“Unique” Green Home Went From “Sustainable” To Hazardous Waste Site In Just Months!

The German SAT.1 NRW site brings our attention to yet another glittering jewel of climate and environmental folly. This ranks close to the weed-covered solar park we reported on a few years back.

SAT.1 reports how a revolutionary zero-carbon, “sustainable” green home went from being an example for the future of green home architecture, to a hazardous waste site in just a matter of months.

2.4 million euro dream

The “unique” self-reliant house located in Lippstadt, Germany, was constructed entirely of “organic materials”, costing 2.4 million euros ($2.6 million). Building began in 2014. However during 2015 the house became completely infested with dangerous mold — and has since been condemned and now will need to be gutted out.

Initially the house had been the dream of its owners, Lars and Antje Rühe. Today, having put the family’s wealth into the house, the Rühe’s now find themselves on the brink of financial and marital ruin, SAT.1 reports.

Rain soaked during construction

The house is equipped with its own water supply, solar power, and a battery storage system costing over 100,000 euros and is capable of storing power for months. During the course of construction, the organic wood-based material used for insulating the house in place of traditional fiberglass got soaked with rainwater and quickly became a hotbed for mold.

Now a hazardous material site

The mold and its spores spread through the entire building and contaminated the insulation, which now has to be removed piece by piece and disposed of as hazardous material. So toxic did the house become that it had to be fenced off to keep the public off limits. Two million spores were measured in the air of the house – the limit is only 200.

Things got far worse: In order to keep the dangerous spores from making the neighbors ill, it is now deemed necessary to build an airtight, vacuum enclosure structure around the entire house – all equipped with an air filtering system. That alone, according to SAT.1, will run another half a million euros.

To be demolished, handled as hazardous waste

It’s not even sure if the house can be salvaged at all. According to the engineer who designed the home’s energy system, “every part will need to be packed and sealed, and then disposed of as hazardous waste“.

Germany’s No.1 daily Bild writes here that the house will in fact need to be demolished, which will cost 50,000 euros.

Next comes the legal battle to determine exactly who is responsible for the debacle. Apparently the building crew covered the house with a large tarp during its construction, but according to SAT.1, it leaked and the organic insulation soaked the water up “like a sponge“.

26 responses to ““Unique” Green Home Went From “Sustainable” To Hazardous Waste Site In Just Months!”

  1. edmh

    The unintended consequences of Greenery will keep on coming:

    Smog returned to London last winter for the first time for many decades because of the Green fad for wood burning stoves in the city.

    A tower block burned, killing at least 80 occupants, because of the insistence of the Council be have better Green insulation at the cheapest price.

    And now just as in Germany much of the social housing in the UK will have to be modified or condemned.

  2. Robert Christopher

    A form of Gang Green?

  3. tom0mason

    “Unique” Green Home Went From “Sustainable” To Hazardous Waste Site In Just Months!

    The answer was Borax. A completely natural product (one of Turkey’s exports ).
    Here’s one report on it use and treatment results there are many others.

    Borax treated wood resists many molds, and as such probably would have mitigated against, or even solved the mold problem. However unfortunately it is deemed a chemical hazard in Europe despite being nontoxic to the point it is in most eye-washes (Optex, etc.). (It also improves most detergent’s performance even in ‘hard’ water.)
    That’s the wonders of EU bureaucratic overreach, if it can be identified as a chemical — ban it. (see https://echa.europa.eu/substance-information/-/substanceinfo/100.129.152 for their stupidity) In the majority of rest of the world it is an over the counter product.

    1. tom0mason

      Also see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borax for how really dangerous this substance isn’t.

    2. Hell_Is_Like_Newark

      You answered my question. I assumed cellulose insulation (ground up paper treated with boric acid) was used. Here in the States it is common to install cellulose damp. The boric acid in the insulation makes it excellent for fire-proofing and prevents the growth of mold. I worked with the stuff for years with no ill effects.

      Still not sure how the mold got out of control. If the building had proper vapor barriers, the insulation should still have dried out, unless the boric acid replacement was some sort of desiccant that absorbed many times its weight in water. Without moisture, mold can’t grow.

      1. tom0mason

        Yes, and it help keep the wasps, ants and termite under control (I understand the product called ‘Nippon’ in EU has this as the main ingredient). Borax can be used in the EU but you’ll have to be a registered and certified operator in building, farming, or pest control industries (etc.), with all the usual certified safety equipment and protective clothing.

        Borax is basically a multi-purpose, safe, and cheap which I think is the main problem in Europe. A cheap substance with so many uses, how could any of those very expensive alternatives get a look in.

        1. SebastianH

          Cellulose insulation with borax is not cheap (that’s the reason why mostly cheap styrofoam gets used). I don’t know how expensive whatever they used in that house was though.

          1. DirkH

            “Cellulose insulation with borax is not cheap ”

            GREENS DO NOT CARE. They steal 35 billion Euros of subsidies a year to install LUDICROUSLY expensive bullshit all over the country. GREENS DO NOT CARE HOW EXPENSIVE THEIR IDEAS ARE. They are too stupid to understand that EXPENSIVE = HIGH RESOURCE USAGE.

            That’s why they DO NOT PROTECT NATURE by their ultra expensive bullshit. They destroy it.

            I mean, listen to the Greens, how they love MUSK. How they love the idea that resources valued 100,000 USD are needed to produce ONE EFFIN CAR.

            They are stupid. They have non-working brains.

          2. DirkH

            Let me add, a car whose DRIVETRAIN FAILS after a lousy 60,000 miles.
            My effin VW POLO was better than that! And its transmission was made out of Spanish candy canes!!!! Had it replaced twice! Average lifespan of a transmission 110,000km! BETTER THAN A TESLA! And it’s the VW with the WORST. TRANSMISSION. EVER. built by VW!

          3. SebastianH

            Get help, your hate is unhealthy and might affect the time your body’s “drivetrain” fails.

            And why is this suddenly about cars made by Telsa?

  4. mwhite
    1. mwhite
      1. Jeremy Poynton

        Principa Scientifica head man has published nonsense on this before. Sadly.

    2. clipe

      Sadly, Fake news.

  5. clipe

    You can’t make this stuff up!

    Mold-based Green Energy North Wales to install solar panels at castle.

    https://www.google.ca/webhp?complete=0#complete=0&q=green+energy+mold

  6. toorightmate

    Mold is what Greens are made of.

  7. John F. Hultquist

    Lars and Antje Rühe

    My curiosity is about the start of how the couple arrived at this mess.
    Did one or both partake of green cookies and start down this path?
    Did an architect or builder talk them into this?

    Home building has a long history of successful structures, whether a yurt on the steppes of Central Asia, the pueblo of the southwest in the US, or stand alone or multi-unit modern timber frame buildings.
    By the time this episode finishes, I’ll be too old to care.

  8. Hivemind

    There was an episode of Grand Designs, where an eco-freak built a house using hay bales as wall insulation. A great idea, except I always wondered about pests, like mice and cockroaches. I didn’t think of mold.

    I expect the owner would have had to strip out the insulation and replace it every few years.

    1. Annie

      I think it is straw that is used, not hay. It is heavily compressed during construction and then well sealed to eliminate the ability of insects and vermin to live, even if they get into it. The assumption is that properly dried bales are used in the first place. There are 100 year old houses made of straw in Nebraska, USA. There are now quite a few in Australia, including one down the road from us here in Victoria. There is no sign of trouble with it.

  9. Brian W.

    Nov 13, 2015 The Technocratic Agenda: Sustainable Development and Climate Eugenics

    Today Patrick Wood of Technocracynews joins us once again to discuss the upcoming COP21 Climate Conference in Paris and how it plays into the technocrats’ plan to control the world’s resources and implement genocidal eugenics-based austerity.

    https://youtu.be/nUb2ITS3Vmw

  10. Stephen Richards

    nice to see greenies hit by their own religion instead of everyone else

  11. DirkH

    What a beautiful story. Lars and Antje wanted to protect Nature and Nature took their present. Fungi are lifeforms too!

    Can we make this a Reality TV show? Who’s the Greenest!

    BTW. The “ENTIRE HOUSE” was made from organic materials? Hmm. Organic solar cells? Organic batteries? Organic wiring? Organic inverters?

    My point is, these complete morons had no problem installing all kinds of complicated products of extremely toxic chemical processes but that EVIL styrofoam with fire-stopping chemicals, no, that is a cardinal sin.

    Greens are stupid. As long as they only destroy themselves, more power to them. (I explicitly include CDU members in this, as the CDU is a Green party.)

    1. AndyG55

      Helped a friend make clay bricks for a house once. He used hay in fine strips as a binder. Baked under the nice hot outback Aussie sun.

      Some waterproofing additives and coating when finished. Normal sheet plaster lining inside

      Wide verandahs, well insulated roof.

      House was incredibly stable temperature-wise once build.

      1. Annie

        Hay or straw Andy? Straw would be the usual choice. One of our offspring lives in a mudbrick house, built by Germans. It is very nice, actually.

        1. AndyG55

          A long time ago, can’t remember if it was hay or straw. 🙂

  12. Annie

    One house we lived in, in Melbourne, had no insulation in the roof. We put in a load of borax and boric acid treated shredded paper. It worked pretty well.

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