heated primarily by solar energy. http://www.thegreencenter.net/

Solviva Solargreen Home: In 1980 Anna Edey, through her Sustainable Solar-Dynamic Bio-Benign Design ideas built a structure that maximized the use of solar power in order to minimize use of any other energy sources, that managed wastewater without releasing nitrogen or toxins into the groundwater, and produced an abundance of vegetables inside all through the winter. It was beautiful, convenient and low cost to build and operate, and the solar didn’t cause overheating in the summer. http://www.solviva.com/

Three Sisters Farm: Their bioshelter was built in 1988 as a year-round organic garden, compost facility, chicken house, potting room, packing kitchen, reference library, research center and storage barn in one. http://www.bioshelter.com/

Radix Center: At it’s hub incorporates a “Bioshelter/Greenhouse heated by passive solar and bio-thermal sources for year-round food production.” http://radixcenter.org/

Jonathan Bates: Integrated closed ecologies built to meet human needs.

Wikipedia: Notes that a bioshelter is “… a solar greenhouse managed as an indoor ecosystem.”

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